Aphid ant farming

I have heard of this, but am seeing it now on my young cucumber plants. How devastatingly spectacular--big ants seemingly patrolling the vines up and down while the sheltered aphids grow and thrive, literally sucking the life out of my baby cucumbers.
I am currently on the lookout for a praying mantis to set out there, but in the meantime, what can I do to stop this? --S.
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g'day suzanne,
yep this more common that most would admit to, probably beause they don't see ants at the time of inspection maybe doesn't mean ants weren't there at some time?
so you need to target the ants then simply hose the aphids off the plant using a strong rose type spray not jet from the hose.
might be some hints on our remedies page for moving the ants on?
http://www.lensgarden.com.au /
On Wed, 2 Sep 2009 08:54:14 -0600, "Suzanne D." snipped
With peace and brightest of blessings,
len & bev
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.lensgarden.com.au /
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Suzanne D. wrote:

You can hose off the aphids, they are not clever/strong enough to climb back on to the plants but this will probably not get them all.
You can spray with pyrethrum which is a fairly benign contact insecticide that will get the aphids. Spray by moonlight (or torchlight) if possible. Not because of the magical properties of moonlight but because the bees will all be home in bed and the air is often more still at night which reduces overspray.
Keep a close eye on susceptible plants as aphids can re-breed from a few individuals back to troublesome numbers in a few days under favourable conditions.
David
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_Most_ bees will be home in bed.
Bees that get caught away from the hive in the evenings, sleep on the flowers; expecially when the weather is cool. From my observation other pollinators including solitary bees will also sleep on blossoms.
There are times around here when every other flower seems to have a sleepy bee in it.
And a few mornings ago there was a bee with its head buried in a marigold. --I watched it for awhile, wondered if it was dead and poked it. It kept its head buried, swivelled one leg around, sorta waved it, swivelled the leg back into landing position and stayed where it was.
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I've found bees sleeping on zinnias many times.
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