Ants in Garden... is this a problem??

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by ScorpionFlower, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    I live in the desert and have red ants in my garden. I'm not sure if this is a problem or not. They are making their home in my mounds for my cantelopes. If it is a problem, what can I do???
     
  2. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    I've not had any issues with ants here.. other than they latch onto my fingers when I check my plants :flame: , they dont seem to be any benefit either though, they did not help any with the aphid issue I was having.
    the most trusted way to get rid of ants is to boil a pot or two of water and dump it over the nest, I hear diatomaceous earth works too.
     

  3. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the garden, I'd try the DE. I've had some success with it in the yard, and it is completely organic. I don't know if the red ants will taste your fruit, but you do not want dirt mound up around it, because it will hasten rot.
    mary
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I get ants around the edges of my raised beds (inside and outside the bed) and the biggest problem is getting stung! OUCH. So far I haven't noticed any damage to my veggies...just to my fingers.
     
  5. Suburban Farm

    Suburban Farm Farmer Wannabe

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    So what do you all think of Dry Molasses for Ants. Does it get rid of them? I spray water on the plants to get rid of aphids. Thinking about trying dry molasses. Guess you can buy it from the feed store. What do you think? Worth it?

    Cheryl
     
  6. ScorpionFlower

    ScorpionFlower Insanity prevails

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    As long as they aren't harmful to my veggies then I'm fine with letting them stay.

    I did see something weird today though. My sunflower's leaves were COVERED with ants!!! No flower yet, just leaves. These are the giant ones. I couldn't figure out what they were doing. I counted 6 sunflowers with ants on them. Weird.
     
  7. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I've got little black ants all over my ocra and was wondering the same thing. I don't know what they are doing, but they cluster all over the ocra pods.
     
  8. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    The sugar may attract ants. Better to kill aphids with hard stream of water or smother them with a vegetable oil spray. Ant mounds around plants may be bad because ants will keep their nests dry and the dry soil around roots may not be good. Ants in the woods are necessary to plant and propagate woodland species like Trilliums. They take the berries back to the nests and eat the red covering from the seeds and put the seeds in the trash section of the colony along with excrement etc. So they are helping Trilliums by harvesting and planting seeds. That's one way that Trilliums end up growing in clumps. Not all Trilliums do however. Ants down south are a different thing however and even though I lived there for four years I never got close to ants. They weren't friendly ants.
     
  9. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

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    There's a lot of different types of ants. Fire ants give pretty horrible bites and I wouldn't want them in my yard (although I didn't have much of a choice in the matter in Dallas... they were everywhere). I've seen other ants that harvest the "dew" from aphids. They'll actually attack lady bugs to protect their crop of aphids. But it seems like most ants are harmless in the garden and their tunnelling can help loosen the soil.
     
  10. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    A couple things about ants. Firstly most ants are just fine.

    They generally only congregate on plants with aphids (aphid pooh tastes good to ants...) So check your sunflowers for aphids and spray with 1 teaspoon of dishsoap to 1 litre of water.

    Ants also look for dry, uncultivated spots. If you keep the garden hoed and irrigated they will actually take off. So ants often mean lack of water.

    Sounds like you're more comfortable than most with your ants- I think that's just great!
     
  11. Vere My Sone

    Vere My Sone Well-Known Member

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    they can be worrisome
    this year they made homes in the potatoes

    last year they were all over the field peas, eating some larva, which was a good thing
     
  12. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    how is that possible? almost every day it's been raining, I think we had 4 days of dry sunny weather in June.