wesida
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Corn ants can cause damage?

hello :). well i was looking at my corn today, it is at the point where it is about to flower. when i moved the leaves alittle bit to look for any bettle damage, i saw a bunch of ants inside of the corn running around. pretty small size ants. iam not sure if they are on the other corn plants or not. i have about 14 corn plants in rows together.
so i just sprayed some anti-pest vegetable spray inside the corn, all over the corn plants. will that damage it? and also will ants damage the flower or just the leaves?
what can i do or get to stop them or any other pest.

Thanks in advance!
MHB

Newt
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Hi Wesida,

You probably have corn aphids and the ants are there to harvest their honeydo (waste). You don't say what the "anti-pest vegetable spray" is, but insecticidal soap will work on aphids and would be one of the safest products I can think of for edibles. There are also other insects that will help control aphids in the garden. Take a look here for pics and other helpful info.
https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r113300611.html

The best way to prevent pests is to maintain plant health. Compost added to the soil before planting and used as a topdressing is helpful. You can also make a compost tea to spray on the foilage.
https://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/soil/2000052708003930.html
Newt

wesida
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Hello Newt. thanks for replying. well i did not see aphids yet. the spray i used is liquid sevin. my corn is getting pretty big now and almost all plants are flowering. heres a picture of the corn, couldn't get those little moving buddies, the camera is not sharp enough :lol: [img]https://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c318/WESIDA/corn.jpg[/img] but they are in the core of this flowering plant

Newt
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You are so very welcome! Sevin is one of the most potent pesticides you can use and will kill beneficial insects as well. Do read the label VERY carefully as to how soon after use you can eat the veggies or fruit.

I prefer the insecticidal soap. When your corn is in tassel try not to wet them as that can wash away the pollen.

Newt

wesida
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hi, how do you make insecticidal soap? and like you said i probaply should not use the soap now because most of my corn is in tassel

Newt
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Gosh, I'm so sorry. I tell you about it and then leave you hanging! :oops: If you are very careful, and can see the aphids, you can spray directly on them with a squirt bottle.
https://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/outdoors/194

Newt

wesida
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hey newt, appreciate your help :). i will make the soap tomrow, but what if i don't find any bugs, will the ants cause any harm to the plant if i just leave them there. if they won't cause anything id rather just leave them

MHB

Newt
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I think if the aphids are gone, so are the ants. The only ant to plant relationship I can think of that's positive is the peony. Generally if you see ants on your plants (goodness, that rhymes!) they are harvesting the waste material of aphids or scales and defending against the predators of the aphids or scale.

I'd be curious to know if there are still ants. Btw, there are cornfield ants that protect and nurture aphids that eat the roots of corn and thief ants that eat the seeds!
https://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=511

Newt

wesida
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hehe i will let you know on the ants tomrow, hopefully they are gone. you know what i think the ants they desrbice in that article are theif ants

wesida
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hello, well some of the ants died and a new reinforcment came in :lol:. i tried to take some more clear pictures but its still alittle fizzy. but here we go:
[img]https://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c318/WESIDA/P1290439.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c318/WESIDA/P1290440.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c318/WESIDA/P1290441.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c318/WESIDA/P1290442.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c318/WESIDA/P1290446.jpg[/img]

Newt
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Gosh, looks like they replaced two for one! It is difficult to tell what they are from the picture, but they do look kinda orange to me. If they are thief ants you need to find their home and set out bait if you don't have kids or pets that will get into it. Here's some info on thief ants.
https://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/iowaantguide.html
https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/ANTKEY/thief.html

A good id will help with what you can use, but I think you are going to have to set out some bait to get rid of the colony.

Newt

wesida
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well i jus tlooked at a plant and there are man many ants + gray small ticks on the tassel! :( they might be aphids though and like you said ants feeding on them

Newt
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Uh oh!! :shock: Corn leaf aphids?
https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r113300611.html

This is the site I've been using to try and figure out what is going on with your corn. It's a fantastic site.
https://www.extension.iastate.edu/pages/hancock/agriculture/corn/diagnostic/corn_diagnostic.html

Then I do a google with what seems could be the problem and go from there. The corn leaf aphids will definately interfere with the pollination of the kernels.

Newt

wesida
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thank you Newt. i sprayed them some more earlier. but iam going to use that soap. thanks again for all your help!!
MHB

Newt
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You are so very welcome! Do keep us posted on how things are going. I do hope you can get control of them.

Newt



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