Ants in the garden, greenhouse and seedbed – benefits and damage: how to get rid of them for good

Ants in the garden are a big problem. They are indispensable workers in the forest. But garden species, together with aphids, cause gardeners a lot of trouble.

Let's make it clear right away: garden ants and forest ants are different species. We will not bore you with zoological details, just take into account that if in the forest ants are forest sanitarians, then in the garden they do more harm than good. For one thing, ants clean up the garden and the vegetable patch.

They quickly dispose of wood debris, organic debris, scatter pieces of organics around the garden and burrow them into the soil by ant holes, turning them into humus. A small number of ants on the site - will do good. But when ants start digging up your bushes, breeding pests, gnawing at flowers and berries - then either you will ask them to leave the site or they will spoil your garden. There are different ways to combat them, from folk and mechanical to chemical and biological.

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What harms ants do to the garden

Increased acidity of the soil.

The activity of ants in the vegetable garden leads not only to an increase in the humus content of the soil, but also to an increased level of acidity. Recall, most plants grow well in neutral and weakly acidic soils. And increased acidity will lead to their weakening, disease and loss of yield. You may have noticed that plants under which ants nest – grow worse. And if you do not get rid of them, the bush will either die, or it will have to be transplanted to another place.

Ants are lovers of sweets, they spoil flowers and berries.

Part of the ants’ diet is glucose and fructose, which is found in different parts of plants. We’re not the only ones who love sweet berries and fruits. Ants gobble up sweet pollen and nectar from flowers and sap from buds. But unlike bees and bumblebees, they don’t suck it out, they chew it off – irreparably damaging the crop. Ants on raspberries, strawberries, strawberries, can completely deprive you of the harvest. Flowers, too, are not without the attention of these ubiquitous insects. Ants on peonies nibble the buds, which are covered with a sweet sticky coating.

It is a natural property of peonies to secrete sweet nectar. Even unopened flowers attract ants. Even if the buds of peonies do not fall, after contact with ants, the flowers then bloom not symmetrical, lopsided, incomplete. Similarly, insects can damage roses as well. If your rose garden is full of ants, you should not hope for beautiful blooms. Ant-hills in rose gardens must be disposed of.

Ants spread weeds in the garden and damage crops.

Ants drag plant debris into ant holes and scatter seeds, making it harder for you to control weeds. Ants also harm cucumber, flower, and vegetable crops by dragging seeds away from the planting site. Have you noticed that the cucumbers and not sprouted in time, and the seeds in the sowing places are not there? They have been stolen by ants.

Ants and aphids – a cooperation that is very harmful to plants

Aphids are dangerous because they suck the sap out of plants. The tiny insects are able to cover leaves, shoots, and buds with a solid carpet. Aphids can kill herbaceous plants, deprive you of annual growth on fruit trees and shrubs, weaken plants, deprive you of flowers and fruits.

Ants – herd and breed aphids like humans do sheep. And feed on the sweet secretions of aphids. Until you get rid of the ants, you won’t be able to eradicate aphids from your property. They will bring the insects back to the plants again and again. You will again and again find ants on currants, curled leaves, and damaged berries. In addition, ants protect aphids from beneficial insects that destroy them – earwigs and ladybugs.

How to get rid of ants: protection of the garden and vegetable garden

The peculiarity of fighting ants is that it is not enough to destroy the insects that are on the plants. It is necessary to get rid of the anthills.

Mechanical protection of plants from ants:

  • On young seedlings with smooth bark, it is advisable to apply trapping belts that restrict access to the crown. It’s simple. Take thick foil or film, wrap it around the trunk and secure the “skirt.” For a caravan of ants and aphids, it will be a barrier. It’s better than nothing. But ants will eventually find a way to get over the sharp edge of the “skirt”, arrange a bridge of grass, dust, sand grains.
  • Whitewashing of trees and lower part of bushes gives quite a good effect in combination with mulching of bedding circles with fine peat. This will deter insects, at least in part.
  • Ant-hills can be dug up and taken out of the plot, but this is a very time-consuming job. The holes are deep and not everyone can destroy them to the end.

Household and folk methods to control ants:

If mechanical means do not bring results, you can try folk methods.

  • Dilute boric acid with water, add some sugar and leave containers or sponges soaked in the solution near the anthills. Having eaten such “dainty”, the insects die.
  • Ants do not like substances with a strong odor, such as cinnamon or soapy water. Gardeners share successful experiences with ant control, even with red hot pepper. Ant-hills are sprinkled and watered with these “fragrant” substances. The pepper will not hurt the plants.
  • Treating anthills with boiling water gives good results. Deeply sprinkle the site of the anthill 3 to 5 times each day.
  • Soap and vinegar solution is prepared in a bucket of water, dissolve a piece of laundry soap and 1 liter of vinegar in it. Then the anthill is unearthed, make deep punctures with a long pin and pour the solution. True, you can not do this often – you risk greatly changing the acidity of the soil.
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Garden chemicals and preparations against ants:

As much as you love “home remedies,” the most effective and safe for plants are professional garden preparations. If you feel sorry for your time and energy to experiment with folk remedies – immediately buy special preparations.

Universal insecticides are capable of removing insects that are on plants and on the ground. Specialized preparations such as: Antimurain concentrate, Fiproxan, Muracid, Antimurain granule – are able to penetrate deep into the anthill and get to the womb. I.e., completely destroy the anthill. These preparations are safe for plants and give a lasting effect.

Maintain order in the garden, remove piles of garbage, old boards, so that there are as few places in the garden as possible for ants to nest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How to get rid of ants in the garden with folk remedies?

To do this, dilute 10 grams of ammonia alcohol in 8-10 liters of water and water the entire plot. Aphids do not tolerate the solution of manganese. If you treat the trees and lime all the aphids, the ants themselves will leave the plot. A dark solution of potassium permanganate also works well, if you water the insects’ nests and the plants they crawl on with it.

What to treat the soil against ants?

You can try to influence the insects by scents of herbs and vegetables.

  • A good remedy for ants in the garden is sawdust mixed with garlic pomace, anise leaves.
  • Ants quickly leave an area where the smell of kerosene is strong, you can simply douse the ant pile with this preparation, but do not set it on fire.

What is the best way to poison ants?

Ants do not like to settle near mint, thyme, celandine, wormwood, lavender, oregano, dill, parsley. Velvet and chrysanthemum leaves can also frighten them away. Another storm of insects is tomatoes. Gardeners disperse the green haulm around the garden, and sprinkle ants with decoction from it.

What is the harm of ants in the vegetable garden?

Ants are also dangerous to delicate seedlings. They can chew up roots, leaves, and stems, destroying seedlings. Ants can also spread weeds around the site. By dragging and eating some seeds, they spread the seeds over large areas.

What do garden ants eat?

Ants on the plot often begin to eat berries, vegetables and root vegetables with high sugar content (strawberries, carrots, pumpkins). They can also spoil seedlings and sprouts, they also “dainty” seeds

What are ants for in nature?

Ants for forests and cottage areas are a huge benefit and salvation from many pests. These little toilers protect plants from caterpillars, fly larvae, slugs, spider mites, and so on.

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