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Removing ant's nests... what happens next?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Englishgirlinbrazil, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Englishgirlinbrazil

    Englishgirlinbrazil Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,

    just introduced myself on the new member's forum.

    I've been away for a few months, and have come back to find an area of around 8 square metres full of ant's nest. The only plants I have there are some African grasses, which the ants have built around and inside and also appear to have half decimated..

    I'm going for the boiling water method of killing on the areas of bare soil, but not sure what do do around the plants themselves. I assume pouring boiling water on a plant isn't a good idea.....

    Should I just dig them up and go for a clean slate (they are quite cheap to replace, but I always hate throwing away plants, and they don't look bad from a distance), or should I try and clear the nests around them.

    Once I've killed all the ants, should I do anything to the soil, eg refertilise it, add anything to it etc? Can I start replanting straight away?

    Thanks for any advise!!
    EGIB
     
  2. Victoria

    Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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    Hi EGB

    We go through periods of massive ant invasions ... from the dot like ones to the giants. As I have cats I don't like using chemicals ... and I'm not one for the boiling water theory either. There are two methods I use ... ie, if one doesn't work the other will ... those are ...

    1. A good squeeze of washing up liquid in a spray bottle filled with water and blast the blighters ... they usually die within seconds and you can sweep the bodies away ....

    2. A good measure of vinegar in a spray bottle filled with water and again blast the blighters ... this method actually distracts them as they can't find their 'trails / tracks' but I'm not positive it kills them.

    Both are safe methods arounds pets and plants.
     
  3. Englishgirlinbrazil

    Englishgirlinbrazil Apprentice Gardener

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    thanks Victória, will give it a go.

    I might need a hose/bucket to tackle it though - they go at least 10 inches deep into the soil.

    rgds, EGIB
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Guest

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  5. Victoria

    Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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    On second thoughts EGB ... with the scale and depth you are talking about, perhaps pouring boiling water in the nests followed by straight vinegar followed by straight washing up liquid may be the solution!
     
  6. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    I'd dig the plants up first if there are not too many, it's a bit out of my experience though - I'm only used to tiny little ants nests here in the UK.
     
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Guest

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    If they are anything like this one......

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJpY7eT6oNk"]YouTube - Monty Python - Court Charades[/nomedia]

    2 mins 40 seconds into the video.
     
  8. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    As said, we dont get ants like that here, not army ants are they? always remember that old 1950s film, :D

    Surely you need to kill the nest, and the queen thats producing the workers, so anything that does not go well into the nest will only have a limited effect.

    Do you have local pest control?
     
  9. Englishgirlinbrazil

    Englishgirlinbrazil Apprentice Gardener

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    thanks for the sympathy!! and the film Ziggy:hehe:

    Well, have doused the place where it seems to be concentrated with a few buckets of diluted detergent. That was about 5 hours ago, and I've just given it all a poke to see what's happening. A few survivors are crawling about, but literally a handful, so do you think it's safe to say I've got them? I'm going to continue with the wider area, where there seem to be slightly smaller colonies here and there.

    And should I do anything with soil to revitalise it once the carnage is over?

    yes, you are right, maybe I should call in the big guys!

    EGIB

    ps... Lucky this forum is only about gardens, or I'd be scaring you with tales of cockroach fun too.... I'm more comfortable with the ants because at least they are a safe distance from the house!
     
  10. Phil A

    Phil A Guest

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    Glad you liked the film :D

    This forum may be about gardening but its the middle of an apocalyptic winter here & a lot of us are snowed/frozen in, so do tell about the cockroaches too :thmb:
     
  11. Englishgirlinbrazil

    Englishgirlinbrazil Apprentice Gardener

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    ok, have gone the drastic route and started to dig up all the plants. Think this was the right move as there was a big nest under the first one, complete with eggs and all - does this mean I've got the queen ant?

    Planning to take everything out, so I can really go to town on my killer spree.

    Think given the size of the problem (I reckon various nests over a total area of approx 8m2) maybe I should build a big bonfire. Otherwise, I'll be to-ing and fro-ing with a heck of a lot of kettles or buckets of detergent.

    And, sorry to keep asking this, but will the large amount of detergent I've been using effect the soil, and is there anything I should do after this whole nasty business is over...?

    Any tips appreciated!

    EGIB
     
  12. Phil A

    Phil A Guest

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    The Detergent will wash thru with the rains. Any residual chemicals will depend what was in the stuff in the first place. read the label.

    We cant use that in the UK, its illegal to use anything other than a regulated pesticide.

    Wot about the cockroaches then ?:cool:
     
  13. Englishgirlinbrazil

    Englishgirlinbrazil Apprentice Gardener

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    right, think I can close this one now.....

    In short, I pulled up all my plants, and raked the soil over every day so I could see where they were foraging when I returned. Applied detergent, boiling water and Miathalon (or whatever it's called) regularly over a 2 week period. Now I've just got a few very localised patches of activity on that area, and I'm trying out a green paste which I think is a juicy gel which they'll take back to their nests.

    So hopefully, all under control...for now!!

    Thanks for all your suggestions
    EGIB.
     
  14. Phil A

    Phil A Guest

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    I've tried that with Vodka jelly & Chard girls:thumb::wink:
     
  15. watergarden

    watergarden have left the forum because...i'm a sad case

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    That would be [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2PLls02gOU"]YouTube - THEM![/nomedia]
     
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