Ants & Larvae Uber Alles

CerealKiller(9B)July 20, 2011

I had recently dug a hole 5' x 3' (5'_-_-_- 3' : :)

I dug down 2' deep, I started to clean out the small roots sticking out and cleaning up the hole I had dug. Then I noticed ant larvae... and many! I noticed ants carrying small eggs as well. I realized probably most of the dirt of the second pile I dug up had these ants and larvae mixed in it.

My first question is... what should I do about all these ants and the larvae inside the hole I made.

I think the first of the piles of dirt I had made does not have the larvae and ants possibly... i wanted to mix the dirt I had dug up with some mix I bought at the plant nursery. 50/50

My second question to that last statement. I am guessing I should not use the dirt I had dug up that had ants in larvae mixed in?

Any suggestions?

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I've never had a problem when I've unearthed ants while digging. I just continue as if they weren't there. I suspect they move on or resettle after I've moved on. :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 11:18AM
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thanks for the reply, ill check it out this morning and see if they are all gone, i was worried about the roots incase that was an ant hill around there. They don't bother the roots much?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:35PM
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Other than fire ants or carpenter ants, ants in the garden are not a horrible thing. Yes,they herd aphids, but they also aerate the soil with their jillions of tunnels, and they help with the decomposition process. When I've disturbed a nest while digging, all the ants and the larvae are usually gone to safety by the next day at the latest. I've never noticed any root damage from ants, but I'll admit that I wasn't looking for any. I wouldn't sweat it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:50PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I wouldn't allow the ants to remain anywhere near where I was planting. Though it does depend upon the ant species, a successful ant colony can cause large air pockets amidst the root system, leaving portions of roots exposed to the air.

I am going to presume that they aren't fire ants (or similar) or you would have commented on all the stings you collected while digging, lol! They would be very persistent! I, too, expect that your ants will leave the area, but if any should return you may want to consider eliminating them from the planting area.

The other thing I'd like to mention is that it is not generally recommended that soil amendments be added to a hole upon planting. There are exceptions to this, of course, but since we don't know what you're planting in such a nice big hole.....we can't advise.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:54PM
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Ok cool, that has been alot of help. I have three pepper plants I want to transpant out in the back yard.

I picked a place that gets a good amount of attention from the sun. When i started to dig I found pieces of concrete in the ground not attached to anything..maybe someone had a post there at one time for a clothes line or something...

I figured the tough clay soil I dug up could use some help, no?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:22PM
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A little more information to this project is I bought some Gardner & Bloome Premium Topsoil for that area I dug up. You think it might be a bad idea to mix that with some of the existing soil or am I on the right track?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:34PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

If your plant is to plant the peppers in that hole...go ahead and use the stuff your purchased. Amending the soil is fine for temporary plantings. Good luck with your peppers (and ants).

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:04PM
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Thank you

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:15PM
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