The Ants Go Marching. . . - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 11-24-2001, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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. . . through my garden, and especially in my lemon tree. Are they harmful to the garden? Do they eat plants or only dead bugs, etc.? Does anyone know if they are a threat to earthworms? I have a soap-based spray that seems not very effective; I won't poison my garden with insecticides unless it is a very last, last resort. Suggestions?
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#2 of 6 Old 11-24-2001, 06:53 PM
 
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Ants are great in the garden (unless they are fire ants, which only pose a problem to the gardener or you can see damage.)



There are some plants that are helped to flower by ants. like peonies.


It is my firm belief that one should NEVER EVER spray to kill bugs UNLESS you see some serious plant damage. When gardening, leave good enough alone. Your garden is a delicate ecosystem, good bugs need bad
bugs to survive, so some bugs are necessary and some bug damage is gonna happen in an organic garden.

So just sit back and let the ants clean up your garden.
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#3 of 6 Old 11-24-2001, 09:59 PM
 
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I have had a few plants in the garden that the ants have gobbled up. I know this because I watched them do it. I figure they were here first, so they have a few rights on my street!

Now, dh would like to exterminate all insects within the province. I have found rouge ant traps tucked behind rocks in my garden (did you know a special fairy brings these? I was not aware of it!) and have gotten into the habit of checking his pockets for violent bug killing chemicals when he leaves the plant shops.

My ants are under snow for a good chunk of the year (alot of snow!!) so they may be different from your ants!! But aside from the occasional REALLY tasty flower, they don't do any harm here. They seem to have no effect on the earthworms.

I really don't have much to offer beyond what Chanley said. They ARE doing their part in your garden. And if you get the odd, bored moment, they are FASCINATING if you get right down and watch them. I want to keep them around for the entertainment value!!! (says alot for my comedian hubby, eh? )
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#4 of 6 Old 11-24-2001, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are not fire ants. We (whole family is a bunch of weirdies) do study the ants. Once my then-7-year-old and I saw an "ant war" between regular little black ants, and some teensy little reddish ants. The red ants, although much smaller, must have a venomous bite, for when they bit the larger black ants, the black ants would immediately curl up and die. Fascinating!
My husband is fairly mellow about critters, but he does not like to pick a piece of fruit from our one lemon tree, and find his arm covered with crawlies. Did you know that Windex will destroy their scent trail, which is helpful in deterring ants from invading your house?????
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#5 of 6 Old 12-16-2001, 03:14 AM
 
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calgal, leave the windex behind...it's totally toxic. dr. bronners peppermint soap in a spray bottle will do the same thing, but without the toxicity. (plus its got around 1000 more uses!)
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#6 of 6 Old 12-16-2001, 02:16 PM
 
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The reason windex works is because of the ammonia.

I used to use the pure ammonia heavily diluted to kill slugs. ammonia will turn to nitrates in the soil and thus wont harm anything.

I have to wonder tho, would the water from a peepee diaper do the same trick? it would be free, all natural and full of ammonia?

Urine can be used as a great fertilizer?

any thoughts on this?
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