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Old 07-16-2013, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,478 posts, read 43,582,608 times
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OP , wish you had mentioned it was fire ants you want to get rid of. Lots of great products for fireants. Must be applied without disturbing the ant hill first or it won't work. Diatomaceous earth will not work on fireants.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:25 PM
 
3,339 posts, read 7,548,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneOnegin View Post
Ants "herd" aphids. They bite their wings off and secrete chemicals to slow them down and prevent them from growing wings. The aphids then suck sap from the plants and excrete honeydew which the ants consume. The ants keep them in one place so they can farm them for honeydew. They will also fight off predators like ladybugs to protect the aphids.
Wow, now I feel sorry for the aphids. I knew about ants being an indicator of aphids and the honeydew connection, but I didn't know they herded and enslaved the aphids.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:23 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,488,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EugeneOnegin View Post
Ants "herd" aphids. They bite their wings off and secrete chemicals to slow them down and prevent them from growing wings. The aphids then suck sap from the plants and excrete honeydew which the ants consume. The ants keep them in one place so they can farm them for honeydew. They will also fight off predators like ladybugs to protect the aphids.
Only some kinds of ants are "aphid farmers" while others go after the same nectar as bees and hummingbirds and others are protein eaters that haul off dead bugs and caterpillars as well as eat pollen. The aphid farmers concentrate aphid damage so they are not a good ant to let live in your containers. Some ants can be destructive of plant roots as they grow their colony, I've had several low growing plants mask a growing ant colony until the plant roots became damaged and could no longer take up water and nutrients and the same changes have occurred in larger containers. If the containers are close to your home you may also be providing them with a easier access to enter your home from their new digs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thila View Post
I am normally fighting fire ants ( I live in Houston) and share no love for the critter. They are my nemesis.
If you have fire ant in the container the only solution is to use a fire ant specific treatment, Amdro for example, just like you would in your lawn. They laugh at standard and less toxic treatments like diatomaceous earth and standard ant baits.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:32 AM
 
Location: South Central Texas
114,161 posts, read 54,018,911 times
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Ants appear to turn the soil in the bottom of pots into a fine silt. It pours out of drainage holes like dust. Replacing the lower soil in a pot isn't my favorite past time. My daughter bought some diatomaceous earth so I'll try some.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:39 PM
 
15,148 posts, read 19,676,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thila View Post
I am normally fighting fire ants ( I live in Houston) and share no love for the critter. They are my nemesis.

I'm in Houston too and have 35-40 potted plants on my patio. If the pots sit directly on the pavers, the ants will always build beds underneath and in them, no matter what products I use to kill/deter them. The only solution that works for me is to buy plant trolleys like the ones in the links below. They keep the ants (both fire and other kinds) from invading the pots.


Amazon.com: Esschert Design Plant Trolley - Cast Iron Round: Patio, Lawn & Garden

https://www.charlestongardens.com/pr...of-Two%29/3252
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
39,411 posts, read 47,485,369 times
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J&Em is correct. I've used AMDRO and it works 100%.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Florida
2,291 posts, read 4,929,084 times
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You can pour bleach on the fire ant hills, will do the trick. I use vinegar on my orchid (roots) baskets to get rid of the ants, 4 to 1 ratio, water to vinegar.
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