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Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
On the 3rd day God created plants.
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Reine
Oct 11, 2014 3:06 PM CST
Fire ants are getting into my flower pots. A few pots I watered heavily and moved the pots and those ants are gone. Two 10 gallon pots I am still having trouble with. The ants are still in the pots after lots of water and even using diatomaceous earth has not eradicated the ants. I don't like using poisonous chemicals, there are many Carolina anole (lizards), as well as birds in my yard.
Any suggestions on how to get these pests gone for good?
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Oct 11, 2014 3:15 PM CST
If you have access to American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) leaves , you can crush the leaves and place them in the pots. It won't kill the ants but it is supposed to make them relocate, so your pots should be ant free. I did a limited test on some ants that built around my septic system and it worked there.
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Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
On the 3rd day God created plants.
Cactus and Succulents Houseplants Bee Lover Critters Allowed Frogs and Toads Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Seed Starter Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Spiders!
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Reine
Oct 11, 2014 3:32 PM CST
Hi Jay. I have seen this plant before, but I do not know where I could get any leaves at this time. But when you mentioned leaves, I immediately thought of bay leaves. They repel ants, I have used them in my home before. Maybe the bay leaves will be worth a try.
Thank you very much for your suggestion. Thank You!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 11, 2014 3:40 PM CST
Some people have mentioned using cinnamon to repel the ants in pots, too.

IF the ants re-locate nearby, though, you may have 2 or 3 nests where there was only one before. Ant bait is the one exception I make about using chemicals in my garden. You use so little, and it is a targeted bait that only those non-native evil ants will take. Once they bring enough of it back to the nest it kills the queen and the whole nest. A worthwhile compromise, imho.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Oct 11, 2014 3:55 PM CST
I have a volunteer plant that sure looks like one:


I also have a volunteer anthill in my garden that I've flooded numerous times. Mine are leafcutter ants



Thumb of 2014-10-11/texaskitty111/b30ba2
So, I gathered a bucket of them




Thumb of 2014-10-11/texaskitty111/434d66
And threw them on top the hill. (I forgot to crush them, although many are torn due to me ripping them off the bush) also added a few berries.



Thumb of 2014-10-11/texaskitty111/ae8b31
So, if this is really the right plant, and it works, I'd be glad to mail you some if you want to send me a p. m.

Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Oct 11, 2014 4:02 PM CST
Yep, that's Beautyberry!
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Oct 11, 2014 4:14 PM CST
It volunteered to grow right next to my storm shelter door. We can't open the door now. I'll have to cut back many of the branches this fall.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 11, 2014 6:53 PM CST
Are you growing Rosemary in your yard? Rosemary sprigs should also make the ants want to relocate.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
On the 3rd day God created plants.
Cactus and Succulents Houseplants Bee Lover Critters Allowed Frogs and Toads Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Seed Starter Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Spiders!
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Reine
Oct 11, 2014 7:04 PM CST
Thank you all for your suggestions. I really appreciate it.
Reine
Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
On the 3rd day God created plants.
Cactus and Succulents Houseplants Bee Lover Critters Allowed Frogs and Toads Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Seed Starter Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Spiders!
Image
Reine
Oct 11, 2014 7:12 PM CST
I grow a variety of caudiciform plants and pachycaul trees, the trees I try to keep manageable sizes. All my plants are in pots. They all come in for the winter. This is the first time I have had such a problem with ants.
I need to start growing plants in the yard that will help with situations like this.

Thank you again.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Oct 12, 2014 10:38 AM CST
I too hate using chemicals on my lawn, landscape, or tropical plants, but I still use Orthene to kill fire ants in my lawn/beds (or any other ant that invades my plants). You can either sprinkle a very small amount onto the soil (or with epiphytes, lightly dusted at the base of the plant) or mix 2 tbl. per quart of water and use it as a drench. Both are effective. I have never seen Orthene harm a single other thing because of the fact that after 24 hours you can flush the pot/plant with water. All the ants will have been killed within that 24 hour period.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Oct 12, 2014 10:52 AM CST
Putting american beautyberry did nothing (so far) for leafeater ants. I thought I might have brought them dinner, but they are totally ignoring them. I've put the hose on their nest, dripping. Hopefully, they will look for a dryer place to live.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 12, 2014 10:58 AM CST
Try stomping on the leaves or cutting them up some more, maybe? Most likely the aromatic or repellent substance needs to be released from the leaves to make it work. Just like crushing or cutting herbs releases the flavors and fragrance.

The fact that they aren't eating those leaves is signficant, though. Certainly something is not appealing to them about the beautyberry.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Oct 12, 2014 11:13 AM CST
True, true, will do
Thank You!
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Oct 13, 2014 9:13 AM CST
I've had luck in the past with used coffee grounds...Don't think it killed them, but they sure did leave the area!
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Oct 13, 2014 9:17 AM CST
Fire ants, or leafcutter ants Tara?
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Oct 13, 2014 9:42 AM CST
Hmmm, good question... *Blush* ... Shrug! ...I use them (used grounds) on all ant hills that I come across.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 13, 2014 10:01 AM CST
I've used coffee grounds to get ants out of pots, too. It's still just driving them somewhere else, and that's just not good enough for me. Often when a nest is moved, the ants hatch another queen, and then you will have two nests where you only had one before. It's called 'budding'. The problem multiplies if you just make them move.

Especially fire ants, because I am becoming increasingly allergic to their stings I need to kill the nests. They are non-native, so do not belong to the local eco-system so I feel no regret whatsoever in going after them with the big guns.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 13, 2014 10:03 AM CST
I agree
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Reine
Porter, Texas (Zone 9a)
On the 3rd day God created plants.
Cactus and Succulents Houseplants Bee Lover Critters Allowed Frogs and Toads Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Seed Starter Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Spiders!
Image
Reine
Oct 13, 2014 12:32 PM CST
I now agree about using the big guns. It is raining again today and the ants are in more pots. Soon I will be bringing the plants inside and I don't want the ants in the house.
I will be careful using the Orthene, as drdawg and Elaine suggests. There are currently more than 8 ant colonies in the pots and the yard. I like sharing the yard with nature, but this is getting out of control. Grumbling
Chemicals are a last resort for me. 7 or 8 years ago, my mom, thought she was being helpful and heavily dosed an ant pile. I was very sad when I lost a large green lizard because of the poison. Sad

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