The Q&A Archives: Ants And Okra

Question: Last year we had good success growing "Baby Bubba" okra from seed. However, we noticed a lot of ants
crawling on the plants. They seemed to do no damage to the flowers (we thought they were attracted to their
nectar), but by mid-late summer they were very numerous and chewing off the pods. Our area suffered a severe
drought last summer; could the ants have been looking for a source of water? If not, how can I prevent another
infestation this year?

Answer: Yes fire ants will do that to okra, either in search of water and for other reasons that are unclear. Your options are to control the ants around the garden with a bait type product or to paint the base of the okra stalks periodically with Tanglefoot (a sticky substance) or a similar product to prevent them from getting up into the plant.

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