Black Ants - Knowledgebase Question

Greensboro, No
Question by Itzyespin
April 29, 2010
Hello I just notice black ants on my berries(Black,rasp,straw,blue)plants walking all over them so my Q is are they harmful to the plants if so how I get rid of them,Thanks.


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Answer from NGA
April 29, 2010

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The ants are probably damaging the berries by piercing and drinking the fluids so I'd discourage them as soon as possible. . A good least-toxic method is the use of boric acid baits. Boric acid baits can eliminate some ant colonies in about one week. The trick is to not kill the ants at the bait station, but to get the ants to carry the boric acid back to the nest, poisoning the members of the colony that never leave the nest. Most ants feed either on sugars or on protein, fats, or oils. Yours are sugar ants and 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. 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, which ever bait you use, 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, it is best to place bait jars where children and pets cannot reach them.

Or you can use Combat or Spectracide ant bait products. These are not approved for use IN fruit or vegetable gardens but can be applied around and outside the borders of the garden so the worker ants inside and outside of the garden can gather the bait and take it back to their colonies. Best wishes with your garden!

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