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  #1  
Old 03-06-2022, 03:38 PM
Maru777 Maru777 is offline
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How do you control ants outside? Female
Default How do you control ants outside?

Hello everyone! I have what I admit from the beginning is a bit of a dumb question because my problem is controlling ants on an outside balcony. Also, on a plant that is basically called Myrmecophilla…. But, really, seeing so many ants on it just gives me anxiety - I just got rid of scale that these ants or their evil brethren decided to go farming in the jasmine bush below this very balcony! I don’t want a repeat with this orchid. Especially since it looks like it will be blooming for the first time ever for me and I am very excited about it. They (the ants) seemed to leave them (the orchids) mostly alone until now. But after the spikes started growing they went crazy. I am not sure if maybe the ants just move to greener pastures after I kept on destroying the said scale farming colony below these orchids or they just came over because of the spikes. What do you do with your outside orchids? I am reluctant to spray with anything too chemical because these orchids are outside and there are bees and butterflies too that I do not want to harm. Are there any solutions? Do I just live with them? Move the plants? Some pictures so you can see the scale of the infestation - I’m not talking 1-2 ants, there are a LOT of them.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2022, 04:27 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Perhaps diatomaceous earth spread on the ant trails on the ground will help. Also, can you get "ant traps" at a hardware or garden supply store? These are closed containers with small (ant sized) holes, inside is bait with poison... the idea is that the ants take it back to the nest. It isn't toxic to bees or other insects since one has to be an ant to get inside, and the bait is designed to be attractive to ants not other things. Again, these can be used on the ground (or on the plant benches) They go after the colony, not individual ants (spraying those is an excercise in futility)
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Old 03-06-2022, 04:39 PM
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Do orchids attract bees and/or butterflies?
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Old 03-06-2022, 05:23 PM
Fuerte Rav Fuerte Rav is offline
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This island is ant heaven! I have a permanent problem with them and as fast as I deal with them inside the garden, more arrive from the surrounding fields.
I buy a special ant powder that I sprinkle around wherever I see signs of ants - they take it back to their nest and it kills that nest.
In the summer they start coming in through the electrics - I remove a few electric socket covers and puff some inside the conduits - a few goes stops them for that year.
I also use a floor cleaner on the tiles and have a spray that I can use to treat skirting boards, inside backs of kitchen cupboards etc.
All contain the active ingredient PERMATRINA.
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Old 03-06-2022, 09:06 PM
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How to deal with ants depends on the type of ant. Here in Southern California we have ant species that live in small colonies, ant bait can eradicate individual colonies if they like what is being offered. We also have non-native Argentinian ants. Outside of their native habitat they happily live in enormous super colonies, so ant bait isn’t effective and exclusion is your best bet.

Argentinian ants will drive honeybees out of their hives, so I made oil filled ant moats for the hive stand to sit on. Oil doesn’t evaporate but the surface can get dusty allowing the ants to cross. My ant moats are a covered design so the oil stays clean.

You can put the legs of a table in dishes of slightly soapy water with the same effect. Ants can’t cross the water so they can’t get onto the table.
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Old 03-06-2022, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Ol' Man View Post
Do orchids attract bees and/or butterflies?
Nevermind. I just watched Stephen's video. Question answered.
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Old 03-06-2022, 09:34 PM
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The ant mote around each bench support is the only thing that works when there are a lot of ants. But you need to keep the containers full, and they need to be wide enough the ants can't form a bridge with their bodies.
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Old 03-13-2022, 09:43 AM
Maru777 Maru777 is offline
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions! Problem is now solved. I got some of the ant traps and some spay for outdoor to put at the base of the shelf and it looks all good now. Spikes are growing day by day and no longer covered in ants
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Old 03-13-2022, 08:28 PM
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Good to hear!
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:52 AM
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Just FYI I do not do anything to ants. They have no deleterious effect on the plants that I have seen. And they are friend of the schom/myr family, hence the name.

If I need to get rid of ants I use boiling water. Sometimes three times
But eventually they move on. I do not recommend this for ants on orchids lol
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