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Yarole
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Ant eggs and bugs

Hi community, new here. Two problems really frustrating me....

Ants are crawling up my plant, I'm not sure what the plant is but it grows quite fast, has large white flowers early summer. Green leaves. Ants are crawling around the stems and at the tips of the green leaves there are black tiny eggs. At the bottom of the plant the ants are eating the leaves it seems. How can I get rid of them?!!!

Next problem, my leucanthemum maximum shasta daisy is being eating and looks like it has dirt on it it has tiny bugs all over the flowers.

Many thanks.

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applestar
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Re: Ant eggs and bugs

Whenever there are ants crawling all over the plant, and particularly if they seem to be trooping up and down, they are shepherding some kind of sucking pests (that are harmful to your plant) by carrying and moving them around and harvesting sweet “Honeydew” from them. The most probably pests involved are aphids, but they do also use and harvest honeydews from scale insects, Mealybugs, whiteflies, etc.

- So start by blasting the plant with hard sprays of water. If it’s in a container, put in sink or other appropriate location when you can Get things wet and blast the pests and ants where they can’t do More harm.

- try to ID the pests — post photos here and see if anyone recognizes them

- set out ant baits to control the ants — buy commercial products or make your own with borax and something sugary (I use last of yogurt, ice cream, soda, juice, etc. left in container) — they will take the borax back to their colony and hopefully poison the queen. :twisted:


...daisy — usually when daisy-like flowers look like there is/are dirt on the middle yellow eye part of the flowers, it’s From tiny caterpillars that cover themselves with the pollen as camouflage and are eating it... but it could be something else.
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TomatoNut95
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Re: Ant eggs and bugs

Yarole wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:42 am
Hi community, new here. Two problems really frustrating me....

Ants are crawling up my plant, I'm not sure what the plant is but it grows quite fast, has large white flowers early summer. Green leaves. Ants are crawling around the stems and at the tips of the green leaves there are black tiny eggs. At the bottom of the plant the ants are eating the leaves it seems. How can I get rid of them?!!!

Next problem, my leucanthemum maximum shasta daisy is being eating and looks like it has dirt on it it has tiny bugs all over the flowers.

Many thanks.
I hear ya! I have ants in my plants to. Sevin Dust helps keep ants away. You wouldn't have to put it right on the plant, just a bit around the base to deter the ants from crawling up the plant. Spraying them off with water works fine, but it's only temporary. If you have excessive bad bugs like me, they'll just come right back. However, if you see any ant mounds that are no where near a plant, pour boiling water on it. Works great! :twisted:

Vanisle_BC
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Re: Ant eggs and bugs

It could pay to be cautious with Sevin dust:

https://www.gardentech.com/-/media/file ... st-sds.pdf

I don't thinks ants do much harm to plants. And they aren't seriously deterred by water spray. The aphids the ants ' farm' do a LOT of damage but after spraying them off I think they don't come back - not the same ones anyway :). I don't even 'blast' them - just wash them off with a hand-held spray bottle. I'm not knowledgeable about other insects ants associate with.
The terms of political discourse are not models of precision. - (Noam Chomsky)

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applestar
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Re: Ant eggs and bugs

I agree — PLEASE consider other options and do not use Sevin.


....and... OK OK “Blast” ... did I say “Blast”?... might be misinterpreted — especially since strength of water spray should be adjusted for the ability of the plant to withstand it. I currently have my mental ‘spray ants off with water’ dial set at BLAST since I am mostly dealing with them on my container TREES — strong sturdy leaves and branches and I WANT to knock off leaves that are so stressed they get blasted off by the water ... if you can;t hold on, I don’t want ya. haha. :>
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Vanisle_BC
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Re: Ant eggs and bugs

Applestar, what's your opinion on whether or how plants are harmed by ants (as opposed to the insects they cultivate)?
The terms of political discourse are not models of precision. - (Noam Chomsky)

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applestar
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Re: Ant eggs and bugs

Well, I think I tend to agree that in most cases, the ants are not directly harming the plants — but they are very efficient and relentless about shepherding aphids, etc. and collecting the honeydew. They are also able to effectively transport immobile or very slow-moving pests to vulnerable tender growing tips. They also DEFEND them from predators including Particularly effective predatory larvae of ladybugs, greenlacewings, and syrphid flies which are soft bodied and easily overwhelmed by ant mandibles. Even adult ladybugs are no match when swarmed by ants.

I don’t really know if there are certain types of ants that specialize in pest shepherding, or if given plentiful other food, they could be discouraged from the behavior. Gary350 mentioned leaving an entire bag of sugar under or near the house foundation to keep them from invading the house. They would just raid the sugar. There are “grease” ants that won’t bother with sugar-baited borax. You have to offer them protein and fat — potato chips and French fried sprinkled with borax would work. Sugary yogurt attracts both sugar and grease ants.

Still, they are nature’s cleanup crew — they are amazing to watch — try leaving a piece of cookie on the ground ...or squished bug... and see how long it takes them to completely remove the bits and pieces, crumbs, until you would be able to tell where it had been. So I personally don’t go out of my way to bother them as long as they are not bothering me or my plants.


...But...

• You know there are those leaf-cutter ants that cut and harvest bits of leaves to ... I believe grow mushrooms in their underground “shroom caves”.
• I don’t know much about behavior of fire ants.
• Carpenter ants go after lumber (dead wood) or nearly dead wood, including stressed tree.
• Also, sometimes, plants exude sweet sap without pests being present, and the ants can damage the plants in their effort/rush to get at the food.
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