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Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 1:36 am
Location: Portland, OR

Ants are eating my broccoli!!

I work in a garden center and nobody has heard of this. There are what look like sugar ants, eating my broccoli. They start at the stem coming out of the ground and have eaten clean through one already. They are starting on the other broccoli and a cauliflower. I bought a pesticide by garden tech called Sevin but am weary of using it becuase of some of the chemicals it uses. Any ideas would be great... Thanks

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b


Jeez... read the warnings on the label of your Sevin and then do not put it on any thing you are planning to eat! (or probably anything else) Ants are not generally known for eating vegetable plants and I've not heard of ants on broccoli before, but various posts around the forum lately have talked about ants showing up where there are aphids, because the ants "herd" and "milk" the aphids. So I'd check for that. If there are aphids, start by getting rid of them and the ants may go away. Otherwise, since your ants are at the stem, a good hard stream of water might get rid of them temporarily (the hard stream on the head of the broccoli might destroy it). I have an organic pest repellant recipe I use which is salad oil (to help it stay on the plant), with black pepper, cayenne pepper, tomato leaves, anything aromatic you have around (mint, tansy, cinnamon, tarragon, etc). Blend it up with water, strain and spray. Ants will back away from lines of bone meal poured on the ground. You could also try putting cotton batting around the stem and painting it with something really sticky as a trap.... Good luck and let us know how it goes...

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