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Ants all over garden

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Ants all over garden

Post  Mastiff07 on 6/4/2012, 8:29 am

I have tons of the biting ants in my garden. I live in ct. I was harvesting my lettuce and found them under it. Are they a danger to my plants? How to I get rid of them? Can I still eat my vegetables?

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  llama momma on 6/4/2012, 10:32 am

This was the first year a small red ant bit me so hard there was a trickle of blood. If you go to the white search box and type in ants, you'll see past discussions. I've tried cinnamon that was recommended, not sure how much it really helped, the ant problem got no worse anyway. If nothing else a little swearing at them makes me feel better. And when I squish a bug I leave their corpse and hope it deters their friends. Twisted Evil

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  Weedless_ on 6/4/2012, 10:37 am

Ants hate diatomaceous earth. It's very cheap and readily available at garden stores. It's harmless to humans (used in cake mixes, tooth pastes and facial scrubs). Sprinkle on the ground, not on plants, as bees will hate it too Smile

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  llama momma on 6/4/2012, 10:40 am

Ants will herd aphids which are bad of course and yes you can eat your veggies. I found a wonderful idea on the forum to wash veggies in a sinkful of water with a capful or two of bleach and soak for 8-10 minutes. No bleach flavor. Scale it down for smaller harvests. You can wash things with vinegar solution too. I feel better about eating from the garden between the bugs and little eggs I can't see, and aged manure in the compost I'm much happier using something stronger than water to clean to clean my food!

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  llama momma on 6/4/2012, 10:49 am

There are different grades of DE --don't use pool grade DE for the garden. The other kind mentioned in this article says it does not harm earthworms since they are structured differently than bugs and can handle ingesting it

http://www.ghorganics.com/DiatomaceousEarth.html

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  Weedless_ on 6/4/2012, 1:00 pm

@llama momma wrote:There are different grades of DE --don't use pool grade DE for the garden.
Thanks, llama momma. I forgot to mention it needs to be food grade DE!

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  llama momma on 6/4/2012, 1:40 pm

Weedless,
p.s.
I'm half Ukrainian I saw you mention your Ukey background earlier. My Kiev born grandmother stuffed me with kapusta soup and peirogies but surprisingly never any borcht.

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  Lindacol on 6/4/2012, 4:25 pm

Weedless_in_Atlanta wrote:Ants hate diatomaceous earth. It's very cheap and readily available at garden stores. It's harmless to humans (used in cake mixes, tooth pastes and facial scrubs). Sprinkle on the ground, not on plants, as bees will hate it too Smile

DE did not even slow down the ants in my garden or in my compost pile. I used a lot of DE to no apparent effect. Spinosad just caused them to move a few inches. Pyrethrin sprayed on the blocks and pallets just killed the ones it contacted and the next day there are more ants walking on the sprayed areas. Now what? I want to stay as organic as possible.

I see no signs of aphids but it appears that these ants killed my potatoes. Here is the thread with pictures of the ants in my potatoes:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t12158-ants-got-my-potatoes

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  llama momma on 6/4/2012, 5:44 pm

I looked at your pictures Lindacol, Oh my so many ants. Stinks. A lot of articles from all over saying the same thing - bad year for bugs. It's going to be an interesting summer... I can only hope the good bugs will catch up from feasting on the bad bugs, multiply like crazy and give us a hand in this summer's fight.

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Re: Ants all over garden

Post  camprn on 6/4/2012, 7:38 pm

It is swarm season for ants... If the conditions aren't desirable in the garden, they should move along...though, I am not sure what ants look for when searching for a new nest location...

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