Ask a Question forum: sunflowers

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Mar 31, 2017 9:19 PM CST
i live in east tx...tiny black ants cover the bottom side of leaves...giant sunflowers....can you spray a mix of dawn and water tou keep them off?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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Mar 31, 2017 9:59 PM CST
Yes, soapy water will probably do the trick. Just be careful, as the soap can make the leaves burn in the sun. So it's best to spray in the evening, leave the soap on for just a short while, maybe 10min. and then rinse it off with plain water.

Also don't use too much soap as it contains salts that can dehydrate the leaves. More is not better. A half teaspoon of dish soap to a quart of water is plenty strong. (2tsp. per gallon if you have a pump sprayer)

You'll probably have to spray two or three times, maybe 5 days apart too. Soap kills bugs on contact but it doesn't get the ones that are still in eggs. Btw, the ants are most likely not doing any damage to the plants, but they are probably "farming" either aphids or spider mites which do suck the juices from your plants. So once you kill off the aphids or mites the ants will be gone too.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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