My Piece of Dirt

Zone 8 Gardening

Ants are 4ever

on August 9, 2014
Suet basket keeps hummingbirds out of poison

Suet basket keeps hummingbirds out of poison

So everybody knows that aphids and ants have a symbiotic relationship.  There are plenty of good bugs out there that would eat the aphids, but they are not going to mess with the aphids while the ants are defending them.  So one must get rid of the ants to get rid of the aphids.

I bought some ant traps at HD and clipped the traps to my steal mesh supports, sort of behind the bean plant and in the shade.  Day two I saw ants crawling in and out of the trap.  Day three I saw only a few ants on the plants.  All well and good.  However, there are a few ant survivors and that’s enough to start a new colony.  Turn around twice and bam I’ve got ants again, and the traps are all dried up.  

So it seems I need something more or less permanent in the garden, and I do not want to be buying bait traps all the time.  (Six traps for $4.00) They work well, but there is only a small amount of fluid in each one.  But…aha… they did give me an idea….   Project Time!!!!

The picture shows an old vanilla extract bottle.  Strictly speaking it is not necessary to have a container so small to kill the ants.  But I have already tried a wide mouth container and I captured too many good bugs that I did not want to kill.  And I suspect that if the container accidentally spilled,  a large amount of this borax laden ant killer would not be good for the plants.  I’m hoping that I can just refill these bottles as needed.

Two Things:

  • One must have a funnel small enough to pour into the bottle without spillage.
  • And one must give the ants easy access…notice the stick and the thick rope, close to an intersection on the wire.  It says:  Come and get it, anty wanty. 

If this works…I can even imagine collecting some attractive, arty containers.

Ant Killer Recipe:

  • In a coffee cup
  • add 6 heaping spoons of sugar
  • add 6 spoons of borax.
  • Pour in boiling water.  Bubble, stir and dissolve.  Cool.  Laugh wickedly and string up.  Whahaha!

 

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