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If you have put in the time and effort to grow for yourself a beautiful vegetable garden, you won’t stand pests around it. You’ll take every step to have the ants gone, and understandably so. Here, you’ll learn all about how to get rid of ants in vegetable garden. By getting rid of these pesky creatures, you’ll make sure you have a bigger yield and in better quality when it’s time for harvest.
Why are ants harmful to your vegetable garden?
Ants aren’t always a nuisance. They are, in fact, beneficial for your garden as long as there’s a controlled population. They aerate the soil for the roots of the plants to achieve nutrients and water at faster rates and speed up the decomposition of other living things. This helps in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. They also act as natural pollinators and help improve your harvest.
However, if their population goes out of hand, that’s when they turn into a problem. Here are some reasons why ants are harmful to your vegetable garden:
- Everyone knows that ants have a sweet tooth. Out in the wild, they rely on the honeydew that comes from pests such as aphids. These pests feed on your plants and secrete this sticky liquid, called honeydew, which is food for the ants.
Ants are known to protect such pests and guide them to “better” plants in your vegetable garden. They take every measure to keep them safe and healthy to produce more food. Although the ants are only effecting the crop indirectly, the outcome can be disastrous to your vegetable garden.
- Ants can sting, and the bruise that results can hurt you for days. Some varieties are poisonous too. If your vegetable garden is flooded with ants, you can imagine how difficult it’s going to be to harvest the crop.
Getting rid of the ants in your vegetable garden
So now that we are aware that the outcomes with garden swarming with ants aren’t pretty, we need to do something about it. You’ll learn how to get rid of ants in vegetable garden using several ways. Try out whatever suits you best and also produces effective results.
Here are the two categories of solutions:
Natural ways to get rid of ants
Before resorting to aggressive measures, it’s better to try out some natural remedies to drive the ants away. The added benefit is that you’ll find much of the equipment will already be available at home. Here are some tips on how to keep ants out of garden:
Exterminate their home:
The first thing you should try is to exterminate the source. Locate their nests and spill boiling water on each one. If you don’t kill all the ants in one go, you may have to repeat the process multiple times until they are all gone.
Cinnamon and cayenne pepper:
Just sprinkle a little cinnamon powder or cayenne pepper around your crop. Doing so will help keep away the ants but won’t kill them. It’s not, however, a permanent solution to the problem.
You can include insect repellant plants in your field among the vegetable crops. These include certain varieties of marigold, catnip, petunias, garlic. All such plants that give off a strong smell are repellant to ants and other insects that may harm your crop.
Dishwashing liquid and oil
A mixture of dishwashing liquid and oil can be fatal to the ants. Make a mixture of a little dishwashing liquid, some oil, and water in a sprayer bottle. Spray it onto the ants. Also, spray a decent amount directly into the nests to kill all those that are hiding inside.
This method makes use of their biggest weakness. Borax acid, found in soaps and toothpaste, is fatal to ants. But how do we get them to take it? You might already have guessed; mix it with some sugar or honey and pour it around the nests. Surely, they’ll fall into the trap. Not only will they consume it themselves but also take a portion of the treat back to their queen.
Chemical ways to get rid of the ants
If the natural remedies fail to work, you’ll have to try some professional ways to get rid of ants in vegetable garden. Here are some alternatives you can try:
Ant killing gel
These gels are available in almost every store that sells gardening accessories. It’s a sweet-tasting gel that is poisonous to ants. You have to pour some around the nests in the same way as borax. Don’t worry; the gel is only toxic to the ants; your vegetable crop will stay unharmed.
Professional pest control
If it seems that no other method is working, you will be left with no other choice but to seek professional help. Call a pest control agency to send someone over and fix the problem once and for all.
These were some tips on how to get rid of ants in vegetable garden. Ants can be downright annoying at times, but if you set your mind to it, it’s not that hard to win a battle against these little creatures. True, they are intelligent and hardworking, but they cannot outsmart us!
There are so many tricks you can try. One way or the other, it’s bound to work, and you’ll finally have an ant-free vegetable garden!