Are Ants Bad for a Vegetable Garden?
Gardening is a fun hobby. Something that’s less fun about it, is the annoying pests, like ants, that tend to creep into your crops and cause damage. It’s true that ants can sometimes be helpful to your garden. But other times, they’re just plain bothersome. Luckily, there are some ways to keep these plants out of your garden for good.
The Good Side of Garden Ants
Ants Act as Pollinators
Bees are the only species that can pollinate. Ants tend to hop from flower to flower so they can find a meal to begin eating. All of this hopping causes pollination to grow and spread. This is extremely helpful as pollination levels have begun to decrease lately due to the rise in the death of bees. Ants to the rescue!
The Tunnels Can Help the Ecosystem
Remember when you had to study ants as a kid by watching them crawl around in an ant farm? Just like in the ant farm, they like to dig tunnels. Through these tunnels, ants will transport oxygen, nutrients, and water to various roots of plants.
This helps the plants grow and it helps different organic plants decompose quicker as well. Dead insects and leaves have the power to fertilize different plants, thanks to the work of these ants.
They Can Kill Off Insects
Garden ants are known to act as disruptors when they’re around various insects. They tend to eat or kill any bugs that may come their way. Ants enjoy creeping up on mother insects and eating their young or just killing them altogether. Insect eggs are also enjoyed as a delicious snack for ants as well, so they will chew on their eggs as a treat.
The Bad Side of Garden Ants
They Can Hurt You While Trying to Garden
If you’re working in your garden and then suddenly feel a sting, that may be a garden ant. These ants can not only be annoying, but painful if you’re trying to work in your garden. Fire ants are known to sting if they feel they’re being bothered and attacked. They may think you’re trying to attack them even if you’re just going about your own business.
Carpenter ants are a little bit trickier. They will bite you, then spray a stinging sensation on to your wound that can cause you immense pain.
Ants Can Duplicate and Infest Your Whole Garden
Ants love to build nests in areas where they’re comfortable and know they can get food. Unfortunately, that perfect location is in your garden. This can lead to various bumps being seen on your lawn, making it look unattractive. Different ant nests can also harm the soil around your plants, making it impossible for any of your crops to grow properly.
Sometimes, even when you think of getting rid of the ant colonies, other surrounding nests may see the free space and move right in.
Mixing Up Various Ant Killing ingredients
You can mix different ingredients to get rid of the ants crawling around in your garden. Take a cup of sugar, a cup of borax, mix them in a cup then sprinkle it along with the different spots that you see ants building nests.
The ants will get excited to see the sugar, mistake it for food and take it to the colony with them. Since borax is very poisonous, it can kill their entire colony soon after they bring it in.
Sprinkle Splenda and Other Artificial Sweeteners
Any food that is a sugar substitute contains harmful ingredients that can potentially kill ants. If you sprinkle it along with the garden where the ants are known to hang out around, they are bound to grab the sweeteners, mistaking it for sugar. They will then bring it back to the other ants, who will all eat it and eventually be positioned.
Boil Water and Pour It On Their Nests
A simple trick is to boil up some water, bring it out to your garden and pour it on the anthill. Since they build their anthills to undergo several types of natural disasters to come their way, it may take more than one try to kill them for good. You may need to refill the pot of boiling water and pour it several times to make sure the ants are gone for good.
While ants may seem little and harmless at first, they can multiply and wreak havoc on your garden. To keep your crops alive and healthy, be sure to follow the necessary procedures to remain prepared as these ants try to take over your garden.