qatqueen
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4x4 vegetable garden bed filled with ants

Hi, I am new to the forum and am hoping for some advice. I live in Central New York. I was cleaning out my vegetable beds, getting them ready for planting and :eek: discovered a huge infestation of tiny black ants. The ants are through oout the entire bed. I am still itching. The bed is 4x4x8 and had carrots in it last year. I want to treat it before I plant. I was thinking borax and sugar but I am unsure if that will work quickly. It is bad enough that I was thinking of just pulling all the soil from it and starting fresh but it was so much work mixing the soil and filling I am hoping to save it. I was hoping to plant carrot seeds in the next week. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your input!

HonoluluGirl
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Location: Hawaii

Re: 4x4 vegetable garden bed filled with ants

Borax and sugar mixed with a little water works well for me. It usually takes a few days to a week for it to kill the colony.

Igotworms
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Re: 4x4 vegetable garden bed filled with ants

I agree with HonoluluGirl it workes for me also.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: 4x4 vegetable garden bed filled with ants

But if you want something instant, boil a big kettle of water and pour boiling water all over it and especially down any holes you can find.
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: 4x4 vegetable garden bed filled with ants

You can use borax and sugar and make your own bait.
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 Tablespoon of Borax. (Update! The box now looks like this:Borax Laundry Booster, 76 oz Box)

You should put this in a sealed container label it well and put the date on it.

We used butter containers with holes on the sides along the lower part of the container. We used an ice pick to make the holes.

In the container we put some cotton balls. Saturated the cotton balls. Covered the container and set it out where we saw ant trails.

I also use terro outdoor ant bait. Just follow directions on how to set the trap.

A better bait that attracts both sweet and grease eating ants is this one from the Hawaii Ant Lab. It does not keep well so unless you are treating your house and yard you can cut the recipe. The hardest thing to find is the Xanthum gum which can be gotten online or a commercial restaurant supplier.
40 oz of finished bait is sufficient to treat an average
house lot. Only make enough bait for immediate use
and do not store excess bait – it spoils quickly. To
make a 40 oz batch you will need the following
ingredients:
• 3 cups warm water
• 2 cups corn oil or other vegetable oil
• 1 ounce boric acid
• 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
• 2 teaspoons smooth peanut butter
Equipment needed:
• Large mixing bowl (at least 1/2 gallon capacity)
• Cup measure
• Tablespoon
measure
• A whisk or
similar device
for mixing. We
use a cordless drill
with a kitchen whisk
modified so it can be fitted into the drill chuck. A
paint mixer also works well.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 4x4 vegetable garden bed filled with ants

Don't over-do the borax though, because I read that borax doesn't -- oh what is the word .... "Go away" ... In the soil and is cumulative. Too much can cause toxicity for both plants and animals (yes we are animals too ... But think pets and little children).

Where did I read this...? Hmm... I think it had to do with some garden myth ... Or was it that it has to be done at a specific time ... that borax kills Creeping Charley.

Anyway -- it's probably best to use enclosed bait containers like imafan described.
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: 4x4 vegetable garden bed filled with ants

The other reason not to over do the borax is because you want the ants to live long enough to feed it to the queen. Killing workers is futile. If they figure out the bait is killing them, they will avoid it. Unless you kill the queen there will be more ants coming.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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