Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: ANTS!
Ants, ants everywhere. I’ve never seen so many ants in my perennial beds and in my lawn! Industrious little creatures that have, quite literally, lifted some of my plants right up out of the ground.
I tried knocking the nest down but then they just moved on…
I decided I should find out if they’re useful and what the heck for! Okay, so they’re tiny rototillers. Well that’s find and dandy if they weren’t digging up what I’ve already fluffed up for my perennial bed!
According to the Farmers Almanac, the leaves and insects brought into the nest decay and fertilize the surrounding plants. Many ants are predators and feed on insects that attack lawns and gardens, and in the process of gathering food, they often pollinate flowers and distribute seeds.
Fine Gardening says another advantage of having ants in your garden is protection from herbivores. Ants are attracted to the nectar found on the plant stem or sepals (not the nectar found in flowers that is used by pollinators). The ants patrol these plants and disturb herbivores and seed-eating insects by attacking them, by causing them to fall off the plants, or by interrupting feeding, egg laying, courtship, or molting.
The ants crawling all over sticky peony buds in early summer, for example, protect them from enemies. Okay, I get it, there are apparently reasons for ants to live. I’m still not liking them in my perennial garden.
I would rather leave them out in the lawn! I did find a chemical way to rid the area of ants from the University of Minnesota.
I’m not one to use chemicals but these guys are just plain ticking me off! I tried the granules recommended by the U of MN. So far, it seems there’s less action. I’ll keep you posted.
PS, found the first Japanese beetles last weekend. SHOOT.