Noticed a big ol' pile of ant hill on the entire surface of my potted fruit tree. Is it safe to use ant killer or pesticide or just dig up the ant hill and toss it out?
Place one of the Terro liquid ant bait stations on top of your soil. It should take care of the entire colony very quickly. They work very well.
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You should be able to buy them at any hardware & most larger grocery stores. They're VERY effective, and safe.
Wouldn't the boron in that concentration be very toxic to the plant?
That's a really good point, and one I hadn't considered. You would think there might be a toxic reaction because of plants' sensitivity to even small excesses of boron, but so far I've never had a problem ..... and I use them fairly frequently. I have a hypertufa trough with evergreens in it that gets an ant colony moving in every year, so each year it gets a liquid bait trap set on the surface and the ants "go away" and the plants carry on as normal.
we place a little squirt of combat gel next to the ant's forage trail and it tkes care of the colony in about 3 days. the active ingredient is fipronil. the ants swarm the drop pretty quickly. fipronil is also used on crops so it should be ok for a fruit tree. the amounts used for ant control are miniscule compared to crop pest control.
I have made my own boric acid bait for many years, essentially the same as the Terro bait. The bait does not get into the soil, but is contained so the ants have to get into the bait which has a sweet attractant. Never any problem with the soil or the plants. Al
Al, so you've never used the granule kind, that's what i have at home already?
If not, I'll go get the liquid type then.
Oh okay, so the boron never actually gets dissolved into the soil, just small amounts get eaten and distributed by the ants? I guess it's important not to water onto the bait stations then, or leave them out in the rain.