Rick_R
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Garden of Ants

I was getting ready to have some seeds go into my square foot garden (raised beds) when I noticed one corner of one of the raised beds has become an ant bed. It hasn't mounded, but I think the bed is an extension of one I noticed to the side of SFG raised bed. I have four SFG beds, each 4X4, and all on a concrete pad; the mound is just off the pad.

I was pulling a weed and in doing so disturbed the soil and also disturbed several hundred ants. With a stick I did a little more stirring and one entire corner (nearest the mound) is filled with thousands of ants. If the type of ant matters, I took a photo, which can be seen here:

https://www.bodock.org/blogimages/ants.jpg

I need to get the ants out of the bed without having them just move next door to the neighboring bed, and hopefully do so fairly quickly. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Rick

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I have the same problem. So far, the boiling water method hasn't worked.

Anything wrong with using something like Amdro, guys? Mine just keep spreading.

opabinia51
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Ants are actually beneficial to gardens but, they are definatley not aesthetically pleasurable. I acutually know of no organic way to be rid of them.

Amdro? I'll look that up, be back in a few minutes................


That was quick;

Okay, apparently Amdro is listed under the category of a Bad Actor Pesticide meaning that it is a known or possible carcinogen, can be a reproductive developmental toxicant, a neurotoxin (cholinesterase inhibitor) (Cholinesterase is just a Neurotransmitter substance which are used to transfer syanpses between neighbouring neurons), is also a known ground water contaminant and also includes pesticides with acute, high toxicity.

I have not found the active ingredient yet but, I'll keep looking.

opabinia51
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Oops, anyway here is some more precise information on the product:

The active ingredient is:

Hydramethylnon

It is a PAN Bad Actor Chemical and has slight acute toxicity. It is a possible carcinogen but, it is not actively designated as one. It is not a Cholinesterase inhibitor (whew!), It is a huge development/reproductive toxin. Furthermore, studies have not yet determined whether or not it is an endocrine disruptor but, studies have shown that Hydramethynon is is an acute aquatic toxin

My recomondation would be to NOT use this chemical.

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Well that was quick!

Any ideas on how to get rid of them buggers? I have a bed full of the red/fire ants. Can't keep those around!

opabinia51
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As said, I know of no organic ways to get rid of them so, though I don't like to recommend it but, I would find some sort of poison that is not to harsh on the environment.

That Amdro definately is not something that is good for the environment. Maybe Scott will have a good recomondation.

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Usually the boiling water trick works.

My hubby's favoite method isn't so good on the environment either. It may kill the ants, but it also does a number on the GROUND - as in, nothing will grow there again for years. :roll:

underthemagnolia
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FWIW, if you decide to go the chemical route, you want something that's going to work, the first time and last a while. since my neighbors and I all agree that our neighborhood is one entire ant hill that we've foolishly built homes on, we co-ordinate to roll our yards all at the same time with the same (very effective) treatment. It's by Sevin and it comes in a blue and silver bag. We do it once in the spring and that's enough for the entire year. This is my first year with a veg bed, but it's raised way up off the ground and I'm not worried the toxicity issue. Frankly it would be darn near impossible to work the back yard at all if we didn't treat for fireants! Those guys are brutal.

opabinia51
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Before rushing out and buying a bag of SEVIN, read the thread on SEVIN in the General topics forum.

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I suppose a natural way to dispose of these guys is to get a shovel and toss the dirt with these guys in the woods somewhere. Except mine are entanged with the wood of the planting box!

Which of course also means hubby's favorite pyro method will not work either. :twisted:

opabinia51
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That's how my uncle used to dispose of hornets nests. A cloth soaked in kerosene and a lighter and .... Poof! No more hornets. YIKES!

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I think DH finds it fun to kill off ants that way. :roll:

The Helpful Gardener
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Easy kids, let's not get carried away. We'll be mixing napalm next... :lol:

Borax was Grandma's old weapon but didn't Opa just post something on Boron?

