Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum: Ants in the plants

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
May 23, 2017 4:12 PM CST

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And I am having a problem with the tiny black ants taking over some of my raised beds. I don't mind the ants, but now they are almost over night burying rosettes with fine soil. Angry
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
May 23, 2017 4:44 PM CST
Sorry to hear that Lynn! Come across any tried and true solution for tiny black ants or do you let them be until they move on or what?
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
May 23, 2017 5:17 PM CST

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There are so many colonies this year, so I picked up bait that they will take back to the nest and feed to the queen. Hate to do it, but they are taking over some of the beds.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
May 23, 2017 5:49 PM CST
We've had to do that when the ants are in an bad area for us. I hate to do it too. I had some setting up house in my greenhouse beds.
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
May 23, 2017 6:07 PM CST
I found a huge ant, one bigger than the ones I normally see, sitting on my night stand. I must have carried it in on my person when I was digging out the Squatters Bed. Hopefully it was only one.
Name: Tim Stoehr
Canby, Oregon (Zone 8b)
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tcstoehr
May 23, 2017 7:51 PM CST
I have seen a couple of freaking gigantic ants lately. One with wings and one without. Much bigger than Carpenter Ants. Yikes. But I've never seen them do any damage.
Now... the ones Lynn has I think are Sugar Ants maybe. And I do see them and their tell-tale debris mounds. They seem to love to take up residence underneath the semp rosettes. Not a problem for me yet. However, they do major damage to my Brassicas in the veg garden, but that's another story.
Lynn, what poison are you using. I've used the Boric Acid stuff which kills them but I don't know how effective it is for the whole colony.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
May 23, 2017 8:01 PM CST

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I don't remember the name. Each one is a little box with an opening. You do have to keep them away from children and pets. i will put baskets over them and stake the baskets to the ground.
Name: Jo Ann
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums
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ricos
May 23, 2017 11:39 PM CST
Wow we should start a "How Are You Dealing With Ants? thread. I am really fighting "sugar ants" . They are trying to be everywhere even setting up house in empty stored pots. I can't sell plants full of ants and they are getting into my planted flats too.It seems they are going crazy with the heat. But they must have been working away under cover while it was cold and wet for there to be so many now. I am going to be contacting Wilbur Ellis (serious chemicals not for the home gardener) next week for a "cure". I have tried the borax stuff and it is only marginally effective. I hate using the really high power stuff but i am going to be inspected by the state soon so I can ship out of state legally. I won't pass with ants everywhere (even if they are tiny Whistling )
That big one sounds scary Tim.
Name: Jo Ann
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Sempervivums
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ricos
May 23, 2017 11:57 PM CST
This thread sure has morphed Hilarious!
My Tederheid has very long stolons. Lentezone does not and is later to produce babies. Tedetheid has a lot more fuzz and mine has more pronounced blacker tips than my Lentezone. I think I will keep both at least for now. I want to see what they do in Aug. I suppose we could bring Lion King into this discussion. I think it is an improvement on Tederheid and Lentezone for sure but perhaps too big to even compare to the others...Bernstein and Gelber Stern.
Any one know how Ted. and Lent. perform as parents?
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
May 24, 2017 9:37 AM CST

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I used a small paint brush to clean the sand out from the leaves on the large rosette and also the smaller one to the right.
The small rosette was completely buried. Two days later they are starting back and building the sand up again.
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Yesterday I bought a product called Hot Shot. It is suppose to be carried back to the nest and fed to the queen of the colony. I'll let you know how it does. This is the worst year for ants I've ever had. When I weed the ants come boiling out of the soil.
I can see where that would be a huge problem for you Jo Ann, with a commercial business.

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 24, 2017 9:46 AM CST
I used Terro ant bait. Before I also use diatomaceous earth..or trying to be nice, I apply cinnamon to disrupt the conga line, but I know it does not kill them, so used Terro bait forward. If I am too pissed off, I spray windex..just making sure it is away from the plant, kills them on contact.

