Ants on my Okra

rjingaJune 23, 2009

No sign of anything else, what could they be after? and what harm will they do if any?

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RuthieG__TX(z8 TX)

I have ants all over my garden and I have never seen them harm anything but me...I have several different kinds including fireants and they bite like a sonava well you know what I mean. Tonight I picked some peas not english peas but southern peas and they were busily running up and down the pods...I haven't a clue what they are after but I will tell you this...since I allowed the ants to share my garden and flourish...I have almost no issues with aphids or eggs ..I am of the belief that they do way more good than harm but I have to be careful because they are vicious is you disturb the nest.....usually a good soaking with water will force them to move the nest either deeper or in a less used area.......

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:16PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Ants like the sap from the okra plants - it forms beads on the undersides of the leaves. They do no harm.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 11:22PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"...since I allowed the ants to share my garden and flourish...I have almost no issues with aphids or eggs ..I am of the belief that they do way more good than harm but I have to be careful because they are vicious is you disturb the nest...." (Ruthieg)

I must admit, this surprises me. When I grew okra in San Diego, ants were plentiful on my okra, and very defensive of their territory - because they were raising aphids on the undersides of the leaves. Ants raise & spread aphids, to feed on their secretions. Over the years, most of my severe aphid outbreaks have been ant-borne.

For what it is worth, the okra I grew in San Diego was unaffected by either the ants or the aphids, so I left them alone. But here, ant-borne aphids have caused several serious disease problems, such as spreading mosaic or wilt to all the plants in a row. I have a good predator population that usually deals with the aphids, but not until mid-Summer. If disease is a problem early on, then I have to control the ants before I can deal with the aphids... otherwise, the ants will just re-introduce them.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:24AM
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rjinga

upon closer observation, there ARE aphids and LOTS of ants. So what's more important to get rid of? the ants and then the aphids? Or just blast them all off? I'm afraid that too much blast may harm the flowers on the plants.

I have heard that malathion on the base of the stem will work, but will this just kill the ants?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 11:09PM
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