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How do we get rid of ants & catapillars?

737 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mama Lori
Hi! We have just planted our first garden & want to keep it organic. We have been noticing a lot of ants & catapillars lately. Any ideas on how to keep them away w/out using pesticides? TIA!

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For ants: use those ant stakes like the Grant's ones. They work. I had a massive ant invasion in my yard, I put the stakes out, and all of the ants were gone within 12 hours. The only thing is, you cannot put them IN your vegetable bed. So try and find where the ants are coming from, sidewalk cracks, whatever, and put the stakes there. Or, just outside your vegi beds. It works!!

I have no idea, about the caterpillars. There are certain beneficial insects that will help with those, and also Bt which is a natural insecticide that will not harm humans, pets, or most beneficial insects, and targets the bad ones. I think Bt works for caterpillars but check the label.
Not to hijack, but I just have a question re: the ant stakes. Do you know if they'd be okay to put outside my strawberry bed, if the ants' home seems to be IN the bed? I googled Grant's ant stakes and it sounds like they have arsenic in them that the ants carry back to their home... and the thought of that in my strawberry bed just doesn't make me real excited... thoughts?
I don't have any good suggestions for the catepillars, but ants can be killed with plain old boiling water. I boil a big pot of water while the kids are napping and then carry it outside to troublesome anthills. Sometimes I have to repeat it 2-3 days in a row to kill the entire anthills, but it works!
Oh, I forgot to say in my last post that you need to be careful not to pour boiling water on any plants you want to keep -- it will kill plants too! Other than that, it is safe, non-toxic and effective!
Nemmer, I see your dilemma about the ant stakes. Since they are taking it back to their home, and their home is IN your straweberry bed, I might be leary of using the stakes near it.

I think you can use diatomaceous (sp?) in edible garden beds - not totally sure - but I think my Moosewood Kitchen Garden book says you can. We've used this before inside our house to kill ants and it works extremely well. It is just messy, and you have to make sure no humans or pets inhale it. Even though it's natural, it's made up of microscopic particles that can cause lung damage if inhaled. We used in in our kitchen with no problems, we were just careful not to breath it in.

Bugs R Done is a spray ant repellant, also very effective, and nontoxic. It smells hideous but it's nontoxic and is fine around kids, pets, plants.
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