NewWillowGarden
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Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 10:33 pm

Help! Garden overrun with ants!!

:eek:
My garden has sand soil and used to be just grass, never a garden, until I moved in and started one. I simply dug up grass and turned the soil by hand and then started mixing in compost. The first year everything seemed fine (meaning it has some ants but didn't seem too much). This year, I feel, they may be trying to take over. Before I start to combat them, I need to know.....Are ants harmful to the garden? If they are, why?
Then, if they are harmful, then what is the best way to take care of this problem? I heard that by spreading around Cayenne pepper on the soil can help get rid of ants. Is this true? Does the pepper do anything to the veggies and fruit? Thank you for your time and much needed help! :-()

NewWillowGarden
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 10:33 pm

Re: Help! Garden overrun with ants!!

NewWillowGarden wrote::eek:
My garden has sand soil and used to be just grass, never a garden, until I moved in and started one. I simply dug up grass and turned the soil by hand and then started mixing in compost. The first year everything seemed fine (meaning it has some ants but didn't seem too much). This year, I feel, they may be trying to take over. Before I start to combat them, I need to know.....Are ants harmful to the garden? If they are, why?
Then, if they are harmful, then what is the best way to take care of this problem? I heard that by spreading around Cayenne pepper on the soil can help get rid of ants. Is this true? Does the pepper do anything to the veggies and fruit? Thank you for your time and much needed help! :-()

Asica
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Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:11 am
Location: California (Los Angeles)

Re: Help! Garden overrun with ants!!

I read and please correct me if I am wrong, that ants spread the disease. Since they crawl from plant to plant and love the bugs. We had a ton of ants in a house, to the point that I could not leave anything laying around. I mix water with borax and sugar. Just a spoon of borax. Put paper towel in a cup of the mixture, that it will come outside, getting wet. The ants will eat it because of sugar, but borax will kill them.

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Help! Garden overrun with ants!!

Ants are not generally harmful to the garden. They don't eat healthy, living plants. They some times "farm" aphids - bring them and put them on plants the aphids like. It is a mutualistic relationship. Studies show chemicals on ants' feet tranquilise and subdue colonies of aphids, keeping them close by as a ready source of food. The ants protect the aphids from predators. The aphids secrete excess sugars which the ants eat. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 212548.htm

So if you are seeing ants on or around your plants, I would check for aphids. Otherwise the ants are harmless in the garden and can be beneficial. They can kill off harmful caterpillars and their tunnels help aerate the soil. "Tunneling ants turn over as much soil as earthworms do, aerating the soil and redistributing nutrients. Ants are also part of the world recycling crew: acting as scavengers, collecting dead insects and turning them into fertilizer"
Read more: https://www.finegardening.com/ants-arent ... z49oxjjame
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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