Ants eating corn

liz_h(7/8 DFW Texas)July 11, 2008

I got this email from a friend, and hope you can help.

---------"I'll make you a trade - some seed for good information on "how" to identify "when" the corn is ready. I thought it would be ready today, and when I checked, the ants had had a feast I had planned!"---------

I sent him some general info, but I'm curious. Did the ants just beat him to the corn, or do they indicate a problem of some kind? I'll be planting this in a few weeks and hope not to have the same problem myself. My friend grows this on his community garden plot, so probably doesn't see it more often than once or twice a week.


Here's the info I sent him from


The best time to pick corn is in the early morning or evening when it is cool. Juice from the kernels should be milky white and soft.

The silk on the ears should have turned dark brown. The ears should be firm. Kernels on the tips of the unhusked ears should be plump and milky.

Sweet corn is not ready when the juice of the kernel is watery. It is overripe when the kernels get large, chewy and pasty like dough.

To harvest the ears, hold the stalk below the ear. Twist the tip of the ear toward the ground until it breaks off. Cook the corn right away, or store it in the refrigerator until mealtime.

Watch the corn closely because the quality changes fast. Corn is ready about 3 weeks after the tassel grows on top of the corn plant.

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shot(8 - GA)

Liz, sounds like jam-up info to me.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 7:16AM
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I've only grown corn once, but I had what I thought was an ant problem. What I had was an aphid problem, compounded by ants. The ants were herding/protecting the aphids who were eating the corn. The ants were eating the honeydew secreted by the aphids.

Here is a link that might be useful: aphids

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 8:39AM
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I've only seen ants on popcorn plants.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 10:07AM
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Have you tried mineral oil on the silk to prevent the ants now for aphids just use soapy water.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 10:49AM
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