Ants are not social distancing

Wed. Jun. 3, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Ants are not social distancing

 If there’s one creature I really wish would social distance it’s ANTS. Holy cow have they come out in abundance this year.

Ants in my lawn 2020

They’ve already lifted several of my plants right out of the soil including a beautiful grass that is in danger.

Ants in my switchgrass 2020

 I tried the non-toxic diatomaceous earth, a fine white powder that sticks to their bodies and dries them out. It killed some and sent the rest of them fleeing. No suitcases necessary, they just scurried down a couple feet away and started over. Industrious little buggers.

You can see remnants of the diatomaceous earth – that white powder

There are chemicals that will kill them but, please consider them carefully. First is bifenthrin, while sounding organic because it’s made partially of chrysanthemum, remember that arsenic is also “organic”. It’s highly toxic to bees.

B-cyfluthrin is also effective and, by accounts, less toxic.

Permethrin is highly toxic to fish but the jury is still out on whether it’s a carcinogen.

U of M entomologist Jeffrey Hahn says to tolerate these ants nests when possible. Ugh, why can’t they just move to the curb! As I was ripping out a bunch of sweet william, another story, the little ants were very angry with me biting my ankles and wrists!

Good information from the University of Wisconsin – Madison on Field Ants

Ants destroyed this red sedum