Help --- ANTS.!!

yendis(England)June 13, 2005

I have a large Musa "Sikkimensis" in a clay pot (24Inches) the plant is about 6ft tall. It is growing outside. I am being colonised by ants. It seems that they are getting inside the pot through the drainage holes and nesting inside. How can I eradicate them ? Do I need to remove them? I have some proprietary white "ant killer" powder but will this harm my banana? The powders active ingredient is BENDIOCARB 0.5%.

Can you guys (or gals ) out there advise me please. Greetings from England as always. Sidney Parker.

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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

I've killed a couple ant beds in the ground by pouring a lot of boiling water in a "sneak attack", ie, the bed undisturbed. Do you people still have tea kettle in England? :)

One role of the ant-bed is to create temperature-controlled micro-climate. Probably can't do that without hurting the roots.

you could try an organic like neem oil solution, which is said to have no effect on plants or animals.

you can try a heavy and repeated fourmi-cide chemical under the container and on the outside, but not on the dirt or plant, assuming the leaves of the plant don't provide an escape route by touching an adjoining surface.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 6:37AM
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Casa_Del_Gatos(z8 AL)

I have yet to see an adverse effect on any of my plants from ant poison, but if you are concerned get some that is a bait and not a contact poison. It takes longer because they have to carry it in and feed it to the queen, but it does get them.

For effectiveness, the best ant killer I've found overall is a new one from Bayer (yes, the aspirin guys). It's a fine white dust you sprinkle lightly on top of the anthill (looks like powdered sugar)and they are dead in a couple of days from tracking it inside.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 6:56AM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

I too have ant problems as my bloodleafs are in pots and I bring them in every winter. Does anyone know if the ant stakes you stick in your yard are contact poison or bait? I would like to try these but don't want to hurt anything. What we have heard also is that mint will kill ant, kind of like the taro gel that attracts then poisons them. We've got mint out the wazoo and with how easily it transplants and propogates I am thinking about lacing it into the banana pots.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 9:57AM
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Thanks for your help friends. Yes yes we do stil have kettles here in little old Englang LOL!!! Did not know about the mint thing , very interesting. In fact I have mint in a pot right next to my Sikki. Will try that. I have heard lots and lots about your thing called NEEM. Cant get it in England but it seems to be very popular in USA. What is the active ingredient? Is it like our own " Bordeaux" mixture. I will continue also with my ant powder.
Thanks once again for your advice. Good gardening folks. Sidney Parker in dark cold dingy England.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 4:01PM
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Hello Yendis,

I'm sure you could get neem oil in dear old Blighty. Certainly, I've seen it listed on websites, some of which I'm sure were UK based. Just a thought.

Paul in a sunny part of the UK.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 5:04PM
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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

The active ingredient is neem oil (google for it. It's made from the pureed testicles and tails of the Siberian neem rat).

I buy the concentrate, makes 16 US gallons:

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 5:08PM
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Buy some instant grits. Pour them around the nest. They eat the grits, swell, burst, and die.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 5:48PM
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swmcduff(8/Portland, OR)

When I lived in Louisiana, we used to destroy ant nests with a simple solution of liquid dish soap and water... it always worked... but don't know why.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 8:03PM
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Casa_Del_Gatos(z8 AL)

unautre, LMAO! That's hilarious.

porkpi, yes, the British are well known for their love of grits and they should be commonly available (LOL)

Yendis, Neem oil should be available (oil of the Indian Neem Tree)- it's also sold as a "health supplement" but that's not the kind you want, you want pure neem oil concentrate for gardening. However, neem is not that effective on ants as it is not persistent and only affects the bugs on the plant at spraying time. Works great on aphids and such.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 7:14AM
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jbcarr(7 VA)

I would use a bait. One thing I have found useful here in fire ant land is to raise the pots off the ground. They don't seem to bother the pots then, although determined ants can go about anywhere.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 6:33PM
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