14AudreyGardener14
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Location: Mansfield, PA, USA

ANTS ON PLANTS!

:x ants keep getting into my new plant! I've been having it in a pot for a couple weeks before it was time to replant it into the ground. As soon as I put it in the ground ants began getting all over it! I've been seeing a bit of damage to the plants little leaves and I'm afraid that this will keep it from growing. :(

tomc
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Re: ANTS ON PLANTS!

Spray them off with your garden hose.

Or kill the aphids they are herding with insecticidal soap.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: ANTS ON PLANTS!

Ants are not leaf eaters. In general, the reason you have ants on plants is that you have aphids. The aphids exude a sweet sticky substance called honeydew that the ants like. It is a little circular because, as tom noted, sometimes the reason you have aphids is that you have ants - the ants actually "farm" the aphids to get the honeydew and will bring the aphids to your plants. So you need to get rid of the aphids and then you have to watch out that the ants don't bring more back.

But it is all basically hygiene. Soapy water solution takes care of the aphids and just water takes care of the ants. If it is a specific plant you are worried about, you can help by covering the ground around it with some kind of powder - flour, baby powder, powdered chalk, etc. The ants don't like to crawl over powder which clogs their spiracles up.
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imafan26
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Re: ANTS ON PLANTS!

I put out terro bait traps for the ants and hose off the aphids. My peppers and soap do not get along.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

14AudreyGardener14
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 6:13 pm
Location: Mansfield, PA, USA

Re: ANTS ON PLANTS!

How often would j have to put the soapy water on my plants?
Happy Planting!

tomc
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Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: ANTS ON PLANTS!

Insectidal soap is sold and can be made out of one teaspoon of soap in a quart of water and put in a spray bottle.

Please note you need soap and not detergent. detergent uses phosphate and soap is fatty lye...

Ants will often give up after a few lost herds of aphids die, or are washed away.
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