Garden Ant Control
Ants, they are everywhere.... in the house, in the lawn, and in your garden.
They are found on every continent, except Antartica. Being a gardening website,
we will focus upon copntrolling ants in the garden. But, you may find that
some of the organic controls are effective around the home, too.
As gardeners, we worry about all kinds of ants in our plants. Carpenter ants,
which chew wood, are of most concern to homeowners. Campers and hikers are
most concerned with fire ants, as they bite.
While, ants really cause anxiety among gardeners, most species are not harmful
to plants. They are in and on plants in search of nectar from the flowers.
The leaf miner ant, is one of the few that actually harm vegetation. Ants
can also be beneficial, acting as pollinators, as they go from flower to
Ants are social creatures, living together in colonies. The entryway to an
ant colony, are telltale ant hills. A colony consists of worker ants, males,
and the queen.
A Little Ant Trivia:
There are over 12,000 species
An ant can lift 50 times its weight.
In some cultures, ants are eaten as a delicacy, among them are China, and
Chocolate covered ants is a sweet delicacy to some.
Ants are found all over the world.... no surprise here.
Ants are more active, and multiply quicker, during wet periods.
In terms of proportionate size, an ant has the largest brain of any animal
Flying Ants- Only the males have wings and fly. Their sole purpose is to
mate with the queen.
They have one of the longest life spans in the insect world. Depending upon
species, the queen can live up to 20 years. Worker ants can live 4-5 years.
(most species live just 45-60 days)
Don't try to drown an ant. They can live up to two weeks underwater.
On occasion, they will eat....each other.
Ants smell things through their antenna.
If you weighed all the ants in the world, they weigh more than all the humans
in the world.
How to Control Ants - Chemicals
There are a wide variety of chemical sprays that are very effective. Perhaps
the best known to homeowners is Ortho's Home Defense, which can be used indoors
or out. Indoors, homeowners also use ant traps or ant buttons. The ants take
the bait from the trap and bring it back to the nest, hopefully feeding it
to the queen.
Chemical lawn insect controls are effective against a wide variety of insects,
Most chemical garden insect controls are also effective.
Looking for a more environmentally safe ant deterrent? Try cinnamon.It will
not kill the ants, but they will avoid it, or go around it. Cinnamon oil
works best. Try it in your kitchen pantry and cupboards.
Organic Ant Control Methods
Chemical controls may be okay for the home, yard or even the flower garden.
But, vegetable gardeners usually prefer to keep the chemicals out of the
food they ultimately eat.
Here are some organic controls for garden ants:
Check for the presence of aphids. Ants are attracted to the sweet secretions
Apply diatamaceous earth around the perimeter of the garden to repel them
Mix 1 part sugar and one part borax together. Sprinkle it around. They digest
the borax and die, often bringing it back to the nest.
Sprinkle cornmeal, They digest it and die.
Mix 3 parts vinegar and one part water. Spray it on and around plants to
Tansy and mint repels ants. Grow these plants, or mix it in a spray.
Sprinkle epsom salts or mix in a spray.
Baby powder repels them.
Coffee grounds is a natural ant repellent.