The Not So Friendly Ants In Our Garden

We have ants all over our vegetable garden, and even though they bite sometimes, we have no problems with them at all . . . in dry weather, that is.

We’ve recently discovered that after a week of rainfall, they have become the not so friendly ants in our garden. When the ground became saturated with rain water, the ants began building their nests on our vegetable plants; and we were not thrilled at all.

Ants’ nests all along the stalks of our corn.
And an ants’ nest starting at the root of our bell pepper plant, and reaching all the way up to the top leaves.

However, after hosing down these plants a couple times, the ants got the message and moved their nests elsewhere.

I read that most types of ants are beneficial insects and should not to be considered as pests. In reality, these ants should be considered your partners and recognized as friends of your garden. A few of the many benefits of having most types of ants in your garden are:

  • They create a labyrinth of underground tunnels that allow air, moisture and nutrients to get to the roots of plants.
  • During their gathering of food, ants often pollinate flowers and distribute seeds.
  • They act as scavengers, collecting dead insects (and leaves) into their nests, which decay and fertilize the soil.
  • They act as predators and feed on insects that attack lawns and gardens. When ants attack herbivores and seed-eating insects, they cause them to fall off the plants, and also interrupt their feeding, egg laying, courtship, or molting.

 

Main sources:
1.  www.finegardening.com/article/ants-arent-your-enemy
2.  www.almanac.com/content/getting-antsy-ants-garden

 

 

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