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Little black dots under sunflower leaves?

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Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Empty Little black dots under sunflower leaves?

Post  middlemamma on 7/30/2010, 11:08 pm

And the ants are insane under there. Any ideas on what the black stuff might be and why the ants are loving it?

Im clueless.


We have treated all the bark around our boxes with ant be gone stuff and it hasnt made a dent in them. I have done DE on my plants and didnt notice a difference.

I have pretty much handed all my strawberries to the ants because I dont know what else to do. The ants are eating them off the plants before they are even ripe.

Ants appear to be my only pest problem.

Jennie
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Post  camprn on 7/30/2010, 11:52 pm

I'm not sure about the spots but if you know where the ant nest is may I suggest dousing it with boiling water. That may work.
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Post  middlemamma on 7/31/2010, 12:50 am

Do all ants make a hill? We found two hills...and mowed them both down and poured enourmous amounts of ant killer on them. One hill was rebuilt and we did it again, it has no movement now. Seriously this was THE LARGEST ant hill I have ever seen in my life. It came up past my knees.

We have some trees on the property and some of them are just covered in ants. How far from their nest will they travel? I ask this because I have 3 kinds of ants. I have huge black carpenter ants. Since we did the granules in the grass at summer beginning we havent seen too many of those. Then we have black ants but bigger than a sugar ant, and they have a little brownish red near the head, this is what in in my garden. Then we also have a larger ant, smaller than carpenter but bigger than small black ant and these are WEIRD. They have a black head, and middle, but the rearend is brown with stripes of black on it, and they are longer and skinnier than what a normal ant looks like.

The granules in the grass seemed to take care of all but the ones in my garden. Is it possible they ahve made a nest somewhere in my squares and I dont see it?

They steer clear of my tomato plants, havent seen them on my beans, cukes, or zukes, but man my strawberries and sunflowers are just invaded. and my sunflowers have not opened up yet.

I would definetly try the boiling water...if I had a clue where to look for a nest or what to look for besides a hill.

Jennie
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Post  SFG in Chicago on 8/2/2010, 1:06 am

Are you sure you don't have aphids? They secrete a sticky substance (honeydew) that ants love. The honeydew can get moldy which could cause the black spots you're seeing.
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Post  middlemamma on 8/2/2010, 1:25 am

Im not too sure of anything. Smile But I don't see many aphids. Maybe 1 a week or so.

I guess time will tell. I am trying to treat the ant issue and go from there. Here's hoping! Smile
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Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Empty Ants eating strawberries

Post  junequilt on 8/2/2010, 5:56 pm

Here's some info on the strawberry-eating ant issue: http://www.ehow.com/how_4836339_rid-of-ants-eating-strawberries.html
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Post  jenjehle on 8/2/2010, 11:46 pm

@middlemamma wrote:And the ants are insane under there. Any ideas on what the black stuff might be and why the ants are loving it?

We have treated all the bark around our boxes with ant be gone stuff and it hasnt made a dent in them. I have done DE on my plants and didnt notice a difference.

Ants appear to be my only pest problem.

Jennie

OMG... I am so glad you started this thread! I have noticed the same, exact thing! These black spots and little "herds" or "gatherings" of ants. It's like an ANT PARTY on the under side of the sunflower leaves! I put DE on my sunflowers and the area, but how in the world do you get DE on the under side of the leaves?? Didn't notice any change in the ant activity either after the DE.

Looking forward to hearing more replies!

Thanks again!!
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Post  Chopper on 8/3/2010, 12:08 am

Sounds aphidy to me, too. The black spots could be mold from the nectar the ants herd the aphids for. But that is a guess.
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Post  jenjehle on 8/3/2010, 12:24 am

@Chopper wrote:Sounds aphidy to me, too. The black spots could be mold from the nectar the ants herd the aphids for. But that is a guess.

Ok, lets say it is aphids... never had them that I know of. What do we do to get rid of the ants hanging out UNDER the leaves?

