Call 855-660-4261 with your lawn & garden questions every Saturday from 8:06am to 10:00am ET. Then listen to Mort answer your questions. Or email anytime at questions@themagicgarden.com
Listen to the weekly archive 24 hours a day 7 days a week on demand.
Keyword Search Results for:
Ants

7 Found

Question: 1084-514
We had a split on the trunk in our tree last year. I also saw ants around there last year. Could this be a problem? Burt, Providence, RI

Mort's Answer:
The ants are predators trying to steal the eggs earwigs. This could be a problem, if you let the home of the earwigs continue to spread. You can perform some basic tree surgery. With a sharp razor knife or linoleum knife, make a cut that has a point at the top and another at the bottom. The incision will be leaf shaped and enclose all the affected area. Go as deep as necessary to get out all the brown wood. You can do this as soon as the tree is not frozen. Dab a little malathion in the area and seal with tree seal or tree wax. The ants will disappear as soon as you complete this procedure. If you do not do this surgery, the earwigs may encircle the bark and cut off the fibrovascular tubes. When the cambium inside the bark is eaten out, the tree will be unable to take up nutrient and water and will eventually join the great majority in Eden.

back to top




Question: 3-5201
I also saw ants around there last year. Could this be a problem? Burt, Providence, RI

Mort's Answer:
This could be a problem, if you let the home of the earwigs continue to spread. You can perform some basic tree surgery. With a sharp razor knife or linoleum knife, make a cut that has a point at the top and another at the bottom. The incision will be leaf shaped and enclose all the affected area. Go as deep as necessary to get out all the brown wood. You can do this as soon as the tree is not frozen. Dab a little malathion in the area and seal with tree seal or tree wax. The ants are predators trying to steal the eggs. The ants will disappear as soon as you complete this procedure. If you do not do this surgery, the earwigs may encircle the bark and cut off the fibrovascular tubes. When the cambium inside the bark is eaten out, the tree will be unable to take up nutrient and water and will eventually join the great majority in Eden.

back to top




Question: 674-1816
yes

Mort's Answer:
no

back to top




Question: 838-4212
I have tried everything to get rid of ants. What is the latest and the best? Pat, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
A caller to my radio show suggested using a hose from the car exhaust to the mounds. Bait pesticides work best to get at the queen but usually take a while to reach the newly hatched ants. Another caller suggested turkey compost. It is straw soaked with turkey urine. That may be hard to come by. Cinnamon was another suggestion. A Texas extension expert uses Logic combined with sulphur. Micronized sulphur is readily available at most garden stores.

back to top




Question: 956-2413
I have a long needled plant with dime size yellow flowers along the stem in bloom now. What is it? How do I get rid of ants around my cement foundation? Julie, Templeton, MA

Mort's Answer:
What you describe is probably Scotch Broom. Unfortunately, you cannot use it to get rid of ants. You could call a pesticide company. They could use a bait insecticide to get at the nest. They use pyrethrum compounds to kill marauding ants. It is an organic compound that can be synthesized. It is a neurotoxin that can affect cats but not other mammals.

back to top




Question: 1057-2416
There are many ants that are crawling up to my bird feeders on poles. Is there a spray that I can use to get rid of them? Ronnie, Putnam, CT

Mort's Answer:
Ants are predators of other insects. They carry off their eggs to their nests. A caller to my radio show suggested fly paper wrapped around the pole. You can also buy feeders with ant and bee protectors at the box stores. You may be doing more harm to your garden by killing the little bugs. Ants do not harm plants or drink much nectar.

back to top




Question: 1246-1415
I have been composting for ten years in this four foot black plastic bin. How do I get rid of the ants that are always present? Elizabeth, Ledyard, CT

Mort's Answer:
I suspect that you are not turning your compost enough. Ants are looking for insect eggs, which could be in banana peels and other fruit and vegetable skins or migrating from flies from the garden. You would be better served with a rotating barrel with a crank or have your pile in an open area behind a bush. Take the bottom part of the pile and toss it to the top at last once a month. Compost should endure at least one winter. In the open it will self sterilize in the winter once a frost sets in.

back to top