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Ants eating sweet corn?

I was weeding around my corn yesterday, and looked up to see the entire side of an ear of corn eaten down to the inside of the cob with four or five ants in it. I wasn't aware that ants did this. I just thought they fed off the aphids. I bought some liquid seven which a farmer friend recommended, but haven't used it yet. The ants also ate all the silk from the patch of corn where I found this ear. Is that corn ruined now, or is there still hope for it? And also should I worry about the ants destroying anything else in my garden?

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1938
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:13 pm
Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

Re: Ants eating sweet corn?

I've got doubts that ants did the initial damage. 4 or 5 ants isn't much of a workforce. more likely they came in after a bit of sweet juice was exposed by somethings else nibbling. the silk thing is weird, too. have you actually seen ants collecting/eating silk?

where are you? what kind of ants/how big/color? pictures?

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Ants eating sweet corn?

The Sevin is really bad stuff - very toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects, toxic to aquatic animals when the run off gets in to streams, not very good for you or your pets. It is banned in most other countries. Here's a thread where we talked about it more, with links to some info:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... p?p=137879

I agree with potatoes that it would be rare for ants to attack corn that was undamaged. They mostly go for dead or decaying stuff, over ripe stuff and stuff that has already been injured. The likeliest pest to cause the kind of damage you are talking about is the corn earworm. Look carefully to see if that is what you have. Corn earworms do eat the silks before entering and attacking the tips of corn.

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