Return to the Garden Clinic Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Ants in my Pants (Plants)

Posted by timberloin 10A (My Page) on
Sat, May 9, 09 at 7:58

Please help, I have tiny black ants all over my cucumber plants! I know that they are not good for my plants. Can someone help me with the least (or non) toxic way possible to get rid of them? By the way, I am container gardening and my cucumbers are in 5 gallon pots. They are climbing up a fence so I can't move them.

Thanks,
Shannon


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Ants in my Pants (Plants)

Why do you think those ants are not good for your plants. Ants very often help us by removing some of the pest insects. Ants are more beneficial that harmful. There is no good reason to put out stuff to kill ants simply because they are there. Since ants are a part of Ma Natures recycling machine there is no reason the kill them unless they are in your house, they do belong in the garden.


 o
RE: Ants in my Pants (Plants)

I don't mind them if they are doing good, I was under the impression that they suck nourishment from the plants.


 o
RE: Ants in my Pants (Plants)

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Sat, May 9, 09 at 14:52

Have you checked for aphids? They can be very small. Then, too, the pale green sorts are difficult to see unless you look closely.

Aphids produce honeydew -- the stuff is excreted excess sugary plant sap the aphids extract from the plant but don't need.

And honeydew is the reason ants are on your plants. They consider it delicious!

When you find the aphids, squish them or wash them off. Be cautious about using insecticidal soap; it can burn tender leaves, also leaves that are somewhat hairy.


 o
RE: Ants in my Pants (Plants)

Many people mistakenly believe ants are pests and that is used by pest "control" companies to their advantage. Ants can tell you if you have a problem because they will very often feed on many types of insects and their presence can be a clue that a pest is there.


 o
RE: Ants in my Pants (Plants)

I think that they are eating nectar from the male and female flowers on the vines. They are congregating in the flowers and I can not see any tiny aphids...

So, if this is the issue could they actually be helping with pollination???

Again, I am not bothered by them if they are not doing harm! But, I live in south florida and we have the nastiest fire ants here---so, when I see ants I think bad!


 o
RE: Ants in my Pants (Plants)

Fire Ants, as I understand, are simply bad, and since they are non native people where they are need to control them. The single best place I have found to learn about them is Texas A & M since most every other source of information I have seen uses the information developed by the researchers at TAMU.
The other ants clean up our environment, working on the bits and pieces of "waste" material we through down, cleaning up the dead bodies of other insects, etc. Ants are not known to be major pollinators.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fire Ants


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Garden Clinic Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here