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Ants eating my sunflowers!

Discussion in 'Fruits & Vegetables' started by Anny, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Jun 26, 2008
    Anny

    Anny Chillin' with the herd

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    how do I keep the ants from chomping away on my mammoth sunflowers? They don't have any flowers yet, but the poor leafs are all holey and sad looking from all these little black ants crawling all over them.

    (I would prefer to stick to organic methods)
  2. Jun 26, 2008
    OaklandCityFarmer

    OaklandCityFarmer Deeply Rooted

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    I would spray them off with a strong stream of water, then put some cornmeal, baby powder or DE at the base of the sunflower to keep them from coming back up.

    Be careful if you use DE since this can be harmful to beneficials.
  3. Jun 27, 2008
    Anny

    Anny Chillin' with the herd

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    Corn meal or baby powder?? what does this do to them??

    I know was DE does, but I've never heard of using the other two.

    thanks! I'll try to cornmeal since I have some in my closet.
  4. Jun 27, 2008
    OaklandCityFarmer

    OaklandCityFarmer Deeply Rooted

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    Someone on the forum said that they eat the cornmeal and it expands and they die, so they stay away from it. Baby powder makes them go away by covering up the scent of their pheromones so they eventually get lost.

    Vinegar also works but I wouldn't recommend it in the garden since it easily gets washed away and can do more harm than good, IMO.

    Cinnamon and Peppermint oil can also work or so I've heard. I think these have the same affect as baby powder.
  5. Jun 28, 2008
    Tutter

    Tutter Deeply Rooted

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    That's kind of like what we did as children to keep ants out of the house. We'd take plain white chalk, the kind you wrote on a blackboard with, and make a thick, heavy line at the door.

    I thought we had heard they wouldn't cross it, because I remember someone drawing a square of chalk around an ant to see if it would leave it, or not.

    As I recall, it became frantic, and eventually, though reluctantly, did go over it. But they never did come into the house. Yet my mother has had them in a couple of times since. I guess I should send her some chalk! :D

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