Why ants are good
Why ants can be bad
- Lawns | Nesting sites are easy to spot in lawns as ground mounds or hills. Hill building can cause damage to the roots, however, unless the infestation is extremely problematic, the best solution is to learn to live with them. Ants often eat troublesome lawn pests’ larvae and can do more good than harm.
- Pot plants | Ants in pot plants can cause harmful disturbance of the roots. Giving your pot plants an occasional deep soak should be enough to warn them off.
- Vegetable and herb garden | If you find ants in your vegetable garden, you do not want to use insecticides or pesticides harmful to your family or pets.
- Compost | Compost heaps and bins provide ideal conditions for ants to nest. This compost is still usable and once spread into the garden, the colony is disrupted and the ants disperse.
How to control ants
- Scatter cayenne, cinnamon or chilly pepper around the nesting holes.
- Mix 15 drops of mint essential oil in a 750 ml water and spray nesting sites and plants.
- Apple cider vinegar can also be sprayed along trails and on nests, just be careful not to spray your plants.
- Spot treat ant nests with AnTrap or sticky barriers on tree trunks.
Controlling Citrus pest. Home garden citrus can be grown with little or no chemical control. Fruit & leaves might be a little more scarred than a commercial orchard. Ant control is the key. Ants ‘farm’ the sucking insects like Red Scale, mealybug, whitefly and aphids for honeydew by keeping the natural predators away. Use ant traps, spot treat the ant’s nests or sticky barriers on the tree trunks to control them. Once the ants are under control a heavily infested tree will need a little chemical assistance to knockdown the high pest population. Any of the more organic products like Margret Roberts or Ludwick’s Insecticides or Neem oil will help. Spray as per instructions and repeat a few times. Thereafter let the natural predators and birds begin their work, be patient it takes time for natural control to happen.
- Spray organic insecticides like Margret Roberts or Ludwig’s Insecticides or Neem oil.
- Place food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) near trail and ants nests. DE is made from fossilized hard-shelled algae (diatoms), a fine powder with a crystal-like shape with sharp edges. It is effective in dehydrating ants, and can also be used for snails and cockroaches.
- Set up a poison trap using a solution of borax, sugar and water. Although a natural compound, borax is still harmful to humans and pets and we advise this as a last resort.