A beautiful and well-kept garden is the dream of everyone who owns a home. Choosing the right vegetation so that trees and flowers do not interfere with each other requires knowledge and a lot of work. But what if uninvited guests appear in our garden? What dangers do ants pose and how can we combat them?
Ants? In my garden?
The appearance of ants in the garden is quite a problem. It may seem that these insects are not pests. Ants live in numerous groups, in places called nests. Usually these are large mounds that hide intricate tunnel structures.
At the outset, it is worth starting with a few words about ants. These are insects that feed not only on plant food, but also on animal food. The most desirable are products rich in protein and sugars. A small percentage of ants are predators, which feed on hunted insects in 1/3.
Communication between these insects is carried out using the senses of touch, smell of marker pheromones, sound and sight. The latter is only used during the day.
Why are ants harmful?
- First of all, they are responsible for drying out the soil – the soil in the place where the ants appeared is not fertile. So there is no chance that grass or other plants will grow near the anthill.
- The ants also damage the vegetation itself – not only do they bite the leaves, but nest building also involves damaging plant tubers and roots, in which the ants dig holes.
- These insects sometimes build their nests in wooden parts of buildings, such as arbours. This damages the structure of the wood and can even lead to the collapse of the structure.
- Another issue is food, which ants steal and contaminate at every opportunity.
- Ants are also culprits in the deterioration of plant health. One of the main food sources of the insects is honey dew. Aphids, which are pests that destroy the leaves of many garden plants, are responsible for its production. The ants look after the aphids to obtain their delicacy from them.
- The buds and flowers themselves are also under threat – ants will stop at nothing in their search for nectar, destroying ornamental vegetation in the process.
- Ants also threaten grass, which takes a long time to grow and care for. During drought, the insects bite the young top shoots, which leads to a halt in the process of plant growth.
How to get rid of ants from the garden?
Getting rid of ants from our garden area is not easy. The war should begin by finding the source of the problem, namely the nest. You need to get an ant-killer at the garden store beforehand and pour it over the nest and the surrounding area.
Another option is to use boiling water, but this method is not always effective. As for preparations against ants, there is a whole range of different agents to choose from. Particularly recommended are such products as Mrwikiller, KAPO, Antikophone, ANT-STOP. Chemicals cause the death of insects, which no longer return to the place.
But what if the garden is infested with ants called house ants?
In this case, other nests in the area must also be destroyed, because the insects of this subspecies exchange workers with each other and can easily rebuild colonies in the place of the destroyed nest.
It can also happen that nests are difficult to track, in this case you should put out baits with the addition of insecticide. It is best if these are sweet treats. The so-called gatherers look for food and bring their findings to the nest. This will effectively deal with the entire colony, but somewhat more slowly. Poison such as Lafarex K or Faratox will be most effective. These products contain methoprene, which affects the development of larvae.
Products with borax or boric acid such as Ekosan AK, Antifar or Mizar are also effective.
You can also make your own ant poison by mixing water, sugar and borax in a ratio of 18:7:1. It is important to keep the exact ratio because too much poison scares ants away from the bait.
Interestingly, the use of preparations with boron compounds has been practiced for years, despite the fact that insects have not become immune to its effects.
Remember, however, that ants are useful – they kill most harmful insects. Therefore, if they are not a nuisance, it is worth living in symbiosis with them and possibly protect the area around the building, e.g. seal the holes through which the insects can get inside, or spray the walls of the house with milk of lime.
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