T/U! (oh... sorry, stands for "Thank U") Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Icon_lol Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Icon_lol Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Icon_lol Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Icon_lol
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Post  Chopper on 8/3/2010, 2:01 am

Spray the little suckers with a very strong stream of water. More than once if needed. They should give up soonest. Alternately, people spray with insecticidal soap or a homemade dilute soap spray (I don't have any recipes - would google it if I needed one - or just fake it.)
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Post  outsideasy on 8/3/2010, 3:26 am

Could it be black aphid, I had them so bad on my corn I just pulled my corn up to keep them from spreading.
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Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Empty LITTE BLACK DOTS

Post  graficow on 8/3/2010, 7:06 am

I have large black ants under the leaves of my eggplants - they dont seem to
be eating anything tho - could they be eating some kind of tiny bug that might be
there? Ive tried to spray them away with the pressure of the hose water but
they hold on tight.
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Post  junequilt on 8/3/2010, 11:06 am

If you have ants hanging out under eggplant leaves, they are farming aphids. You may not be able to see the aphids with the naked eye, but they are there -- trust me on this. If soap spray didn't get rid of the aphids, you may not have gotten the spray ON the aphids. You might want to try dusting the plants with diatomaceous earth. I was able to get some at Lowe's this past weekend for a flea beetle infestation, so it's readily available. Aphids are soft-bodied and easily killed by the microscopic sharp edges of diatomaceous earth, and unlike soap spray, it remains effective until rain washes it away. Once the aphids leave, so will the ants.
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Post  jenjehle on 8/3/2010, 11:09 am

@junequilt wrote:If you have ants hanging out under eggplant leaves, they are farming aphids. You may not be able to see the aphids with the naked eye, but they are there -- trust me on this. If soap spray didn't get rid of the aphids, you may not have gotten the spray ON the aphids. You might want to try dusting the plants with diatomaceous earth. I was able to get some at Lowe's this past weekend for a flea beetle infestation, so it's readily available. Aphids are soft-bodied and easily killed by the microscopic sharp edges of diatomaceous earth, and unlike soap spray, it remains effective until rain washes it away. Once the aphids leave, so will the ants.

But the problem for me is.... how do you get the DE on the underside of a leaf? Dusting from the top only gets it on the top... obviously. How do you coat the underside?

Thanks!
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Post  junequilt on 8/3/2010, 1:37 pm

Got any old, unmatched socks? Put some of the DE in the sock and swing it around under the leaves. Hit the sock with your fist if you need to. The dust will get there! Make sure to wear a bandana or dust mask.

Another method is to put some DE on a plate, hold the plate under the leaves, and blow on it through a tube. I've used a straw and a piece of PVC. You just have to be careful not to breathe in through whatever you use. Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Icon_tongue
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Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Empty THANK YOU for all the replies...

Post  middlemamma on 8/4/2010, 12:06 am

I am trying various methods and will report which I had luck with. If the ants are farming aphids then I'm going to get rid of ants and have aphids LOL.

Smile It's a learning curve...hang on tight!

Jennie
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Post  jenjehle on 8/4/2010, 10:15 am

I sprayed top and bottom of leaves last evening with Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap. We'll give it a few days and see what happens!

Thanks to all who have chimed in with advice!

Oh, btw, I tried the sock method to get DE on the underside of the leaves. That didn't go so well for me. May try it again later.
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Post  Chopper on 8/4/2010, 12:33 pm

@jenjehle wrote:I sprayed top and bottom of leaves last evening with Garden Safe Insecticidal Soap. We'll give it a few days and see what happens!

Thanks to all who have chimed in with advice!

Oh, btw, I tried the sock method to get DE on the underside of the leaves. That didn't go so well for me. May try it again later.

If you have a smallish plastic bottle - like a hair color applicator,with a small opening, try that. Just give it a good squirt. Otherwise, think like an engineer. You have powder you want to distribute under leaves. What would be the most efficient method to do so?
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Post  Shoda on 8/4/2010, 4:34 pm

I had a problem with ants earlier in the year. I put one outside ant trap in each of my boxes (where a trail was) and sprayed a few times with insecticide soap. The problem has almost entirely gone away (I am very happy to say).
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Post  junequilt on 8/4/2010, 6:19 pm

Are we talking explosives, LOL?
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Post  jenjehle on 8/4/2010, 7:34 pm

@junequilt wrote:Are we talking explosives, LOL?

hey, now that's an idea that might actually work! Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Icon_lol Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Icon_lol Little black dots under sunflower leaves? Icon_lol
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