How to get rid of ants in my garden beds? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-28-2008, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Help! I've got ants all throughout one of my raised garden beds. I've heard that it works to pour boiling water into the ant-hole, but I've already planted all my tomaotes and squash there already. Yes, I know I should have figured out the ant thing first, but I was so excited to plant my garden that I didn't care.

So now I've got a huge ant's nest amongst my tomatoes. Does anyone have any ideas of how to get rid of them?

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Old 05-28-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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this is the problem I had about 3 garden seasons ago. I was freaked out by the ants. They grossed me out. Then I found out the ants eat the aphids(if you have them) . That helped me chill out a bit, but I was still icked out. Then I just forgot about them. I really havent seen any problems with the ants there. . I have alot of ants too. I dont think my yard has been worked or anything since the 60's.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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Mix one part baking soda to one part icing sugar. Put a bit of the mixture in something like a shallow lid from a sour cream container or a glass jar. Put a small pebble in the middle of the lid, making sure it's higher than the edge of the lid, and place a board over the whole contraption. The pebble/board thing keeps pets out of something that would otherwise be tempting but allows the ants to have access to it.
The idea is that the "food" is brought back to the nest, hopefully to the queen, and baking soda is completely fatally indigestible to ants.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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Mix one part baking soda to one part icing sugar. Put a bit of the mixture in something like a shallow lid from a sour cream container or a glass jar. Put a small pebble in the middle of the lid, making sure it's higher than the edge of the lid, and place a board over the whole contraption. The pebble/board thing keeps pets out of something that would otherwise be tempting but allows the ants to have access to it. You can lay out a few of these "bait traps" around the problem area.
The idea is that the "food" is brought back to the nest, hopefully to the queen, and baking soda is completely fatally indigestible to ants.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:20 AM
 
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Are they bad for your garden? I've never had a problem with them before......hmmmmmmm lol.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Garden~Lover View Post
this is the problem I had about 3 garden seasons ago. I was freaked out by the ants. They grossed me out. Then I found out the ants eat the aphids(if you have them) . That helped me chill out a bit, but I was still icked out. Then I just forgot about them. I really havent seen any problems with the ants there. . I have alot of ants too. I dont think my yard has been worked or anything since the 60's.
Ants do not eat aphids. They have a symbiotic relationship. Ants actually carry aphids to the plants and "milk" them. Ants+aphids = problem. Usually where you see ants (black) around plants you will also find aphids. Look on the underneath sides of the leaves. They are usually green or the blend in with the color of the plant, they can also be black. Spray them off with water or a safe insecticide soap.
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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Do ants like cardboard? because I put cardboard under my squarefoot garden, and now everytime I dig into the garden, it's like I'm digging into an ant pile.

That can't be good, right?

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Old 05-29-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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They like any protective surface that allows them to build colonies close to the surface, like a rock, board, log...or cardboard.

I forgot to mention the part about the aphids, too. (Good catch janasmama) Yep, not only will the ants bring aphids to the plants, they'll defend their little "nectar cows" ferociously from predators like ladybugs!
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Old 05-29-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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Ants are nasty little buggers! We basically live on a sand and clay hill, so ants are my #1 biggest problem. And gophers... but I digress...

I thoroughly water the beds that they start to turn into ant condos (that is my name for potted plants and raised beds ) If I do it regularly enough, they tend to pick up their eggs and go somewhere else.

I think the cardboard would be some really good housing for ants!

I never thought of mixing the soda in with icing! Awesome idea!! I actually have a tub of the stuff that was given to me by my mil and I couldn't figure out what the heck I was going to do with it

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Old 05-29-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Garden~Lover View Post
this is the problem I had about 3 garden seasons ago. I was freaked out by the ants. They grossed me out. Then I found out the ants eat the aphids(if you have them) . That helped me chill out a bit, but I was still icked out.
Ants in my yard do the opposite--they encourage the aphids. They treat them like dairy cows practically-like livestock. Not kidding. The aphids excrete the sweet, sticky honeydew and that's what the ants are interested in eating, not the aphids.
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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Are they fire ants? If not, I wouldn't worry about them too much. We have our share of ants and they don't really bother the garden or us. They do however farm aphids, so if this is going on you may want to hit your plants with a strong spray of water from time to time to knock off the aphids. All in all, ants are just part of the web & prove you have a healthy, diverse garden!
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