Sugar Ants - Knowledgebase Question

Middle Village, Ne
Question by fivehaggerty
February 15, 2010
Sugar Ants appear to be destroying the Impatiens in my flower boxes.Each year for the past three - the flower's growth is stunted and these ants are all over them. How can I control them? Is it normal for these ants to do this?


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Answer from NGA
February 15, 2010

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Those ants sound really desperate because there's really not much in the way of nectar in the flowers of impatiens! Be that as it may, you can make a boric acid bait by mixing one-half cup jelly, such as apple jelly, with 1 1/4 tsp boric acid powder. Place the mixture in a small jar, punch several holes in the lid of the jar, then screw the lid on tightly and seal with tape. The holes should be large enough for the ants to pass through to reach the bait. Place the bait jar on its side where the ants will come in contact with it. If the ants are unable to gain footing on the jar lid, you might want to scratch the surface with sandpaper or a pebble. If you find many dead ants around the bait station, lower the amount of boric acid in the mixture. If you are still finding live ants after a week to 10 days, increase the amount of boric acid. Although boric acid is of very low toxicity, The idea is to have the ants collect the bait and take it back to their nest to share. it is best to place bait jars where children and pets cannot reach them. Good luck with your abatement project!

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