Ask a Question forum: ants in the vegetable garden

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Name: nell mcguire
north little rock Ar (Zone 7b)
Sep 28, 2014 4:11 PM CST
Idont like chemicals in my garden and the fire ants are trying to take over any advice?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Sep 28, 2014 4:37 PM CST
Wear tall boots?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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
Sep 28, 2014 4:51 PM CST
If you use a targeted ant bait, the ants will take most if not all of it back to the nest and consume it. I figure you use so very little to gain so much, especially with fire ants!

Our local County Extension released a parasitic wasp that is helping a lot with fire ant control around here. Maybe ask your County Extension about this?

There are insecticides that use Spinosad which is organically acceptable since it does not persist in the environment, but is broken down by natural soil processes. I talked yesterday to someone who used a Spinosad powder to make an ant bait. Don't know how well it works, though.

The other way to go is DE, diatomaceous earth. You can try spreading it around the ant mounds and see if it helps. It will certainly kill some of the ants in a completely non-toxic manner, but it may actually cause the nests to 'bud' or divide and spread around, eventually making the problem more widespread.


"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Sep 28, 2014 4:51 PM CST
We had success with coffee grounds. We got them free from Starbucks. Doesn't kill them though, they just move somewhere else. If you leave a 5 gal. bucket with Starbucks you can go back in a couple of days and pick it up full of grounds (and filters). Bring a second one to leave for refill.
Name: nell mcguire
north little rock Ar (Zone 7b)
Sep 28, 2014 5:51 PM CST
thanks to all . i keep hoping some study turns up a miracle. i will ask the county agent about the parasitic wasp.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
I have 1.5 friends left on NGA.
Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Rabbit Keeper Frugal Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Region: Georgia Native Plants and Wildflowers Composter Garden Sages Bookworm Vermiculture
Sep 28, 2014 7:39 PM CST
While you are at Starbucks, or any other of your favorite coffee shops, grab a packet or two of Splanda.
Rip open one packet and carefully sprinkle the contents on one ant mound; do this in such a way that you do not disturb the ants.
The ants will not be alarmed and later will find the 'food' that you left for them; they will carry it down into the inner sanctum.
Everyone will get an ant size stomach ache and decide to move away from the area.

Okay, it's not an all natural solution, but it does work and costs very little, even if you actually buy the box of Splenda.
(I got mine at a yard sale for $1.00 for and entire industrial size box.)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

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