Hmmm..I don't like it when ants are going so active. Something else is amiss..not necessarily in our homes/land alone.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
May 24, 2017 9:50 AM CST

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It is the crazy winter we had tarev. It set them off big time trying to rebuild after their homes were flooded out for months.
In the house I used white vinegar. Also kills them on contact and disrupts the scent trail they leave. Works great. But what is going on in the raised beds is just to big to be dealt with by using vinegar.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
May 24, 2017 9:52 AM CST
Yup, got to get to the queen ant, which sends forth her army. I think that makes Terro bait work, the soldiers brings it back to the queen.

It's the other way around here before, we have been so dry for so many months, the ants were thirsty.
[Last edited by tarev - May 24, 2017 9:54 AM (+)]
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Name: Paul
southern California
Zone 8B/9A
Region: California Herbs
cahdg6891
May 24, 2017 4:03 PM CST
My yard is always full of ants, red and black ones. Some years the red ones are everywhere and some years the black ones are everywhere. This year the black ones are staying way out in the yard and the red ones keep showing up around the patio. We get lots of flying red ones that get into the house at night as well. I hate using poison but for red ants I make an exception. I use these ant stakes, they devour them and die off not long after.


Thumb of 2017-05-24/cahdg6891/bbb3a1

The red ones latch on when they get you and it feels like a red hot needle, ow ow ow. Grumbling A few years ago they suddenly showed up overnight in all of the cupboards. A nightmare D'Oh! then another year I went to get some tomatillos one evening and the first fruit I plucked was full of red ants Thumbs down
Name: Jo Ann
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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ricos
May 24, 2017 4:51 PM CST
Thank you tarev
Terro is what i was using. I may go get some just to slow things down here till i can do something else. I aggree...when the ants get super active something else is really amiss. It's almost like they are in panic mode. Mount St Helens has been active again lately.
Lynn You can't spend your day out there with a paint brush. Blinking
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
May 24, 2017 5:20 PM CST

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Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
No I can't Jo Ann. That is why I got the Hot Shot. I want them gone, they are causing a lot of work for me.
Name: Ed
Central ,NJ (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Sempervivums Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1
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herrwood
May 24, 2017 6:10 PM CST
I also have many ants I have used poison that come in a big bag from places like home depot and Sams. I think diazione or something like that which I spread in a ring around where i do not want them like on my my deck, where most of my plants are in pots, or around the house that seems to help. But when I see a rather large hill I usually pour some bleach on it and that usually solves the problem. I do not think the bleach would be good in the beds but it seems to take care of the one that are on the outside and keeps from moving any closer.
Plants are like that little ray of sunshine on a rainy day.
[Last edited by herrwood - May 24, 2017 6:11 PM (+)]
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Name: Tess
Alabama (Zone 7b)
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NEBamaGirl
May 24, 2017 6:14 PM CST
Borax, honey and peanut butter will draw them and kill the colony. (Albeit slowly but is very effective)
Mix it into a paste. I put mine into a Mason jar on its side. Alabama has fire ants, piss ants (sugar ants. Black ants etc. the tiny ones that don't bite) we have COW ants. (They squeak when you step on them and are about an inch long....they live around the base of trees here) piss ants get In the house and along concrete pathways....I use that mixture to keep them out.
Even with having our yard and home sprayed every three months we have to stay on top of ants. Fire ants are TERRIBLE here. At least every child who grows up in this area can tell you a "story" of their own run in with a fire ant bed.
I've never had much luck with store bait etc. as it gets expensive to keep buying more (not to mention one of our dogs managed to get a hold of one, used it as a chew toy and we had a sick pet visit)
After a rain it seems ants are taking over everything. I don't know if u get as much rain this time of year as we do but even my little pots on the ground give me a battle. I keep that mixture out in strategic spots and replenish it for next to nothing (plus it's considered non toxic..be sure it's borax....not boric acid!)
Name: Terri Stanley
Doddridge Co. WV (Zone 6a)
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TerriStanley
May 24, 2017 7:58 PM CST
Weird timing for this. I noticed an uptick in ants and their activities this season. First time ever, having ants in potted semps. I'm trying to gently sweep a thin layer of diatomaceous earth out on the concrete blocks the pots are sitting on. And, with a craft paint bottle, sift a thin line around the inside perimeter, on top of the top dress. I'm thinking I can get them coming and going. I hope this works.
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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
May 24, 2017 8:08 PM CST

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Great idea Terri.

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