ants in parsley

Anyone know why ants would camp out in the upper branches of my parsely. They try to attack me when I go out to harvest the leaves. These ants are a bit over 1/8"-4mm approx- long, half red/half black and real mean. Deb
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On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 23:45:44 -0000, thistletoes

Are there aphids on your parsley?
Regardless, take the hose and give the parsley a really strong shower - use a water stream as strong as the parsley can handle. Tick your parsley.
Boron
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thistletoes wrote:

Check for aphids under the leaves. I've never grown parsley, but it seems wherever there are ants, there are aphids. The buggers farm the aphids...feeding off the aphid's "juice" and even taking them home for the winter so that they can stay warm and cozy until the next crop.
..
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If they were bigger, and I knew which end was red, and which end was black, and if they raised their abdomens, I might think acrobat ants. Dave
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I looked those up just now on the Web. In the morning, when it is light I will see if I can identify some of the characteristics. At the least I will be able to tell which end is red. These seem to like to nest in the roots of plants - like weeds, so when I pull the weeds up by the roots, look out! And as I said, they like to camp out in the top of the parsley. I will report back tomorrow. - Thanks Deb
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The 2nd photo is what I'm used to seeing but larger. http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/entomology/444-287/444-287.html
Probably, I'm incorrect as these prefer trees/wood vs. land environment. Can be as bad a carpenter ants in voiding trees interior and eating your house. The former, I've seen in many a stressed live oak. Dave
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Dave wrote:

Neither carpenter ants or acrobat ants "eat" a house. In homes that have "foam" based insulation, the acrobats can make more of a mess when the excavate into the foam. When both CA and acrobats are in a tree they are in already rotted wood that they are cleaning out the diseased/rotted wood, actually a benefit to the tree.
Lar
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That's encouraging regarding the trees. However, my home is almost 50 years old and I am not sure of the condition of some of the older wood in the walls; I had some rotten old stumps removed several years ago and also an old heat pump that sat on a wooden pallet by the back door. The big black CA apparently lived under this pallet and in the stumps. In reaction, they made their crazed way into the house, somehow, even as large as they are. It was like a sci-fi horror film. So, we had the exterminator out and he scared the daylights out of me with tales of destruction. Now, every mid-May we see one or two wing wings and maybe a half-dozen or so around the house, sometimes even in the house. It is still standing, so I count my blessings and put out ant bait. At least where we are, there are supposed to be no termites, a worse threat I think.
Deb
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On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 23:45:44 -0000, thistletoes wrote:

Hi Deb,as the others have said they are probably farming aphids. This is bad. The good bit is the ants are also protecting the plants against any other insects that may damage "their" farm. A double edged sword. So if you don't mind the job of hosing off the aphids every now and again its best to not poison the ants.
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snipped-for-privacy@verywarmmail.com writes:

And if there are aphids, a package of ladybugs will make short work of them as well as benifiting the rest of the garden/yard. If the ants are there for farming, with the aphids gone, they will also vacate the plants.
My pesticide is ladybugs supplemented by birds. I keep the insect-eating birds around by leaving my compost bin open with the attractant scraps on top to keep a supply of fruit flies out there so the birds will be looking my garden's way for breakfast. That, combined with healthy soil, works extremely well. Aphids in my back yard, where the garden is, are not findable after I release the ladybugs each spring and difficult to find even before. The front yard on my roses is another matter until the new ladybugs migrate around to the front. (And my neighbors love the lessened population of aphids as well!)
Glenna
Glenna
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On Jun 23, 7:51 am, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

I was just out there with my camera. Photographing ants is not easy. Since I'm in N Idaho (cold winters) & already have those big black carpenter ants, so I wonder if these are the red-headed carpenter ants. The abdomen shape and color is the same. I am pretty sure they are the 1 node kind - very hard to see. When I get close to photograph or view with magnifier, they aggressively stand up on hind legs, tuck the abdomen under & open the mandibles, ready to bite. If I touch the plant they run right up my hand, biting as they go.
The funny thing is I still see no aphids. There are still remains of that residue from the spittle bugs, though and I really think that's what they are after. Since it is mainly on the near-to-bolting top of the parsley, I will cut that off. And, as you all suggest, I'll spray off the plants now and then, especially before I go out to pick any leaves. If they get out of control, I will have no choice but to use Sevin since I cannot be bitten on hands and ankles every time I go into the garden.
I agree, Ladybugs are great for aphids. What about those darn spittle bugs? A month or so ago, they were on every tall standing plant, weeds, grasses. And that foamy protection they exude seems impenetrable. Maybe when I first see them, I should hose the daylights out of my garden area, at least. I have 10 acres of trees, shrubs, grasses so there is a lot of territory for pests & I'm surrounded by much larger, untended plots of land.
Thanks All for your advice.
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Ok - red face here. As I was pruning the parsley, lo & behold, I saw cleverly hidden aphids. The battle is on... Deb
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