Tips from Olle Garden Bed: How To Get Rid Of The Red Ants In The Garden
When you see ant colonies in the yard or garden, you usually don't think about them.These small animals help remove organic waste, help keep the soil aerated, and even kill some pests.Of course, they are not always heroes. As time goes by, finding little red people may cause a big problem. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
What is a red ant?
There is a common misconception that red ants mean there are fire ants on your garden bed.
Thankfully, American red girls are usually less dangerous.
Pogonomyrmex barbatus lives throughout the southwestern states and collects seeds
To a large extent, they are a beneficial species, but they have won the position of pests among many gardeners.
At the same time, leaf cutting ants are more prominent, usually red, and have a certain presence throughout the southern United States (more than 11 species are known in Texas alone).
They harvested leaves and fungi to support the colony.
Many black ant species (including some reapers) have domesticated aphids and other nectar producing insects, such as cattle, leaf cutting ants, domesticated fungi, and even a bacterium, which can help them avoid food poisonous to fungi.
Although leaf cutters are to a large extent a beneficial species, they may be a nightmare when they decide to turn your garden into a supermarket.
It should be pointed out that the term "red ant" is sometimes misleading. Red ant species can range in color from bright orange red to brown, and there is more than one color on their bodies.
What harm can red ants cause?
The leaf cutting ants cut off the leaves with scissors like mandibles and take them home neatly.
They are known for their strength and can carry several times their weight (imagine carrying your car).
Unfortunately, they tend to build huge colonies ranging from 260 feet to 6400 square feet, which means that fungus farms need more food and are more difficult to get rid of colonies.
If you plant plants on which fungi depend, the situation will get worse.
Atta is the most notorious, because they can destroy roads and farmland due to the size of the colony.
What's worse, they can quickly defoliate crops and completely peel off a citrus tree in just 24 hours.
At the same time, red harvest ants are very useful in gardens.
They help aerate the soil and remove dead or decaying substances.
However, all harvest ants also have a sting full of powerful venom, which will make them pests when you weed.
If threatened, the ant will bite down and quickly stab the attacker.
The harvester ant venom can be very painful, causing 4-8 hours of severe pain and sweating around the wound.
Although they are popular among pets, the risk of being stung outside and the large mounds they produce are two reasons why they are listed as potential pests.
How to control the red ants in the garden?
Before you get rid of ants, it may be important to identify the species you are dealing with.
This may be a painful (sometimes literal) task, but it is also necessary because some species are known to be important food sources for endangered species, such as the threatened Texas horned lizard (Phrynosomacornutum), which relies on red harvest ants to account for 70% of its diet.
Once you have identified the species, you can prevent the colonization of certain species by frequent farming or mowing.
Before purchasing pesticides that may harm beneficial species, please consider some effective methods, namely diatomite, neem cake and neem soil soaking.
Food grade diatomite, abbreviated as DE, is a powder made from crushed microscopic diatom fossils.
When insects or other small animals climb over them, sharp surfaces will pass through the protective wax coating of pests and enter the exoskeleton, causing them to lose body water and die of dehydration.
DE is also very easy to use.
Use food grade DE to remove dust on the ground around plants every few days and after rain (the rain will make DE useless).
Azadirachta cake is another good choice, which can also be used as fertilizer.
These cakes are the solid left after the extraction of neem oil, containing trace neem, which can kill ants without harming earthworms.
Finally, soaking each gallon of emulsified water (2 teaspoons of Dawn or Castile soap mixed) in neem soil made from 1 tablespoon of 100% cold pressed raw neem oil will do wonders.
For most plants, pour 2 to 4 cups around the root, and more for larger plants.
Azardchtin in Azadirachta indica will become an endotoxic insecticide, killing any insects that bite or pierce plants, and it is non-toxic to humans.