The ants ate my okra !

so lucky

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I've never seen ants attack okra before, but then you Texans have some mean ants down there. Could you sprinkle some insecticide or DE on the ground around the plants to deter the ants?
 

Zeedman

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Ditto @so lucky 's comments. I always have ants on my okra, but other than annoying me when harvesting, they are not a problem. Being "aphid ranchers", black ants are present to some degree on most of my vegetables, and generally do no damage other than that caused by the aphids (which occasionally gets severe). When the aphids being carried are spreading disease, I bait the ant nest to kill the ants, then spray the aphids. Baiting the ants may be the solution to your problem also.

The degree of damage may depend upon the ant species, though. I had carpenter ants get into my corn one year, they really chewed up the emerging leaves. I've heard on other forums that fire ants can be destructive, and you've got them down there... but the description of "little black ants from HE!!" doesn't match their appearance.
 

flowerbug

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we don't see that kind of damage on plants here.

if you can come up with a goopy concoction that can be spread around the stem the ants can't then get up the stems to farm the aphids. hose the plants down to knock off the aphids first. make sure no leaves are touching the ground.

i'm not sure if something like neem oil would work to deter ants from climbing up the plants.
 

Clyounger6

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I tried the DE it didn’t work . @flowerbug what kind of hoppy concoction ? I’ll try anything. I originally thought aphids to but there aren’t any the ants just attack the okra and the flowers they have killed every single one !
 

Ridgerunner

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I'm starting to wonder if it is really ants and not some other bug. That just doesn't sound like any ants I'm familiar with. Any way to get a good close-up photo of the culprit?

That looks like something is actually chewing the okra pod. I've never seen that. I've seen things eat leaves. I've seen sucking bugs like stink bugs and their relatives discolor and damage okra pods by sticking in the proboscis into it and suck juices out. I've been introduced to leaf-footed bugs this summer on tomatoes and purple hull peas. But I can't recall ever seeing anything chewing on the outside like that. The critters I'd suspect doing that kind of damage, Japanese beetles, grasshoppers, maybe caterpillars don't look anything like ants.
 

Ridgerunner

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Q. I have ants all over my okra. Do they hurt the plants?

A. It was once thought that ants did not hurt okra production and were mainly visiting okra plants to get honey-dew produced by sharpshooters, aphids or other sucking insects. However, that was before the imported fireant. Fireants feed on the base of developing blooms before the bloom buds open causing them to abort. This will cause okra to stop producing. Locate fireant mounds and kill the mounds or use baits around the outside of the garden area to kill the inconspicuous mounds.



I don't think this is your problem but @AMKuska posted it in another thread. You might send your photos to Tex A&M horticultue department and ask them. Or your county extension agent. I admit I am stumped.
 

Clyounger6

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@Ridgerunner l already contacted the extension office he said he’s had problems with ants and okra also he’s the one that suggested the DE. I looked in the morning at night with a flash light couldn’t find any thing other than ants on the okra they pile up in little like feeding frenzies then there’s a hole in the okra and it’s stripped like in the previous pictures . They were just attacking the pods I cut them all off because they were too damaged to use note they are attacking the flowers and new pods.
 

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seedcorn

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There are insecticides you can use if you don’t mind. I had millions of hills on my sand. Haven’t killed them all but I’ve definitely reduced the numbers.
 

flowerbug

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I tried the DE it didn’t work . @flowerbug what kind of hoppy concoction ? I’ll try anything. I originally thought aphids to but there aren’t any the ants just attack the okra and the flowers they have killed every single one !
vaseline comes to mind immediately, pine resin/tar, double sided sticky tape, not sure what else here perhaps others have ideas. :)

the other thing to do would be to stir the surface of the soil first so that the previous scent marks by the ants would be disrupted.

before either of these hose off the plants to get rid of aphids and ants as much as you can.

the other idea that comes to mind is a water moat around the area so that the ants don't have an easy time getting to the plants/garden, but that's a tougher thing to do...
 

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