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Old 05-23-2010, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Lynbrook
517 posts, read 2,304,307 times
Reputation: 319

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I was just putting some chicken wire fencing around my cedar planting bed (to stop the squirrels who've been digging!) when I discovered two colonies of ants: small black ones carrying little white bundles inside the bed AND red ones with similar type white bundles outside the bed.

How can I tell if they are carpenter ants, fire ants, or something else? How much of a garden pest are these kinds of ants? I wound up spraying them with some insecticidal soap spray (I was spraying the plants anyway and I got nervous and trigger happy with the sprayer when I saw them).

Any ideas? I'll try to get some photos to help with identification.

K
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:52 PM
 
4,135 posts, read 9,578,929 times
Reputation: 2689
Carpenter ants are bigger. It sound like what we call sugar ants ( the black ones). Red ones will eat fruit in trees - I have been picking apples and bitten. I am in NY state... we have yet to get fire ants, but we do get carpenter ants.
In any case, they can get in a house. they are annoying.We spray around the foundation before they come out. It is one concession I make to pesticides. I think it is worth it. The "little ****e things" you saw are ant eggs.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:53 PM
 
Location: oregon
896 posts, read 2,599,517 times
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Oh those pesky little sugar ants.
Here is the cure all our master gardeners info desk tell people to mix up and use inside and out..
My neighbor swears by it.
3 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
4 tsps of boric acid
mix it up and put out in small lids, butter dish ect and they love it...
Good luck
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
23,061 posts, read 24,963,197 times
Reputation: 50681
Quote:
3 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
4 tsps of boric acid
If you don't want to make this yourself, Terra is a commercial brand that's basically the same thing.

I came outside this morning to find ants swarming on a few of the buds on one of my knockout rose bushes. That means aphids, right?
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Lynbrook
517 posts, read 2,304,307 times
Reputation: 319
Thanks! I was more worried about the red than the black in terms of biting, but aphids wouldn't be fun either.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:39 PM
 
9,364 posts, read 11,223,028 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenBo View Post
Thanks! I was more worried about the red than the black in terms of biting, but aphids wouldn't be fun either.
Ladybugs!
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:49 AM
 
8,265 posts, read 10,889,221 times
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Amdro.

Sprinkle it down, watch the workers happily grab the little flakes and head home to feed the rest of the gang. The next day, no ants.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:58 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,232,240 times
Reputation: 3987
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamh View Post
Oh those pesky little sugar ants.
Here is the cure all our master gardeners info desk tell people to mix up and use inside and out..
My neighbor swears by it.
3 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
4 tsps of boric acid
mix it up and put out in small lids, butter dish ect and they love it...
Good luck
Sounds like you added boric acid to my hummer sugar water. Actually sugar water is not the hummers' food source, it is their energy source, they eat mosquitos, gnats, aphids...little pesky bugs. Oh yeah, NEVER use honey for hummers.
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Old 05-30-2010, 08:44 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
433 posts, read 1,015,147 times
Reputation: 610
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetiebelle View Post
If you don't want to make this yourself, Terra is a commercial brand that's basically the same thing.

I came outside this morning to find ants swarming on a few of the buds on one of my knockout rose bushes. That means aphids, right?

Probably so because ants will milk an aphid to get honeydew just like we milk cows to get milk. They will protect the aphids from attackers so it is beneficial to both ant and aphid.
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Old 05-30-2010, 02:51 PM
 
2,318 posts, read 1,589,260 times
Reputation: 540
Usually there are more than one ant mound around , take a shovel of one and dump it on the other do the same to both , they will kill each other or move . We also keep desturbing them until they move .

Sugar and borax works good too . We don't use and have never used pesticides and have always controlled them fine with alternative treatments .
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