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Post  rschack on 5/15/2012, 10:54 am

There are ants in my garden affraid . When I first saw them it was just a little patch and I just dug them out and threw them over the side of the bed, but today I found another patch of them.

What are the dangers of ants in my garden? How do I get rid of them?

Some of the outer leaves of my lettuce had small holes in them (not really that bad). Is this from the ants or something else?
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Post  dgram41 on 5/15/2012, 11:19 am

are they fire ants?
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Post  rschack on 5/15/2012, 11:57 am

No, they are just normal small black ants.
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Post  cheyannarach on 5/15/2012, 3:12 pm

Ants can house aphids that will do some damage to your garden but I don't think the little black ants themselves will actually do any damage. Could be aphids?
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Post  rschack on 5/15/2012, 4:21 pm

I have only seen the little black ants, I don't think there are any aphids. What do you mean by "ants can house aphids"?

Thanks for the help thanks
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Post  littlesapphire on 5/15/2012, 4:25 pm

I've heard that ants "herd" aphids because the aphids give off a sweet liquid the ants like. I've never actually seen it happen though. If you don't actually see aphids in your garden, that's probably not happening. Make sure to check under your lettuce leaves. Ants are pretty harmless in the garden as far as I can tell, UNLESS you have strawberries. Ants attack my strawberries every year Sad

Now, as for your chewed on lettuce, I'm going to bet it's either slugs or some sort of caterpillar. Try checking them early in the morning or in the evening sometime. Shine a flashlight on them and see if you spot any critters on them. If it's just a couple of small holes, I wouldn't worry about it Smile Real garden produce will never be perfect.
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Post  cheyannarach on 5/15/2012, 4:26 pm

Basically the aphids live with the ants and the ants take care of them. Heres a link!

http://insects.about.com/od/coolandunusualinsects/f/antsandaphids.htm
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Post  cheyannarach on 5/15/2012, 4:29 pm

If it is slugs you can put a board down in your bed where they will go for cover in the heat then lift up the board and pick them out or do the cup of beer, grape juice in your beds! I hate slugs.
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Post  jeffhbell on 5/15/2012, 4:51 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:I've heard that ants "herd" aphids because the aphids give off a sweet liquid the ants like. I've never actually seen it happen though. If you don't actually see aphids in your garden, that's probably not happening. Make sure to check under your lettuce leaves. Ants are pretty harmless in the garden as far as I can tell, UNLESS you have strawberries. Ants attack my strawberries every year Sad

Now, as for your chewed on lettuce, I'm going to bet it's either slugs or some sort of caterpillar. Try checking them early in the morning or in the evening sometime. Shine a flashlight on them and see if you spot any critters on them. If it's just a couple of small holes, I wouldn't worry about it Smile Real garden produce will never be perfect.

Slugs can be captured and killed with simple old remedy. Beer in a shallow dish. They are attracted and drown.
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Post  littlesapphire on 5/15/2012, 4:52 pm

All I've ever gotten by using the beer trick are drunk slugs Laughing
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Post  cheyannarach on 5/15/2012, 6:36 pm

Ants! 641297
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Post  jkahn2eb on 5/15/2012, 8:09 pm

I hear ants and not other insects are responsible for pollinating cucumbers and other ground-level flowers
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Post  rschack on 5/15/2012, 10:30 pm

@littlesapphire wrote:I've heard that ants "herd" aphids because the aphids give off a sweet liquid the ants like. I've never actually seen it happen though. If you don't actually see aphids in your garden, that's probably not happening. Make sure to check under your lettuce leaves. Ants are pretty harmless in the garden as far as I can tell, UNLESS you have strawberries. Ants attack my strawberries every year Sad

Now, as for your chewed on lettuce, I'm going to bet it's either slugs or some sort of caterpillar. Try checking them early in the morning or in the evening sometime. Shine a flashlight on them and see if you spot any critters on them. If it's just a couple of small holes, I wouldn't worry about it Smile Real garden produce will never be perfect.

Thanks. The holes in the lettuce are not bad at all, but I will go check on them sometime to see if there are slugs.
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Post  rschack on 5/15/2012, 10:31 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:Basically the aphids live with the ants and the ants take care of them. Heres a link!

http://insects.about.com/od/coolandunusualinsects/f/antsandaphids.htm

Really interesting. Never herd about this before. Great help Smile
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Post  rschack on 5/15/2012, 10:35 pm

If I find that it is in fact slugs eating my lettuce then I am going to use one, if not more than one, of these methods. Thanks for all the tips.
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Post  givvmistamps on 5/16/2012, 2:06 am

@jkahn2eb wrote:I hear ants and not other insects are responsible for pollinating cucumbers and other ground-level flowers

That's interesting; I'd never heard this before! However, my golden crookneck squash and my cucumbers have just begun blooming, and I noticed that my ever-present, can't-get-rid-of-them-to-save-my-life Ants! 828840 ants are very busy going in & out of the squash flowers, so maybe there's something to this.
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Post  jeffhbell on 5/16/2012, 11:16 am

As for the slug beer trap, see https://youtu.be/lHmIj-s19M0.

Many years ago, a friend asked me about slugs and Japanese beetles in his garden. I suggested using Sapporo (good Japanese beer) to capture the beetles as that is what they were home sick for. Had a good laugh.

And a quick google search for ants pollinating cucumbers yielded this page of results. https://www.google.com/search?aq=t&oe=utf-8&safe=active&q=ants+pollinating+cucumbers&client=firefox-a&ie=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial

I am learning more and more each day I visit this forum.
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Post  darci.strutt on 5/30/2012, 10:49 pm

I have LOTS of ants in my new garden. It kind of weirds me out since I didn't have near this many in my old garden. I'm hoping they don't do damage, but goodness...they REALLY seem to enjoy Mel's Mix! If there was a market for ants I could sell enough to retire!
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