goingreenhouse
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:25 am

Ants from the deep!!

I have a horrible Ant problem in my beets. The little black ants are nesting around the roots and killing my plants. HELP, I have put down ant killer but when it gets wet it is useless and I am worried about the beets getting that in them too. I need a safer alternative. :(
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Ants from the deep!!

Are you sure it is the ants killing your beets? Normally they don't bother live healthy plants. If something else (like disease or other pests) was killing your beets, the ants would then move in.

Cinnamon, mint and other strongly aromatic herbs are supposed to repel ants.
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applestar
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Re: Ants from the deep!!

The ants may be pasturing aphids on your beets. Have you tried just heavily watering the area and flooding their nests? Ants usually don't like that.

I wonder if there is a remote chance that they chose the beet root zone because there is some kind of sweet/sugary root exudate?
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goingreenhouse
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:25 am

Re: Ants from the deep!!

I found a few slugs today in the beet box, I am guessing they are the killers but the ants are still making their holes around the base of the beets. The ants are slowly dying off though. Thanks for the information. :)
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cynthia_h
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Re: Ants from the deep!!

Slugs. Bleah. Disgusting creatures.

Diatomaceous earth will help against slugs; so will hand-picking. The best time to find slugs is 1.5 to 2 hours after sundown. Look under the leaves of the affected plants with a flashlight and be ready with a trowel or stick to remove them and *smash* with said trowel.

Same goes for snails, if they live where you do. "Snail Hunting" is a must in my region.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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