Thursday, 27 May 2010

Agony Ants

There's a famous adage that reads 'leave no stone unturned' – and I'm glad I took heed of this maxim. The other evening, I knocked over one of the many bricks that lines the London Vegetable Garden allotment plot and discovered this:

Now, my immediate reaction was one of pure guilt. For the past 2 weeks I have been cursing slugs and snails for chomping up my crops, when in actuality, these creatures are the much more likely culprits – a thought solidified as I started to observe them crawling all over my plants! My second reaction was one of pain and irritation, as I was foolish enough to kneel down and receive a couple of bites – I guess my knee is much more tastier than pea plants!

Anyway, I know have a new – and pressing – pest problem. I turned over a few more bricks and this is not the sole instance on the allotment. If you have any tried and tested tips for getting rid of ants (organic only to start with), please let me know! I'd hate for my crops and all of my efforts to be wasted by these pesky creatures.

Answers on a postcard – or even simpler, in the comments box below!


  1. I meant to reply again on twitter the other day, but are you sure it's the ants eating the crops? Not their usual mode of operation. Ants are a pain (literally) in that they bite, and they move aphids onto plants, but they are unlikely to be actually eating the crops themselves (they will eat strawberries but only after they have been damaged by slugs). Reckon you were right the first time and it's the slugs wot done it.
    Ants on my allotment have built their nest under a new rhubarb plant though, and so killed it outright.

  2. All out thermonuclear war is best but not very organic. Boiling water poured directly on the ant nest was my parents choice

  3. Yeah boiling water is what my grandparents used to do. I have recently discovered two ants nests in my herb patch and boiling water seems to have killed back most of the population.

  4. But boiling water will also hurt the roots.
    One just need to be careful when the pour is near some young plants.... just my 2-cent.
    Good luck in your colony battle, Callum!

  5. Thanks for all of the comments everyone! @lialeendertz - I think you're spot on. I went to the allotment this afternoon to check on slug traps and the beer traps were full - blog post following shortly!

  6. cinnamon. sprinkle some around the plants. ants hate it - yey!! i now make sure i have a really big tub of it ALWAYS. good luck.



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