Keeping Ants Off Your Vegetable Plants

By: David Wall

Sometimes it seems like gardens were invented just to give ants a home
base! Ants in large numbers can eat vegetable limbs, leaves, flowers and
fruit. Further, they can play havoc on newly transplanted seedlings as
well as feeding on your vegetable plant roots. On top of this, large ant
colonies can drain all of the underground moisture as well.

Yes, insecticides are available, but they can make matters worse by
killing beneficial insects, being hazardous to your pets, and possibly
contaminating the vegetables you’re trying to protect. So, what’s to be

Fortunately, there are three simple and easy ways to establish a “no
ant” zone, both for the ants you can see as well as the underground
colonies you can’t see. In a small garden, sprinkling cinnamon on the
ground around your plants works well, as ants don’t like its texture or
smell. For larger gardens, you can buy cinnamon in larger containers. If
ants are well established, rake the cinnamon directly into the soil to
prevent new tunnels. For a mound, drop a few tablespoons fright down the
main entrance.

Speaking of ant mounds, a quick and easy way to knock them on their
heels is to pour boiling water slowly into the mound entrance. Water
works very well, because it will follow the underground channels. A
tablespoon of liquid dish soap will increase the effectiveness of the

Baking soda and powdered sugar mixed together make a very effective
treatment. Baking soda is deadly to ants when eaten, but they won’t
touch it by itself. When mixed with powdered (not regular granular)
sugar, which ants love, they can’t distinguish between the two
components and will consume the mixture. Widespread use isn’t necessary.
Just sprinkle the mixture around the mound. Ants will take it inside the

black ant

Author: Matt Janson

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