How to Get Rid of Ants in Raised Garden Beds

As a gardener, you may encounter a variety of garden pests, and ants are one of the pests you may see on raised garden beds. Well, their presence may seem bothersome to you, but you should know that their presence can have both positive and negative aspects in your garden. As other gardeners have said, they are both your friend and foe.

Control Garden Ants

There are several ways to control ants in your garden and prevent an ant infestation from getting worse. Here are some of the methods growers often use in vegetable gardens:

Get rid of juice sucking pests

Ants protect insects like aphids because of their honeydew. So, you have to get rid of similar insects to prevent the ants from coming back.

Using artificial sweeteners near ant nests

Claims that using artificial sweeteners is deadly to ants. This causes their senses to malfunction. Artificial sweeteners overstimulate the ants' brain cells and kill them.

Repel Ants with Spices

Sprinkle some cayenne or cinnamon around the raised garden bed. This probably won't hurt the ants, but it can help repel them. Draw a thick line around your vegetable garden bed. This will prevent workers from returning inside.

Use food grade diatomaceous earth

This type of diatomaceous earth is made from fossilized diatoms or crustaceans. This fine powder can dehydrate ants and other pests like cockroaches and slugs. It is safe to use around humans, pets and plants.

It may take several weeks for the diatomaceous earth to work and kill the ants. Make sure the area around the nest and the trail where you will be applying the diatomaceous earth is always dry to keep it effective.

Ant poison trap for making sugar and borax mixture

Mix borax or boric acid and sugar in a container and place it where you can see ant tracks or nests. This mixture will attract the ants, allowing the ants to bring the mixture to their colony and slowly control the ant's problem.

Boric acid and borax are natural compounds that are toxic to both animals and humans. Therefore, be very careful where you place the mixture. Keep it out of the reach of your pets and small children.

Pour boiling water on the anthill

This only works if you know the ant's nest. If you want to use this method, you should search for anthills around your home. Just pour boiling water on the ant hill to kill the ants.

Remember, ants usually build a nest that can withstand flooding and rain. This means that you may need a few attempts to completely kill the workers and queens and eliminate the colony completely.

Effective ways to get rid of ants

If the ant population is out of control, you need a more efficient way to get rid of ants in your garden. Here are other things you can try:

dig a nest

Follow where the ants are and dig as deep into the soil as you can until you can remove the queen.

Use beneficial nematodes

These tiny "worms" enter the ants' bodies and attack them from the inside. The "worms" shed bacteria in the digestive tract, killing the ants within 24 to 48 hours.

orange peel spray

You can buy an orange peel spray, or you can make yourself a DIY citrus spray. Citrus peels contain d-limonene, a natural extract that is harmless to the soil and the environment.

This immediately strips the waxy coating off the ants, causing them to suffocate to death. Since it's a food-grade solution, it's safe to use in your vegetable garden.

detergent spray

Put some dish soap and water in a spray bottle and mix. Spray liberally on affected plants. It can be used not only for vegetable garden beds, but also for plants in small containers. This kills the ants and their pheromone trail.

Just make sure to use the spray on a low temperature, as using it on a sunny day can burn plant leaves.

Disadvantages of Ants in the Garden

Seeing a few ants in the garden shouldn't worry you. However, if you find more than usual, you should consider controlling the infestation before it gets worse. Here are some reasons to take immediate action when you notice an increase in the number of ants in your garden:

Ants cause property damage and suffering

All the ants you might see in your garden may not be troublemakers, but sometimes their presence has more to do with your garden experience than it does on the garden bed itself where your vegetables are grown. There are two types of ants you should be aware of as they are considered real troublemakers.

One of the notorious species is the fire ant, which stings when provoked. Their venom can cause painful wounds that last for days. This means that if you see fire ants swarming your vegetable garden beds, harvesting is not going to be a good experience.

Unlike fire ants, wood ants do not sting, but they bite with their powerful jaws and spray with formic acid. This creates a burning sensation on the wound and is not a fun experience.

The most devastating problem with these ant species is their nesting habits. Carpenter ants are known to build their nests on wood and are not picky about the type of wood. Whether it's a rotting tree stump or the structure of your home, these attract these ants.

they increase the number of pests

Ants like sweet things. One of the main reasons for ants in the garden is a source of sweets, such as a bag of candy or a spilled soda.

In addition to these, other pests such as aphids, whiteflies, scales, mealybugs, and other sap-sucking insects may attract ants in your garden. These insects produce sugar in the form of honeydew or its viscous liquid secretions.

Interestingly, similar to the way humans raise cows for milk, ants do the same to aphids. They protect the aphids from other insect predators, so the ants can "milk" honeydew from these pests. Once they have harvested the honeydew, they will take it back to the nest and share it with the queen and other ants. Sometimes ants move aphids into the nest or move them to better plants.

Mutualism is the scientific term for this relationship. mentioned these things. It just means that if there is a current aphid problem, you may also want to look into the garden beds where vegetables are grown for possible ant infestations. This relationship will only lead to more pest problems that you need to be aware of.

Advantages of Garden Ants

The presence of ants may worry you, but these are considered beneficial along with other insects such as green lacewings and ladybugs. Some of the advantages of garden ants are as follows:

Ants help control pests

Ants in the garden are good for natural pest control. What they do is eat the eggs and larvae of the pests, or disturb them while feeding. This means that if you are currently having a pest problem, ants can help.

Ants are considered an effective biological control agent used by some growers in their integrated pest management strategies. As early as 300 AD, there were records of farmers using ants to control pests.

Ants help support healthy ecosystems

In traditional gardening, ants help with soil aeration. As they dig tunnels, these tunnels carry water, nutrients and oxygen to plant roots. They also speed up the decomposition of various organic materials, such as dead insects and leaves. So, fertilize the plants.

In addition to feeding on other pests, ants also serve as food for larger creatures such as birds, lizards, and frogs -- animals that also prevent pest problems.

Ants help improve pollination

Some gardeners have seen reduced yields of fruit crops. In addition to other insects, ants can also help increase pollination rates. These insects also act as unintentional pollinators as they travel from bed to bed in search of food.

While ants can also help your garden, their drawbacks would lead you to believe that their presence is not important to your garden.