Ants in the garden: not so bad?
They are tiny little fellow insects that can be found in pretty much every part of the world (including countries such as America). If you live in a warm climate however, you probably know that ants may find their way into your house some time or other during these cold months (and even then they never stay long). They also can prey on your plants – at least if you leave them unattended after harvest when they raid your crops (yes – this happens…). So that means it is imperative that you keep an eye on them around the clock! But hey! That doesn’t mean we should give up completely and just let them take over our gardens. In fact, keeping an eye on them might be a very good idea.
Did you know ants can be a problem in your garden? Did you know that you can use vinegar to get rid of them? I did!
Ants are among the most annoying creatures around. We have seen them on our Property Register several times recently. After the first time, we got used to it and could ignore them. But there is an alternative: we should use vinegar instead of killing ants without hurting plants. Although vinegar is not as effective as ant killer, it is effective at getting rid of ants without killing plants (the ant killer kills plants too).
To get rid of ants in garden without killing plants, here are some other tips that will help:
- Mix half water and half white vinegar into a spray bottle. Mixing the two will kill all insects but they won’t kill the plants.
- Pour the mixture onto any bare spots on your furniture and wait for 15 minutes until all bugs are dead. This might take a while depending on how many ants were there before applying the remedy and how big your garden is.
- When all bugs are dead, wipe off the solution with a damp cloth and rinse gently with water (I recommend avoiding soap). Repeat three times in every morning for about two weeks (to kill each type of bug) until no more bugs appear in your garden or apartment. After that, you just need to apply this regularly to keep out these insects from coming back!
Why do ants invade gardens?
Ants are a naturally occurring part of the ecosystem and in fact, many people (including us) have ant problems thanks to irresponsible landscaping projects — whether it’s having ants live under your house because you didn’t take enough time to remove their nests or having dozens of them crawling around in your yard because someone neglected to dig them out when they were relocated.
Ants can play many roles in our ecosystem, from helping with pollination (to bring pollen into flower or fruit) and nutrient cycling (to help break down leaf litter), to making new habitats for other species (to aid plant growth), but what makes them so important is their very specific role as “nest builders.”
- Diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic creatures. It is a natural insecticide that can be used to get rid of ants in the garden. Simply sprinkle it around the base of your plants, and the ants will pick it up on their bodies and bring it back to the colony. The powder will dehydrate the ants and kill them.
- Soap and water solution: Mix a tablespoon of dish soap with a gallon of water, and spray the solution on the ants and around the base of your plants. The soap will suffocate the ants and kill them.
- Cucumber peels: Ants dislike the smell of cucumbers, so placing cucumber peels around the base of your plants can help to repel them.
- Orange peels: Similar to cucumber peels, ants dislike the smell of oranges, so placing orange peels around your plants can also help to repel them.
- Peppermint oil: Ants dislike the smell of peppermint, so mixing peppermint oil with water and spraying it around the base of your plants can help to repel them.
- Boric acid: Boric acid is a common ant killer and can be found in most home improvement stores. Mix it with sugar and water to make a paste, and place it near the ant colony. The ants will eat the mixture, and it will kill them.
- Insecticidal soap: Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to get rid of ants in the garden. Simply mix it with water and spray it on the ants and around the base of your plants.
- Keep your garden clean: Ants are attracted to food and water, so keeping your garden clean and free of debris can help to prevent them from taking up residence.
- Keep your plants healthy: Healthy plants are less likely to be damaged by ants, so make sure to keep your garden well-watered and fertilized.
- Use barriers: Use barriers such as diatomaceous earth or talcum powder to create a barrier around the base of your plants.
A: No, diatomaceous earth will not harm your plants. It is a natural insecticide that dehydrates the ants and kills them.
A: Insecticidal soap can be used on most types of plants, but it is always best to check the label to make sure it is safe for the specific plant you are treating.
A: It depends on the method you are using. Some methods like diatomaceous earth, talcum powder, and cucumber/orange peels can last for weeks to months, but others like peppermint oil may need to be reapplied more often. It’s best to monitor the situation and reapply as necessary.
A: A major ant infestation can be identified by the presence of many ants, large ant hills, or damage to plants and crops. If you notice a large number of ants in your garden, or if your plants are showing signs of damage, it is likely that you have an infestation. If the infestation is severe, it may be best to seek the help of a professional pest control company.
A: Chemical methods such as boric acid can be harmful to pets and small children if ingested, so it is important to keep them out of reach. It is best to use natural methods, or to seek the advice of a professional if you have concerns about safety.
In conclusion, getting rid of ants in the garden doesn’t have to mean killing your plants in the process. There are many natural and chemical methods available that can effectively eliminate ants without harming your plants. It is important to monitor the situation and reapply the methods as necessary and if the infestation is severe, consider seeking professional help.