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red ants!!!!!!!!

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by plants 'n pots on April 19, 2006 09:37 AM
While cleaning up my garden bed surrounding the bathtub pond, I was unhappy to find tons and tons of red ants everytime I disturbed the soil. They were not there at all last year! Why are they now, and what can I do about it? I think I might have gotten bitten in 2 places on my hand, through my glove!

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"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by weezie13 on April 19, 2006 10:29 AM
I swear they come thru in the mulch..
I had some, in a load one time..

Haven't gotten rid of them..
And they do bite... [Frown]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by The Plant Doc on April 19, 2006 11:52 AM
If you try to treat with any insecticides be very careful of your pond, most insecticdes do not distingush very well between fish and bugs. You will also have to keep in mind the fact that even though you might not apply anything to the pond, if the rain water runs into the pond you could still have drift.

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Mike Maier
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The Plant Doc
by plants 'n pots on April 19, 2006 12:28 PM
Weezie - no mulch anywhere near this garden!

Mike - thanks for the advisory about the pond.
Do you have any other suggestions?

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by joclyn on April 20, 2006 01:59 AM
red ants are nasty!! i didn't think they were that far north either (my dad has them in florida).

you'll need to find the nest and treat that.

in the mean time, don't walk barefoot - they are nasty biters!!!
by The Plant Doc on April 20, 2006 09:57 AM
I am not sure what effect it will have on the pond, but you could try boric acid to get rid of the ants. Oh wait a second! Okay this is going to smell but it should work to get rid of them, and be safe for your pond to boot! [Smile]
If you know a smoker get him to save his butts for you, or you could go to your local pub and ask them to empty ash trays into a separate garbage bag for you. Then take the butts and put them into a gallon milk jug, and make a nicotine sun tea out of them. Filter the tea then pour it over the area, I bet the ants will leave in a rush! They hate nicotine!

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Mike Maier
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The Plant Doc
by plants 'n pots on April 20, 2006 11:19 AM
uhhhhh, I'm gonna have to say no thanks and pass on that idea! Don't want to have anything to do with cigarette butts!

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by SpringFever on April 20, 2006 08:35 PM
http://www.ehow.com/how_3791_rid-ants-naturally.html
You can try this..
I get a lot of ants in my yard too I am going to try a couple of these to rid them!!

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by weezie13 on April 21, 2006 01:19 AM
Try some cream of wheat or rice...
Then when they eat it, and drink water,
the food expands and so do they...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Buglady on April 21, 2006 11:43 AM
Hate to tell you this but the "wheat, rice, grits theory" is a myth.. does not work. Texas A&M tested it out.

also with boric acid, once it gets wet it is worthless and soil is damp so that does not really work either

Also the ants in FL are not what you would find in NY state. In the south they are fire ants.

without knowing more about the ants cant tell you what they are... sorry.

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The Buglady
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, www.bugladyconsulting.com
Educating the world... one bug at a time
by The Plant Doc on April 22, 2006 04:31 AM
BugLady, That is what I figured about the boric acid, but aside from the nicotine tea, I can't think of anything that will effect the ants that will not have a bad effect to the pond. I think the original poster "Plants and Pots" is from NY, and I think Rockland County is not that far away from PA so the red ants are probably pretty close to what you would have there.
Most of the time I suggest that people don't even mess with ants as they are really beneficial, but in this case I can see where they could be a problem.

Mike

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Mike Maier
aka
The Plant Doc
by SpringFever on April 22, 2006 04:50 AM
Will the "TEA" work on regular ants in bad places too?

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Tonight I am having friends for dinner... Hanibal Lector My Album
by plants 'n pots on April 22, 2006 05:07 AM
quote:
Originally posted by The Plant Doc:
I think the original poster "Plants and Pots" is from NY, and I think Rockland County is not that far away from PA so the red ants are probably pretty close to what you would have there.
Most of the time I suggest that people don't even mess with ants as they are really beneficial, but in this case I can see where they could be a problem.

Mike

Yep Mike - not too too far from PA.
I have never had this problem in this area before, and this garden has been here for at least 8 or so years. I'm very curious to know where these red ants came from! I really really dislike the idea of dealing with cig. butts though...

Will the ants kill my plants?
If I have to grin and bear it, and wear extra heavy gloves while working there, then that's what I'll do, so long as they don't damage my plants!

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by The Plant Doc on April 22, 2006 05:30 AM
It is very rare that ants will damage plants. They get the bum rap for it though a lot of times because they may be feeding off of rotting wood, or insects that may be doing damage, so the only thing noticeable are the ants. Most of the time they are there helping your plants!
Where do they come from? Other red ants! *ducking*
[Wink]

Spring Fever
It will work anywhere outdoors. I don't think would want to use it inside a house. I am a smoker and I even say YUCK!!! to that idea. It may take repeated applications to finally chase them away. It will not kill them, they just hate the stuff. So after a few applications they will move their colony.
Some types of ants however burrow very deep into the ground, fire ants can go as deep as 30 feet I believe. If the nest is that deep, they will tend to just duck down for a bit and come up elsewhere later.

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Mike Maier
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The Plant Doc
by plants 'n pots on April 22, 2006 05:59 AM
quote:
Originally posted by The Plant Doc:
[QB]
Where do they come from? Other red ants! *ducking* [Wink] /QB]
[Roll Eyes] [tongue] [perplexed]

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by weezie13 on April 22, 2006 08:41 AM
quote:
It is very rare that ants will damage plants.
The only way they damage them,
is by building their nests up and around plants...
and unless the plant can adapt, they do suffer or die..

I have ants, and I should have thought it through
when I first moved here, and survey'd the land/property...
And then left the ant hills where they were,
and maybe they wouldn't have taken up in my nice garden soil...

I buzzed the hills' down with the ole lawn mower, and now, they are right in the middle of a creeping phlox clump...
and one they made a hill around my ladies mantle..
It's holding it's own..
I had some hens~n~chicks around another one
and they didn't like being buried...
The sedums' are adjusting too, but I really need to get them out...

I do have those red ants and they seem to like moisture, they are more found a piece of rotten wood, or under a rock, or landscaped fabric..
and mulch...grrrrr!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Buglady on April 22, 2006 09:11 AM
Ant can damage plants by moving pest insects onto them. The ants "farm" them.

On the other hand some ants eat pest insects. You need to observe and see what they are doing.

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The Buglady
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, www.bugladyconsulting.com
Educating the world... one bug at a time
by ChillnPepper on April 24, 2006 08:25 AM
Some species of ants "farm" aphids, protecting them on the plant they eat, and eating the honeydew that the aphids secrete; this is a mutualistic relationship.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphid

Learned THIS the hard way...as I also thought that ants near/in my veggie garden last year would prove beneficial. NOT! I have no idea what type of ant they were but they sure were excellant aphid farmers AND they bit too! [Eek!]

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"Live simply; expect little, give much...scatter sunshine."
M. J. McLeod
~Zone 8a~

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