I have heard diatomaceous earth can be effective as it actually pierces exoskeleton and they exsanguinate. That will actually help with that Georgia clay some too...Worth a try...

HG

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Did I? I don't remember. When I have time, I'll look Boron up and post a synopsis in the general forum.

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Napalm? US????

NAAAAAAAWWWWWW. :lol:

that diomaceous earth is also good for controlling fleas in your home from your doggies. :)

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And diatomaceous earth is mostly earth friendly (although it can be rough on worm populations I have heard. Not deadly but debilitating...) like any other pesticide it has drawbacks but it is very effective and mechanical, not chemical, so it does not pollute water or have an REI like a chemical. There are always alternatives to the bad stuff like Sevin, which a lot of folks are starting to point to in our native bee populations decline...

Scott
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

benjaminstarr
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Organic Ant Deterrants

Hello, everyone! This is my first post in this forum. I'm glad to have found it. I am starting my first garden this year. I grew up on a large organic farm but this is the first one I've done entirely on my own.

I have banished ants from my yard, pavement cracks, and occasionally indoors, using cinnamon. It disrupts the scent glads of the ants which are their primary form of communication. They don't like the way it smells, the fine powder interferes with their breathing, and it completely confuses the hive, interfering with their ability to communicate.

My local Wal Mart carries large containers of cinnamon for 50cents. I buy them out several times a year so I always have plenty of it. I sprinkle it thickly in a line about 4" wide that serves as a fence. They will not spread beyond the line into the rest of the yard. Then I sprinkle it across the ground, liberally in the area near the mound, less liberally the farther I get from the mound. Eventually they either move away or just stay underground, I'm not sure which. You could also try shoveling out a large chunk of the mound, dumping the soil in a nearby field, and then doing the cinnamon trick to confuse the remaining ants.

I hope this helps! Cinnamon shouldn't harm earthworms or have any negative effect on the garden.

Ben Starr
Dallas, TX

opabinia51
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That's a really great idea, thanks a lot for the information. :)

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Hey Wow! I'm going to go and try that! Thanks - and welcome to the forum!

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Ben you are a star; info like that is well worth a try. Thanks! :D

Welcome! :D

Scott

greendude
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Peppermint and Ant Pro

Ants hate mint. Plant peppermint, spearmint, tansy or wormwood within the affected area. These will deter the ants in the areas where they are planted. Although I haven't tried this myself, it is worth a try and cost next to nothing to do - sprinkle dry clothes detergent or dishwashing detergent where they can get to it. There's something about the detergent that attracts them and they carry it back to their hill. What they don't understand - it poisons them.

greendude
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Re: Organic Ant Deterrants

benjaminstarr wrote:Hello, everyone! This is my first post in this forum. I'm glad to have found it. I am starting my first garden this year. I grew up on a large organic farm but this is the first one I've done entirely on my own.

I have banished ants from my yard, pavement cracks, and occasionally indoors, using cinnamon. It disrupts the scent glads of the ants which are their primary form of communication. They don't like the way it smells, the fine powder interferes with their breathing, and it completely confuses the hive, interfering with their ability to communicate.

My local Wal Mart carries large containers of cinnamon for 50cents. I buy them out several times a year so I always have plenty of it. I sprinkle it thickly in a line about 4" wide that serves as a fence. They will not spread beyond the line into the rest of the yard. Then I sprinkle it across the ground, liberally in the area near the mound, less liberally the farther I get from the mound. Eventually they either move away or just stay underground, I'm not sure which. You could also try shoveling out a large chunk of the mound, dumping the soil in a nearby field, and then doing the cinnamon trick to confuse the remaining ants.

I hope this helps! Cinnamon shouldn't harm earthworms or have any negative effect on the garden.

