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Hardiness Zone: 8a
Jodi From Gary Texas
There are several different ways to control ants in the yard, while still keeping pets and kids safe. Keep in mind that you may have to do a little experimenting to figure out what method works best for the kind living in your yard.
Check the plants in your yard and garden for infestations of aphids, scale and mealy bugs-these insects all secrete sugar that some ants feed on. A good spray with the hose is often enough to dislodge these insects. Getting rid of them will often get rid of your ants.
Homemade Boric Acid Ant Trap
Wear gloves and mix 3 cups of water, one cup of sugar and 4 teaspoons of boric acid. Fill several glass jars with cotton batting soaked in this mixture.
Cap the jars with lids that contain holes punched in the top to let the ants in. Mark the jars as containing poison (skull and cross bones) to be safe.
Leave them in areas of your yard where ants are a problem. They will enter the jars, suck up the mixture and take the bait back to share it with the colony where others will eat it and die.
For protein-eating ants, substitute dog or cat food or peanut butter for the sugar. For carpenter ants, substitute wood soaked in a mixture of water and boric acid instead of cotton batting. Do not let pets or children near the jars.
Please remove your advice about using Vaseline. We tried it and we killed a bunch of our trees. That is a bad side effect...
I wrap duct tape with the sticky side out around all my trees. Keeps any little critters like ants off of my trees.
By Joan in CT
A reply 12 years later. I find Duct tape stays sticky for about a day when outside. So if you have an orchard, thats not much fun.
I tried honey but that soon vanishes.
I might try anti-climb paint to stop the little vandals
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Will soap and water spray help keep small ants from eating new leaves on a snowball bush? Anything else to try?
Hardiness Zone: 3a
I use diatomaceous earth for control of crawling pests. It is organic, does not harm humans or pets. It kills by scratching the outer shell of pests so they dehydrate and die. Buy garden grade, not that for swimming pools. I made a shaker for it by punching holes in the cap of a plastic can with an ice pick.
I use this in my house to control fleas and ticks as well as in the garden.
Check out TheGardenGuy.com for more organic solutions.
I've been able to get rid of ants in the past by putting out little saucers of borax mixed with icing sugar. The ants ingest the borax as they eat the sugar and it kills them -- I believe it can kill most in a nest when they bring the food home. This wouldn't be safe if you have pets or children around, methinks. And rain or watering will ruin the bait, I suspect, so they'll have to be replaced. I've never sprinkled on a plant before, but I think the borax would be a problem for the soil.
You can also smear a ring of vaseline around the base of the bush to keep the ants from climbing up, assuming they don't have access from neighboring plants. This works for me. Good luck!
Help. I have a loaded fig tree, but the ants seem to get into them. I was told this was good for pollination, not so good for my eating pleasure. Any suggestions?
Hardiness Zone: 10a
By Eladann from Palm Springs,CA
Powder a few sticks of chalk & shake around the tree. Ants cannot stand chalk, I even draw a line at the bottom of my steps & they will not go near it! Good luck or search for your question, good luck.
Here in Winnipeg, Canada, we have a problem with small ant-sized worms (cankerworms). We have a product here called "Tanglefoot" that we get from our local hardware stores and plant nurseries. It is a sticky band that you wrap around your tree trunk. The bugs cannot crawl over it without getting caught. This works for ants, also....I love figs. Unfortunately we cannot grow them here due to the cold! Enjoy yours!
How do I rid a willow tree of fire ants?
Go to the gardening center of Lowe's or Home Depot and purchase Amdro, then sprinkle around the base of the tree. Your problem should be solved within a couple of days. You might want to sprinkle it all over your yard to keep the ants from building new nests. Amdro has worked great for us for the past 7 years.
I would like to know how to get rid of ants in our trees.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Vi from Texas Panhandle