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Ant Confusion

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by PlantFaerie on May 11, 2005 05:08 AM
I hope someone can help me. This winter I moved into an apartment with an outside deck. I'm on the second floor and couldn't wait to start a container garden since my last place was basement level and in a bad part of town I couldn't have one. I recently planted (in one pot) a single tulip, two mini-roses white and pink, and some catnip. I know I will eventually need separate pots or one long pot but while checking the plants today and watering them I found black ants absolutely everywhere even on my geraniums in another pot. My husband helped me check and we didn't find any aphids. I'm worried the ants will come in through my patio door. Are the ants beneficial, harmful, neutral or what? I've never had this problem gardening in the past. I am unsure of what to do, if the ants won't come inside I'd like to just leave them be. If I should use something to deter them I need something that is not harmful to animals since I have a cat that enjoys the deck and the catnip as well. Please help! [dunno]
by tkhooper on May 11, 2005 05:12 AM
Ants don't like nicotine tea from what I've read. Although the fire ants in my garden don't mind it at all.

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by PlantFaerie on May 11, 2005 05:37 AM
TK, Thanks I'll see if I can find any around here, though I've never seen it before (likely because I wasn't looking) I am wondering if that's going to be cat-compatable... because I have to put whatever on the catnip too because the ants were on it. Also after my post (and strangely after the sun set) there are HUGE black beetles around my roses. Any suggestions on that?
by tkhooper on May 11, 2005 01:51 PM
Um, you don't buy nicotine tea you make it. Cigarette butts put in water and allowed to steep for a few days. The tea is then poured around the planting area so unless the kitties are eating the dirt I don't see a problem.

I know absolutely nothing about roses or their little bug a boos.

But there is a buglady that posts here from time to time and she knows everything.

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by Redcedar on May 13, 2005 05:08 PM
Sounds like when you planted your little garden you put out an invitation to lots of critters.

Don't know much about ants, or beetles for that matter, only that one type of large black beetle we have here on the West coast of Canada is called a "Ground" beetle and they are beneficial.
by PlantFaerie on May 14, 2005 06:11 PM
Just a mini-update, the ants are still out there though not as...hhmmm in-force I guess the word would be and I've not seen any beetles since that night. Fortunately the ants haven't tried to get inside yet and if they stay that way I'm more than happy to leave them alone [Smile]
by Longy on May 14, 2005 07:05 PM
Interesting PF. The ants turned upstairs just before the storms started. They were yellin at ya: "It's gonna rain lady, get your stuff under cover..." Ants moving up are a good indication of rain coming.
by PlantFaerie on May 15, 2005 01:14 AM
Longy,
REally? Ants moving up is a sign of rain?? Boy you can bet I'll be watching my balcony like a hawk from now on and rigging some tarps or something! Thanks a bunch!
by Longy on May 15, 2005 07:28 AM
Ants moving up is a sign of rain??
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Yep. And if they persist for weeks and move the eggs etc you're gonna get seriously wet. Wish i knew how they know...

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