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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first time ever to have a vegetable garden. Actually, I don't have a green thumb at all, and so I'm trying really hard, and surprisingly, my veggies are thriving...but now I have fireants in there. I found a huge fireant mound built up around my cucumber plant. I read online that DE was the best option, so I got some from my brother who uses it for his pool, but then read you can't use that DE in your garden. I'm so confused and frustrated and just want the darn ants out! I tried some home remedies by the cucumber plant - coffee grounds and mint soaked cotton balls have helped some, but they aren't gone. Now, I've found more over under my tomotaes. Any suggestions?
 

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From my understanding there are two types of DE, one is food-grade and the other is not. I believe the food-grade kind would be safe for your garden, as opposed to the kind they put in pools which is not food-grade (double check me on this, though).
 

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I have heard that coffee grounds, over time, will drive a way ants. I haven't tried this on purpose, but I do ring the base of my tomatoes and peppers with coffee once a month and have no ants in that bed. I had some ants (fire) come up in my lettuce bed and used a citrus oil spray directly on all the visible openings and ant trails, the ants were gone in two days, and haven't returned.<br>
You may also want to check the plants in that bed for aphids, sometimes the ants and aphids have a symbiotic relationship that keeps the ants around.<br>
hth<br>
ETA: sorry, i somehow missed the part where you already tried coffee grounds. off to go find my glasses.
 

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We don't have fire ants in our area, but carpenter ants. But for carpenter ants we've had good success with boiling water poured over the mound, then spray vinegar over the area for a few days after to keep deterring anyone from trying to rebuild. (NOTE: vinegar cannot be sprayed ON your garden plants, but it can be sprayed NEAR it ok).<br><br>
We also had some success in merely digging up and exposing the carpenter ant's nest but no way would I do that with fire ants.. ouch! (I used to live in a fire ant area... nasty little buggers).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! I will continue with the coffee grounds. I take the leftovers everyday out there and put it where I see them. I do think it has helped a lot, just not completely gotten rid of them. Citrus oil spray, where would get something like that? Whole Foods?<br><br>
I've heard of boiling water, but I didn't think that my plants would like that. The first mound I found basically encompassed my cucumber plant, so basically I'd be pouring the water right at the base of my plant. The little buggers seem to like building right at the base/root of my plants.<br><br>
I'll keep at it. Thanks for this and any other input!
 

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PP's right, there are 2 kinds of DE. One is food grade, that's what you're looking for.<br>
death to fire ants.. because aside from biting the heck out of all of us, they kill baby bluebirds!!!!!!!<br>
if you cannot use the boiling water b/c of your plants, you can uproot the ants with a shovel and act quickly to get them out. once they are disturbed, they'll move a little further away and you can boil them out.
 

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You can also sprinkle cornmeal around. When the ants eat it and then drink water, they'll swell up and die.
 

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Just wanted to commiserate - I had a small patch of ants in the garden last year but this year they are taking over. I am trying de, and if it doesn't work quickly I will try orange oil/vinegar.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Continued thanks, I'm still working on it! Every time the ants get deterred, they show up at the root of another plant, so Boiling water is still out.<br><br>
BTW, anyone know what aphids are? How do I know if I have them>?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>friendlymamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15448257"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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BTW, anyone know what aphids are? How do I know if I have them>?</div>
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Ah-ha! If you have aphids that would be why your ants are so bad. Those two critters help each other out. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but aphids secrete honeydew or something like that, and the ants keep them safe and happy in return for the aphids providing the honeydew for them to eat.<br><br>
Here are a bunch of pics. <a href="http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/aphids.html" target="_blank">http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/aphids.html</a><br><br>
btw, I'm in N. Tx too, so we have the same bugs.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Chicky2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15443764"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You can also sprinkle cornmeal around. When the ants eat it and then drink water, they'll swell up and die.</div>
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This is the trick we use. I sprinkle of cornmeal everywhere and poof! no more ants
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks so much for the photos. I have no idea if I have aphids - those things are tiny, I'm going to go out there tonight and look really closely. How do you get rid of aphids?<br><br>
I'm going to also add cornmeal to the garden. I'm willing to try anything! Darn those ants!!!
 
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