Ants!!!

radsnell

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With all of the rain that we have been having in south Louisiana, the ants have been out in full force. There are a few red ants in the yard, but none in the bonsai collection. They are all small black ants, some call them "sugar ants". Is there a good treatment for the whole yard, also safe for my bonsais? I realize that all you are usually doing is moving the ants around, but I'd like to hit the whole yard at once.

Boyd
 

Bill S

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Boyd, the sugar ants you call them are really no big deal, as far as the trees go, they could be an indicator that you have other pests ( aphids, scale, etc.), check your trees for bad pests, and those ants will probably go away. As far as the whole yard goes, I'm not much into that scale of pest removal, although if I could figure our how to get rid of the damned gnats, I'd take mosquito's year round.
 

radsnell

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For the time being, my collection is fairly bug free. I just don't like to start working on a tree and have ants run out the bottom of the pot. I have a Bayer hose end spray bottle of Bayer Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer Plus, with an active ingredient of B-Cyfluthrin. Never used this before. Meant as a home barrier system, but not sure if safe for the bonsais.

Boyd
 

Bill S

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Bet there is an 800 # on the bottle, call them and ask them about your specific trees and compatability,
 

rockm

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"Bayer Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer Plus, with an active ingredient of B-Cyfluthrin. Never used this before. Meant as a home barrier system, but not sure if safe for the bonsais."

That is a big overreaction. This stuff is meant for application as a long-lasting, potent chemical barrier for home foundations. Applying it to kill a few ants in a bonsai pot would be like using a howitzer to kill a gnat. Unnecessary...it will also kill beneficial insects and probably affect other kinds of wildlife also. If you don't have an insect problem on your trees, spraying for non-existent pests is irresponsible.
 

Thomas J.

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Whenever I have a problem with ants it's usually a huge one. When I say huge I'm talking about one pot being overrun with literally thousands of ants overnight. For whatever reason they decide to pick one pot and make their home there literally in hours since my last watering. My response to that is to immediately take the tree out of the pot and do a complete hose wash over the entire root system. Of course this always happens in the middle of summer when a repot you would think would be devastating, but I have never lost a tree this way.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I never considered putting any harmful chemicals into the potting soil at all. Whenever I see a potential ant problem possibly in the works I usually use Boric Acid around the area where the ants will originate such as the around the legs of my benches where they would begin their ascent up to the tables. This usually helps a lot and will keep the ants to a minimum. :D
 

Gandalph

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With all of the rain that we have been having in south Louisiana, the ants have been out in full force. There are a few red ants in the yard, but none in the bonsai collection. They are all small black ants, some call them "sugar ants". Is there a good treatment for the whole yard, also safe for my bonsais? I realize that all you are usually doing is moving the ants around, but I'd like to hit the whole yard at once.

Boyd

Don't know about the whole yard but I've had good luck with Terro. Just a few drops on the rim of the tree pot and the Borax in it is carried back to the nest. Very effective and quick
 

radsnell

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Someone told me tonight about mixing maple syrup with Borax and placing it strategically around benches. I assume ants attracted to the syrup and get hit with Borax. May be worth a try. No harm to trees.
 

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