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lilcee
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My Okra ahhhh!!

What's wrong with my Okra? They're covered with ants. Would they do this to them? How can I get rid of ants. They're all over my garden.

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1269.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q200/lilcee1947/100_1270.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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Check UNDERNEATH the leaves. Ants all over usually means small sucking insect of some sort that produce honeydew that ants are shepherding and milking. My sunflower leaves started looking similar and they had tree hoppers and lacebugs. Big ants all over them.

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lakngulf
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I had always heard that ants on okra meant they were going after to aphids. So ants were a good thing since they would take care of some pests. Well this year I have BIG ants, and the aphids or other varmints must be inside the okra pods, because the ants are eating all the way through and making a home in the pods.

So far I have just been picking those pods and throwing them away, and not worrying about it as I have plenty to eat. My leaves look ok though. The okra must enjoy the soil, as I have some branches at least an inch in diameter. Here are a couple of pictures.

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/Aug_2010/Aug_2010090.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab104/lakngulf/Aug_2010/Aug_2010089.jpg[/img]
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engineeredgarden
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Yep, there definitely aphids present - and the ants are attracted to their sweet excrement. Kill the aphids, and the ants will leave.

EG

garden5
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I'll get ants in my garden from time to time, sometimes more, sometimes less. Personally, I've never had any of them damaging my plants. It could just be me, but I've not heard any complaints about ants causing damage from other gardeners, either.

Now, the insects that may be attracting the ants can definitely do damage, but, if it's just ants, I wouldn't worry too much.
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lilcee
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I looked on the leaves and didn't see anything but ants. I spraided neem on the plant. Was that the right thing to do? Would it hurt to take off the bad leaves? Thanks for all your help.

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lilcee
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I took a closer look at the leaves this morning and they do look like they have aphids on them. How do I get rid of them?

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Avonnow
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Aphids

I have had aphids in spades, :shock: I tried the "Spray water at them" approach, only to have them back in a day or so. I have no idea how they appear so quick (they are small) and I literally blow them half a yard away. I then used insecticidale soap, I literally with some Okra had to hand wash them gently to get them gone, then I even put some of the soap on the soil beneath - it did not kill the plant. The aphids seemed to diminsh - but in about 7 days they started to appear again with the ants, so I am doing it again. They have been horrible on Okra, Squash and cucumbers. The neem did nothing for me, but I only applied it twice within a couple of weeks. The soap seemed to work better and I looked for receipes online and made my own. You can find various receipes or buy some. I lost a bunch of cucumbers because they literally sucked the life out of them. I notice on the Okra that they seem to congregate around the flowers/pods as well. It never hinder my Okra from producing, just the squash and cucumbers. Best of Luck! :D
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lilcee
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Thanks. I noticed that once my husband treated an ant bed near by, the ants were gone on my Okra. I then noticed less aphids and my plant started looking better. I saw yesterday that the ants are starting to come back. I'll try the soap and see what happens.

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applestar
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The ants carry the aphids around in their mandibles and deposit them on likely "pastures". :x They also protect the aphids from predators. I think I've also heard that they bring some inside the colony during the winter.

In my house, when the first thaw freeze cycle begins around late Feb~beginning of March (when they start tapping Sugar Maples), I get an explosion of aphids on my indoor plants, along with invasion of ants. I couldn't tell you if the aphids hatch on their own, then the ants find them, or if the ants BRING the aphids. :roll:



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