Ant infestation of Gardenia - how to get rid of them

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wrote:

Yeah, *best* to use malathion. Seems best to use nothing and let the critters have their way.....but hey, what do I know?

What part of pedantic **** don't you understand?
I know people get sick of my shit, but I sure get sick of this grammar granny spell check routine, and the multiple posting personalities.
Oh well, each of us shows our asses publicly one way or another, I suppose.
Charlie
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Billy,
Thanks for the information.
Not knowing any more / better, would not have thought an organic product would not have been toxic to bees.
With a declining bee population - last thing I want to do is unwittingly further reduce their numbers.
In this instance - the product would be used as a drench, and therefore not provide for typical / traditional bee contact.
Regards,
Doug

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You may want to look at this article, excerpt below
http://extension.osu.edu/~news/story.php?id (49
Another indication of
>>magnolia scale<<
results from the large quantities of sap sucked from the plant as scales feed. The sap provides a low-protein, high-sugar diet, and in order for the scale to obtain adequate amounts of protein, the insect must ingest excessive amounts of sap. Much of this sap is excreted by the scales, which produces a clear, sticky, sugary substance known as honeydew.
This honeydew coats twigs, leaves and anything under infested branches, including cars and patio furniture. If the honeydew is not removed, a more obvious, unattractive
>>black fungus known as sooty mold<<
begins to grow. This is often the first symptom of infestation that people notice, Herms said. Yellow jackets, wasps and >>ants<<
also are good indicators of infestations as they are often
>>attracted to the sweet honeydew<<
on which they feed.
Magnolia trees that host a large population of scale insects can be drained of energy, resulting in small, yellowing leaves, twig dieback, thinning canopy and even death. Generally, the plants tolerate small infestations fairly well, which allows homeowners time to implement a management program before the problem escalates, Herms said. -----
If you still want to go after the ants, in a responsible manner http://www.grinningplanet.com/2004/04-27/ant-control-ant-killer-article.h tm
--

- Billy

There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who
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Penelope said:

AAh, well, ants setting up house in a potted plant *can* cause problems, and not just by farming aphids, as I've found out this year.
Two identical (well, mirror-imaged) containers of flowers, planted at the same time, same treatment. The one with the ants suffered (wilting, yellowing, root damage). The one with no ants is fine.
I suspect that the original poster's problem likely did involve aphids, as he mentioned sooty black mold on the leaves. Driving off the ants would be useful, as they protect and distribute ('herd') aphids.
Spinosad is derived from a bacteria and is available in products certified for organic produce.
It is recommended for drenching for fire ant control and would probably work for other ants as well (though it wouldn't be useful against aphids or other sucking insects).
Green light makes a spray concentrate with Spinosad, as does Monterey Garden. (Do a Google product search for Spinosad and you will have your choice of online vendors.)
Locally, I'm able to buy a pre-mixed Spinosad product by Bonide named (sort of annoyingly) 'Captain Jacks Dead Bug Brew' which I've been using on my cabbages and kholrabi this year with good results (no sign of cabbage worms -- better results than Bt).
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"So, it was all a dream."
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You are a rude and bitter dumb *uck!
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On 7/5/2009 7:05 AM, Douglas R. Hortvet, Jr. wrote:

For ants nesting in a flower pot, I use a drench of malathion. You can even mix it to 1/2 the strength recommended for aphids.
Yellowing of a gardenia can have several causes:
Feeding the plant when the soil is dry will result in burned roots when you next water it. The leaves will yellow, curl, and die.
Gardenias need perfect drainage. If the pot has no drain hole, the plant is drowning. Even if there is a drain hole, you could be over-watering. Gardenias need soil that is constantly moist but not soil that is soggy. If the soil is too wet, the plant yellows.
Gardenias need more than merely acid soil. They need some extra iron, a lack of which can cause yellowing. For iron, buy iron sulfate. Until the plant recovers a healthy green, however, use this sparingly (about 1 Tbs in a large pot once a month).
Gardenias also need more zinc than most plants (except for citrus). Instead of yellowing, a lack of zinc will more likely result in flower buds dropping without blooming. However, a severe lack zinc can cause yellow blotches on the leaves. Zinc sulfate seems hard to find these days, but some Ace Hardware stores carry it or can order it. Buy the smallest package you can get; it will last for years. A large pinch of zinc sulfate should be added to the pot monthly.
Adding sulfur (as you did) is good. However, you also need some soil bacteria to convert the sulfur slowly into sulfuric acid. A light topping of active compost will provide the necessary organisms.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Sure, why try to change cultural practices when you can spend money and poison the world. http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC32924#Toxicity
--

- Billy

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On Sun, 05 Jul 2009 09:05:10 -0500, "Douglas R. Hortvet, Jr."

The ants may be a sign or result of another issue. Ants are not particularly harmful to Gardenias, but I'd put some Tero (or a Tero trap) near the pot. I found Tero to be very effective at killing out a colony because they feed the queen, plus you don't have insecticides to deal with. Ants dislike powdered chalk, cinnamon, and mint.
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On 7/5/2009 2:27 PM, Phisherman wrote:

They can't dislike mint very much. I have a 12" pot of peppermint in my garden, sitting on a path that separates my lawn from my beds. It seems that I have to eradicate an ant nest from the pot almost every year. I have a similar problem with adjacent pots of oregano and tarragon. On the other hand, the ants don't seem to bother the sage, thyme, or bay, all of which are also in pots.
Ants themselves rarely harm plants. However, they protect aphids, scale, and a few other sucking insects. These are insects that suck the sap from a plant and then excrete a sugary syrup, on which the ant feed. The sucking insects can indeed damage a plant severely.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Thanks for the suggestion - never heard of Tero, but will try it out.
Regards,
Doug
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