The Q&A Archives: Ants in Strawberries

Question: How can I get rid of ants in my strawberry bed without making the berries dangerous to eat? (They refuse to leave when I stir up the hill...they just move to another part of the bed and set up home.)

Answer: I assume you're referring to fire ants, as other types of ants are generally not a problem for berry plants or people.

There are some organic products containing pyrethrins on the market which are labeled for fire ant control. It is important to check the label of all products first to make sure they are labeled for use in strawberries. Boiling water will destroy a mound, but will also "cook" any plants in the same spot. Another option would be to apply one of the fire ant bait products outside the perimeter of the garden. Foraging ants will pick up a few granules and take them back to feed to the colony. Used at the very low rate of 1 lb. per acre, these are among the least toxic options for fire ant control.

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