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aphids,ants and squash boarers

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aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  shannon1 on 4/16/2011, 2:22 am

I noticed ants farming aphids on my patty pans and was going to give them the old soapy water. After thinking about it they are in their own container and the aphids are not causing any damange yet, so since ants protect their herd I have deciced to wait to do them in until they cause damage in hopes the ants will keep worse pests off my squash. Any thoughts?
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ants as farmers

Post  westie42 on 4/16/2011, 3:48 pm

I like your reasoning on that very well. Letting the ants protect your squash. Do you suppose the ants are farming the aphids to bait in some other more delectable morsel. When I used to duck hunt the more different decoys I put out the more ducks I harvested in return. Some hunters bait or salt or scent deer into frequent visiting habits to improve harvest opportunity. Wonder what ants consider the ideal market weight of an aphid is or do you suppose it's aphid eggs the ants desire. Just think of Mr. farmer ant and his laying flock of aphids that is a wild thought. Interesting observation Shannon that takes the nature of my garden thinking to a whole new level. Micro managing may not always be a bad thing. It was hard enough for me to get companion planting thru this thick skull now I need to learn companion bugs too.

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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  shannon1 on 4/16/2011, 11:38 pm

Westie you'er very witty. The ants are more like dairy farmers. What they get in return for their protection is honeydew an excreation made by aphids. They are known to move aphids from plant to plant, that is why it is an important point the squash is in it's own container.
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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/17/2011, 11:33 am

Shannon,

I have read that aphids can transmit a squash virus.

You said you have not seen any signs of damage to the leaves of your squash, but I do know aphids reproduce very rapidly. Apparently most are female and they are born pregnant. The aphids played havoc with my artichokes last year.

I admire your thoughts of letting the ants protect your garden, but my personal thoughts are to wash the plants with a strong spray of water to dislodge as many aphids as possible, then use a spray of 1 or 2 tsp soap in a gallon of water, with about 1 tsp vegetable oil to kill them.
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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/17/2011, 2:12 pm

Now, I know what I'll be reincarnated as next time.....an aphid. I will have no control over my very existence, be plagued with constant labor pains, have someone always sniffing my bum for their next meal, and have giants trying to constantly give me a sponge bath.

Come to think if it, that would be my personal hell. Better rearrange some priorities...pronto! I mean, how does it get worse than that?
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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  shannon1 on 4/17/2011, 11:29 pm

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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  shannon1 on 4/18/2011, 2:10 am

guess I will go back to harvesting the aphids for my tropical fish, they love them and then provide fishifide water for the garden. Wink
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aphids

Post  westie42 on 4/18/2011, 2:15 am

Or you could scoop up both the ants and aphids then dip both in chocolate for a midnight snack.

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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  shannon1 on 4/18/2011, 2:39 am

To bad I'm diabetic.
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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/18/2011, 9:21 am

Thread officially derailed....awesome. We SFG'ers have pretty warped senses of humor. And, I love it.
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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  elliephant on 4/18/2011, 9:34 am

Joking aside, get those aphids out of there! They are terrible virus vectors!

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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  nancy on 4/18/2011, 9:42 am

Back to the aphids - I had planned on buying preying mantis eggs cases this year to manage my aphids. Then I found out that they will also eat caterpillars. Then I found a preying mantis egg case at my garden among the weeds. Oh what to do. I had uncontrollable aphids on my milkweed last year that it's a wonder the caterpillars could find any food! I think I'm going to try to let the mantises live and will collect the monarch eggs as fast as I find them. It's probably more the way nature intended it to let them hatch. I also want some on my roses. I had a different kind of aphid on them last year.
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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  shannon1 on 4/19/2011, 12:06 am

After gathering some fat ones for the fish I will spray with soapy water a pinch of alcohol and some skim milk (to prevent powdery mildew). That should do it. May have to spray more than once but I and my lovely squash will come out on top.
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You all are scary!

Post  SARockhill on 7/30/2012, 11:09 pm

What a Face My kinda people! rofl
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Re: aphids,ants and squash boarers

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/30/2012, 11:17 pm

rofl

I sure needed a good laugh! Thank you all!

rofl

I can't stop!

rofl
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