In the Garden: Ant Control

Published: May. 31, 2020 at 6:44 AM EDT
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If your gardens have been taken over by ants... they may not be doing damage.

But if they are, Charlie Nardozzi has tips and tricks to drive them away in this week's In the Garden.

Sharon: Charlie it's amazing to me that we can go from snow and within a week there's ant problems. I mean, what is going on?

Charlie: Welcome to Vermont, right?

Sharon: I know!

Charlie: Yeah so we were blessed with a little ant mound in one of our gardens. Now this is a common occurrence for a lot of people.

Sharon: Sure.

Charlie: Whether it be in the lawns or in the gardens you'll see these mounds of ants and they're going all over the place, 99% of the time those ants are not causing any damage. One thing that they might do, though, is that they might be opening up tunnels so the roots of those plants will dry out. In this case, our plants seem to be doing okay. But if you have them drying out, you have to do something about it. So there's lots of home remedies out there. You can spice up the joint a little bit with either some cinnamon or cayenne pepper. So we're just going to put some of this liberally on the mound. The spiciness of it is something that ants just don't like.

Sharon: Either one, or both?

Charlie: You can do both if you want. Why not make it like a little gourmet dish? And if that doesn't work, you can use diatomaceous earth. This is a white powder that's made up of little diatoms. They're like little skeletons. You sprinkle that in there, and it irritates the ants. So we're going to mix that in as well! How about that? They're really going to love this.

Sharon: Now do you want to do it before it rains, after it rains?

Charlie: Doesn't really matter. Just going to mix it in really well. So, if this doesn't work, the other alternative would be to come in with a shovel, dig out your plants, kind of mix around that area where the ants are, then put a mixture of soapy water with a little vegetable oil into that area so that'll probably drive them away."

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