Red and Black Ants in Cucumber, Squash Plants

Posted By: sherrieraleigh  Posted On: Jul 8th, 2011  Filed Under: Home & Garden

I’m a fairly new gardener, this being my second summer garden and the first time I’ve had this problem: huge red fire ants eating my squash plants from the roots up. In fact, they’ve destroyed all of my squash plants despite my attempts to save them, and now seem to be honing in on my cucumber plants. The first signs were wilty leaves, as though they weren’t getting enough water, and approximately a few days later I would see clusters of 10-15 fire ants gathered at the base of the plant. They moved from one to the next. Sevin Five and ant killer pellets don’t seem to be helping the problem. I’m also seeing quite a number of black ants about, but my online researching indicates these help repel otherwise harmful bugs on cucumber/squash plants. However, they don’t seem to be having any effect on the red ants.

Is there any advice out there from seasoned gardeners? I’d really appreciate any tips!

  1. TheMaineMan says:

    Dig small holes around the plants in your garden, place small dixie cups in the holes and fill them with a cheap beer. The ants will go after the beer and die instead of going after your plants.

    This also works great for slugs.

    Doesn’t work for Japanese beetles though… those are the main bug I’m trying to fight right now.

  2. DBAKR says:

    I hate to beat a dead horse but, Bacillus thuringiensis or BT, works really well. It is organic and really does the trick. It does not work well on Japanese Bettles either. Maineman if you read this, as far as organic, to rid the Japanese Bettles……..get some dawn dish liquid the ultra strength, and put two table spoons to a gallon of water with 2 table spoons white vinegar or table spoons garlic powder. Spray this on the plants that you wish to protect and it works pretty good. But the best thing for the Japanese Bettles is Sevin, get the liquid and by the next morning gone. Hope this helps you all.

  3. sherrieraleigh says:

    Thank you both for the tips, I greatly appreciate it! I’ll give them a try and remember them in the future!

  4. Duanelmc says:

    Ive used cheap dollar store foot powder, it has mint, and menthal both strong sented and will confuse the ants and they will go to other area, it works well in the home, could try in garden too.

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