Ant Problem!

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Ant Problem!

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed May 26, 2010 1:40 am

I have an ant problem this year. I moved a large Fukien Tea to the benches after a week on the covered porch (two days ago) and today it was covered with hundreds of small black ants. I have not noticed scale on this tree this Winter. But, noticed a few on some branches plus some sooty mold today. Mad I worked hard last year getting rid of scale (systemic during the repot and alcohol with Q-tips); apparently not hard enough. Last night, I noticed many ants on some candles of my weeping red pine; it really looked like they were eating the candle. They were "lodged" in the new needle fascicles One candle just "mushed" off. Perhaps they are farming other critters. Last year I had a few pine tip moth larva, but removed them as soon as I saw them and put on a systemic application and sprayed with insecticidal soap which included them on the label.
I have noticed many more ants this year in the yard. We have lived here for five years. Perhaps the rain has something to do with it...
I have dealt with farming ants on birch and some fruit trees. Usually, some D E Diatomacious Earth takes care of them. But this year is something else Rolling Eyes

Does anyone have any suggestions for sprays or other treatments. I was wondering what other precautions I should consider. Any help would be a BIG HELP! Thank you. Regards, Todd .
Zone 7

Todd Ellis
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Re: Ant Problem!

Post  JimLewis on Wed May 26, 2010 2:28 am

You better check the candles for aphids.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Ant Problem!

Post  NeilDellinger on Fri May 28, 2010 3:58 am

Go to ebay and search for advion....this is about the best spent $15.00 you will see. Great for killing the colony/quenns of ants.

Get some systemic (acephate) and hit the aphids or other little SOB's sucking on the sap.

After a huge aphid and ant problem last year I have altered my fertilizing regimen and gone toward a lighter feed on the nitrogen. I also released abour 5,000 baby praying mantis. So far...no aphids...ants are under control with the advion gel.

Neil

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Re: Ant Problem!

Post  JimLewis on Fri May 28, 2010 12:47 pm

Yeah, but once the aphids are gone, so are the mantids; waste of money IMHO, when a soap spray works just as well.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Ant Problem!

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat May 29, 2010 12:52 am

NeilDellinger wrote:Go to ebay and search for advion....this is about the best spent $15.00 you will see. Great for killing the colony/quenns of ants.

Get some systemic (acephate) and hit the aphids or other little SOB's sucking on the sap.

After a huge aphid and ant problem last year I have altered my fertilizing regimen and gone toward a lighter feed on the nitrogen. I also released abour 5,000 baby praying mantis. So far...no aphids...ants are under control with the advion gel.

Neil

I like praying mantis and keep the egg sacs around when I find them. They hatch every year and help with the bugs. I have also bought lady bugs a couple of times. I spray with insecticidal soaps as well. I guess this is an "integrated pest management" approach. I will look into the advion gel. thank you for your help. Regards, Todd

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Re: Ant Problem!

Post  NeilDellinger on Sat May 29, 2010 3:53 am

You won't be disappointed with the advion gel for the ants.

I don't know Jim. The voracious little guys are all over the place and getting bigger while no aphids can be found. Anyway, they are 5 bucks for an egg case...about the same cost as a big bottle of dish soap... and fun for my 7 yr old to hatch and watch them grow.

Good luck Todd.

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Re: Ant Problem!

Post  Pola on Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:14 pm

So...soapy water is good against aphids? Could someone explain please? scratch

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Re: Ant Problem!

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:39 pm

The mantises stay around as long as there's food to eat. If yours stick around, you should look for what they're eating.

A recipe for a home-made soap spray: 3 tablespoons of NON-detergent soap per gallon of water. Some people add a teaspoon of alcohol. Others add a tablespoon or vegetable oil. I'd recommend against both. That increases the liklihood that a plant will be sensitive to it.

DO NOT USE ON TRIDENT MAPLES and with great care on other maples. Some other plants are sensitive to soap sprays, too. Test it on an out-of-the-way buch of leaves.

There are commercial soap sprays on the market, too.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Ant Problem!

Post  Pola on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:22 pm

You learn something new everyday! Very Happy Thanks!! ThumbsUp

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discovered the problem:)

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:22 am

After inspecting the tree closely and surfing the web, and reading y'all's comments, I discovered that my Red Pine was being eaten by "Nantucket Pine Tip Moth" larvae. So, I treated with a horticultural oil, and neem oil. The ants seem to be minimal now. I read that ants will hunt the larvae. I will treat again in two weeks, and then two weeks after that. The readings indicate that this moth rarely bothers white pines Smile. I'm hoping for the tree to bud back, where the larvae ate the new growth.
...and to think that I accused the antsof eating my tree; they were actually helping get rid of the larvae! Rolling Eyes

Salut,
Todd

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Re: Ant Problem!

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