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Post  Bobbi on 7/25/2019, 9:00 am

I read a previous topic on SFG Forum regarding ants on cucumber plants from 2010 but the question I have is at what point do ants on the plant become an "infestation?"  I have lots of blossoms and tons of ants that like these blossoms but the cucumbers are not coming in as well as they have in previous years.  Does anyone know if Bonide Insecticidal Soap would be okay to spray on the plants?
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Post  OhioGardener on 7/25/2019, 9:16 am

@Bobbi wrote:I read a previous topic on SFG Forum regarding ants on cucumber plants from 2010 but the question I have is at what point do ants on the plant become an "infestation?"  I have lots of blossoms and tons of ants that like these blossoms but the cucumbers are not coming in as well as they have in previous years.  Does anyone know if Bonide Insecticidal Soap would be okay to spray on the plants?

The insecticidal soap would be fine as long as you do not get it on the blooms.  The best control for ants, though, is to control them in/on the ground and not on the plants. Mix equal amounts of Borax and confection sugar with a very small amount of water to make at paste and put dabs of that on plastic on the ground around the plants (caps from plastic water bottles works well for holding the paste). The ants will take that bait back to their nest and eliminate it.
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Post  Bobbi on 7/26/2019, 11:29 am

Thanks for your reply, OhioGardener.  I tried a similar mix with borax last year and some took the bait but I feel like I have such a large infestation in my boxes that the ants are winning this battle.  However, I will try your suggestion as it may be more effective.
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Post  sanderson on 8/1/2019, 3:58 am

I have dusted talc powder on the pathways with mostly good results.

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Post  mollyhespra on 8/6/2019, 10:11 pm

I've always considered ants to be a helpful warning sign. So far, wherever they've shown an interest in a plant it's because the plant had aphids.   Did you look closely just in case?
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/7/2019, 8:01 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:I've always considered ants to be a helpful warning sign. So far, wherever they've shown an interest in a plant it's because the plant had aphids.   Did you look closely just in case?
Agree.  My ants are always farming aphids for their nectar.  Happens on my milkweed plants.  Lots and lots of them!
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Post  Bobbi on 8/7/2019, 9:09 pm

I have put down the mixture of borax and confectioners sugar and the ants took to it immediately.  However, I have so many all over the soil in my boxes to the point the ground almost looks like it is moving.  I just feel like I have lost this battle and there are no aphids in sight. I just pulled out my cucumber plants as they were not producing and were taken over by small ants which were eventually joined by larger black ants. From that box they moved on to my beautiful yellow squash and are all over it. I am hoping the borax solution will at least distract them long enough to allow my squash plants to stay healthy and let the fruits grow. I've had this problem for at least three years and each year it gets worse. Thanks to all for your suggestions.
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