Garden Ants Are Aphid Ranchers
If you find ants in your garden, I’ll bet you’ll find aphids, too. Why? Because they are sugar junkies and they raise and herd the little guys to feed their sugar habit. They are cowboys without horses that do not feed on their “livestock”, but on the sweet honeydew nectar secreted as the little critters feed on your garden plants.
So, ant control must go hand in hand with aphid control.
The ants actually care for and protect the aphid eggs during the winter, then transport the young hatchlings to your garden plants during the spring and summer months so they can eat and secrete. The “ranchers” then feed voraciously on the honeydew, taking the excess back to their hill for later feasts.
The first line of defense is to keep your garden plants healthy and well fed with all the essential
your plants need and adequate water. Weak plants produce more sugar, so the ants will take the aphids there first.
The aphid is a rapid and prolific breeder, and unchecked they will quickly destroy and kill the host plants, sucking the juices right out of them. That means no vegetable harvest! I don’t know about you, but that makes even a
angry. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural organic solutions to both the ant and the aphid control, so don’t reach for the poisons.
Let me offer some answers that will not harm your pets or your families. First let’s talk about the aphid issue. Small garden infestations can just be washed away with the garden hose. An even more effective way to dispatch them is to spray them with a solution of ½ cup of liquid soap to a gallon of water. You can buy fancy
if you have bucks to burn, but any liquid dishwashing soap will work fine. I like to add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the mix just to make it stick better to the plants.
are very effective and diatomaceous earth is also one of my favorite methods of controlling ants.
Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of
a type of hard-shelled algae. While a harmless powdery substance to humans , their pets and even gnomes, it is a razor sharp substance to small insects that cuts into their exoskelatins and causes them to bleed to death.
Boric acid is another organic method of ant control.
Killing the aphids is not enough. You must control the ant problem or the “ranchers” will just bring the little guys back.
For more info, read this aphid article
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