Ben Starr
Dallas, TX
This is very new to me - it would be great hear how this works for other people

batz
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Hello,
First time poster and first time gardener (even though I don't like to eat my veggies). Im trying to make a garden for the first time since my dad passed away 11 years ago. Just curious how dangerous and annoying are the ants that they need to be killed? I have i think 9 small colonies around the yard of my house and 2 hit close to my garden. I never really bothered them unless they came up the driveway or house. They never seem to cause much damage or annoyance either. Should I get rid of them before they do?

opabinia51
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Ants aren't usually a problem for gardens as they tend to eat insects that will eat your plants. However, it is not aesthetically pleasing to have a garden totally overrun by ants so, Cinnamon seems to be the consensus reached method of repelling Ants. You can buy it cheap from Walmart.

garden_mom
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I know two people who are having huge problems with carpenter ants, and I myself have gotten an infestation of small ants in my garden, although I don't know that they will hurt anything. Here are some things I've read about that ants supposedly hate:

vinegar, cayenne pepper, citric extracts, bone meal, cinnamon, cream of tartar, salt, and perfume, powdered charcoal, tansy, pennyroyal and southernwood.

You can try adding cayenne pepper to the boiling water, or using citrus extracts.

If you have multiple nests, you could dig up a bucket of ants from one nest and dump it on another nest. Ants are very territorial, and they will readily hunt and kill invading colonies

"Dehydrate them by laying out piles of instant grits ( a corn product usually located in the cereal section of the grocery store) at the point of entry and along their trail. They will think of the grits as a food source and consume the pellets. The grits will in turn absorb moisture from the ant's body, thus killing it (instant grits are specially formulated to absorb water more rapidly than regular grits, thus they are more effective)"

Regarding that last one, the myth is that the ant will explode, but I do know that diatomacious (sp?) earth will dry them out. Ultimately, if you can eliminate the queen somehow, the whole colony will die! MMmmuuuuhhhhhaaaaaaaahahhahahha!!!! :twisted:

opabinia51
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Cayenee pepper can reak havoc with the mucus membranes of vertebrates so, I would be very cautious if you plan to use this.

Cinnamon is supposed to detur ants as well.

Carpentar Ants can be a HUGE problem and can literally level any wooden structures so, this goes beyond the realm of organic gardening. But, preventative measures can help to stem the tide or even solve your problem.

swanni
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Re: Garden of Ants

Rick_R wrote:I was getting ready to have some seeds go into my square foot garden (raised beds) when I noticed one corner of one of the raised beds has become an ant bed. It hasn't mounded, but I think the bed is an extension of one I noticed to the side of SFG raised bed. I have four SFG beds, each 4X4, and all on a concrete pad; the mound is just off the pad.

I was pulling a weed and in doing so disturbed the soil and also disturbed several hundred ants. With a stick I did a little more stirring and one entire corner (nearest the mound) is filled with thousands of ants. If the type of ant matters, I took a photo, which can be seen here:

https://www.bodock.org/blogimages/ants.jpg

I need to get the ants out of the bed without having them just move next door to the neighboring bed, and hopefully do so fairly quickly. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Rick
I am an organic gardener. Buy a bag of onions and put them cut up in a large garbage can full of water outside and let it get stinky, Pour it over the ant nests several times over a period of a month or so. I also sprinlkle red hot chilie peppers all over thier ground and if they are persistant after that i make a solution of honey and baking soda and place in dishes around my yard. They eat it then die, attracted to honey but baking soda basically makes them explode from inside. this method takes more time too. so far it has never harmed my garden either.

my grama used boiling salt water, for ants and slugs

Fenry
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batz wrote:Just curious how dangerous and annoying are the ants that they need to be killed?
It depends on what kind of ants we're talking about here. Most of the posts listed are talking about fire ants which are very aggressive, and if you are bitten by enough, can kill you (I heard a story of 2 drunks in Savannah, Ga (I believe). The one knocked the other one down, and he fell on a fire ant mound, and was bitten several hundred times. He died several days later from the alergic reaction.).

They appear in mounds that are literally 6 or more inches high. They will especially make new mounds about a day or 2 after a heavy rain when you've had a significant dry period.

If you don't live south of DC, east of the Rockies and selected areas of California, you don't have fire ants (most of the areas west of Texas are too dry). Be happy!

https://www.ento.okstate.edu/fireants/expansion.htm

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