Sugar Ants??

ejh805(8b)June 17, 2012

Hello again everyone.

I've got a small issue that I'm not sure if I should do anything about.

I've got a husky cherry tomato plant and a sweet banana pepper plant.

The cherry tomato only has two fruits on it because I got it planted late and the heat (90's)is preventing any of the dozens of flowers from pruducing.

The sweet banana pepper plant on the other hand is simply thriving in the heat. Maybe 2-3 new peppers starting up every morning.

This morning when I went out to water, I noticed tiny black ants crawling up and down the stems on the pepper plant. On the tomato plant they seemed attached to the forks on the stems. No marching lines.

I don't know the scientific name, but they're the kind of ants my mother and grandmother always called sugar ants or piss ants (lol).

Anyways, my question is should I leave them alone for the hope of possible pollination help? We don't have bees around here, nor strong wind very often. I do shake the plants daily but I'd gladly accept any help from mother nature.

OR should I find a way to get rid of them? As they may be sucking sugar out of the plants.

Thanks in advance for any help and advise!

-Emily

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

When it's too hot for pollination, that's because the heat makes the pollen unviable. Ants can't change that.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:01PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

These are in containers? Or in the ground? I don't know why everyone always assumes we automatically know that when it makes such a big difference in the replies.

Ants, with the exception of fire ants, while they provide no pollination assistance, are normally not considered an issue in gardens but in containers they can pose a problem if you don't ID what is attracting them. If they set up a full colony in a container the roots can be badly damaged.

So if it is a container, move it to a different location and let it dry out as much as possible before watering it again since it is the moisture they are after. Even so far as to let the plant wilt a bit. The ants will leave. If the plants are in ground don't worry about it.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:31PM
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ejh805(8b)

Thanks Dave.

I apologize for failing to mention that yes, they're in containers.

I'll do that and see if it works.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 1:53PM
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