This is more of a whinge than a cry for help, but has anyone else had problems with ants in their raised garden beds?  The books all say they are harmless, and help aerate the soil.. yadda yadda, but obviously whoever writes those books has not watched ants take off with newly planted seeds / worms / seeds which have actually sprouted (I kid you not)  or been bitten by green ants when digging up potatoes.  And I don't mean just one or two, I mean huge nests of them, eggs and all.  I've resorted to pyrethrum as the little [expletives] just move to a different spot if I try to get rid of them kindly.  grrrrrr

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  • Hi Jo, I still wage war occasionally on the green ant nests, but ants are not so much a problem for me anymore (that post was from 2010). You don't want to get me started on Fruit Flies though! Grrrrr.
    • Hi again Tracy, I realised that it was old as soon as I pressed the send button! I had been looking around casually for comments about any problems as I would prefer not use anything too awful (and expensive!) if I can help it. Re fruit flies I was wondering if the new bird safe nets may help? I don't have anything at the moment that is really subject to attack but I have some figs on the way! My tomatoes are covered by the fine bird nets to keep the possums out so I'll see if they work for those pesky flies too. Jo
  • Hi Tracy, and Elaine,
    I have bit of an ant population problem around my orchard and my wicking gardens as well. And I too have had more than my fair share of bullant bites of late. I tried borax and sugar but I'm suspicious that they are the protein kind. A colleague recently told me to try peanut butter and borax mixed into a paste instead. I haven't tried this yet because I was a bit worried about possums being poisoned. I am thinking that A sturdy container taped up with some holes might do the trick though.
    • Sounds like a practical solution Jo. Give it a whirl, nothing to lose.

  • QUESTION: what will happen to the ants that are already up the tree, if i put a layer of Vaseline on the trunk???? will they drop off and die or will they make a nest up there somewhere lol??
    • They can't make a nest without a queen and I very much doubt she is up in the tree, she is too busy laying eggs in the nest :) Probably drop off or die...
    • I reckon that would just stop them getting down. Can you hose them off first, then put a layer of vaseline to stop them climbing back up? The vaseline just acts a deterrent because their little anty feet can't walk over it, so once it washes away you have to re-apply.
  • Thanks everyone! We should make a borax-aspartame-peppermint-vaseline mixture and sell it! I don't have an anteater, but lots of happy and fat skinks and geckos. ;)

    To rub salt into the wound, this morning there was a whole swarm of a little black ants eating away the pistil (gotta love Wikipedia) of my one and only female zucchini flower. That, my little ant friends, was the final straw. War is on, kettle boiled, so WATCH OUT.
    • Im going to have to do this to my orange tree. (so a layer of Vaseline around the trunk might do it?)
      Why do ants go up trees and plants???
      • I think the answer is food - anything containing sugars is probably fair game, including sap I think. They also need moisture, so it could be for trapped water? Maybe they're the vindictive type and it's simply revenge, for that time you stood on one of their comrades :)
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