Ants are small insects that often invade our plants, garden or terrace. Why? Follow the article and you will understand what their goal is and how to act.
Ants are small insects present all over the world, belonging to the family of the order of the Hymenoptera. Each of us will have had the opportunity to know the annoyance that can cause us to see these small insects, wander around near our home. Let’s point out that the Italian ant is not dangerous neither for man nor for hot-blooded animals. It is a small insect, but considered the most evolved form, the most complex and organized of all the animal genus.
If you ended up on this article, it is because you have surely noticed, that ants can be found everywhere, so as well as in the garden on our ornamental plants on the terrace. The questions you are asking yourself are: why? Are they harmful to the vegetation?
The ant itself is not, but wherever we find them there is always a second purpose, which is the presence of the fundamental elements for their survival. They are animals capable of collaborating with each other, but also with other insects. For these reasons they reach our plants in the garden or on the balcony. But let’s go on and get to know this little animal better, what damage it can cause to the vegetation and how to get rid of it.
Do They Feed On Plants?
The first answer you were looking for, so the first thing you need to know, is that ants do not feed on leaves and woody parts, so they do not feed on vegetation, at least all species of Italian ants. They eat insects, even dead ones, seeds, they collect food rich in carbohydrates or sugars, such as bread, flour and more, they are also greedy for honeydew produced by some insects.
So Why Do They Reach Our Ornamental Plants?
It is precisely because of honeydew that ants come in large numbers to our plants, from the nearest nest, where in addition to feeding, they do a real job. Which one? They breed Aphids and Cochineals, producers of this sugary substance, with which they will spoil the leaves. The ants love it, so they create a symbiotic relationship with them. Think that during the winter they put these tiny insects in the anthill, and then transport them back to the plants closest to spring. The ants will continue to build Aphids and Ladybugs throughout the season, at least until we intervene.
The Painful Notes And How To Intervene
Then we come to the painful notes, the damage that this group of animals can cause to our vegetation, whether in the garden or on the balcony. Obviously the Aphids and the Ladybug are parasites of plants that feed on sap, causing the weakening and diseases, sometimes quite serious for the plant itself. Therefore, before wanting to eliminate ants, the primary objective is to fight these pests, before the infestation becomes serious. By eliminating these small insects, we will also remove the ants. What can we do about it?
We strongly advise against chemical and toxic products, which pollute the environment and eliminate other useful insects. On the other hand, many products are allowed in organic farming, here are what we can use and useful to chance.
PYRETER: Product rather incisive, both for Aphids but also for the ants themselves, less for the Cochineal. It can be found either as a spray or as a powder to be diluted. You can also find Pyrethrum on Amazon.
NEEM OIL AND SAND SOAP: They can be used separately or mixed together, WARNING: (knowing the right dosages). They should be diluted with water and are both useful to prevent and fight both Aphids and Ladybugs, also removing ants from the plant. You can read how to dose these two products, getting a natural knocker in this article: Neem oil and soft soap, how to use them together. Natural insecticide.
Otherwise a very good insecticide, with natural extracts is the Compo that you can see here on Amazon. The solution is ready to use. Personally I know the product and recommend it, useful and effective against Aphids and Ladybugs but also useful against other harmful pests.