Treating raised bed for ants
I've got an 8' x 5' x 2' tall raised bed with melons and squash. Everything has been doing great - lush growth and lots of fruit - until recently. I wasn't able to get out to the bed for several days, and when I did finally get out there to examine things, I discovered that aphid farming ants had about taken over. In spite of my best efforts, I haven't been able to control either the ants or the aphids (trying most everything suggested on this and other forums) and I'm afraid I'm going to have to yank out all the plants soon.
Although I read the comments about ants not being all that bad, they are not my friend and I want to get rid of them before I put in a late summer/fall crop. Once all the old plants are out of the bed, how can I treat the soil to get rid of the ants without making the soil unsuitable for veggie gardening? I assume that some things used for spot treatment of ants - like vinegar, borax, oil, etc. - could really get the soil out of kilter if used in large amounts. There aren't any ant hills in the bed. When I flush the bed with water, the ants seem to emerge from between the boards halfway down the bed and from the corners of the bed at the top surface. I've been spraying them with soapy water/vinegar when they're on the outside of the bed and this kills them, but there seems to be a never ending supply of them!
Along with my fall veggies (thinking about brussels sprouts, garlic, maybe yams, carrots, beets), are there any suggestions for plants that repel ants and/or aphids. Seems I read that mint might be good (I know it can be very invasive, but haven't found this to be a problem in other areas of the yard). FWIW, I'm in the CA central valley and we have a very late frost date.
Thanks for any suggestions!