Opuntia flower with ants

Bracey Tiede tiede@pacbell.net
Tue, 23 Jun 2009 14:47:48 PDT
Ants are easily controlled with baits that contain boric acid which is not
harmful to the environment and only kills ants.  If unprotected by the ants,
the mealybugs will be eaten by predators.   I find a stream of water does a
good job too.  I've not read that ants are interested in pollen but just
honeydew exudate from mealybugs, scale and aphids.

Great info about ants from the University of California IPM website at

Now back to bulbs - the rain lilies are blooming now.  Zepheranthes candida
and Z. flavissima and Z. carinata.  Since we don't get summer rain, a short
drench makes them flower for us.  They do well in our heavy clay soil.

San Jose CA
Where it is 94F and climbing today

-----Original Message-----
From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]
On Behalf Of hheaven77@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 7:03 AM
To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [pbs] Opuntia flower with ants

In my yard, I have seen ants "farming mealybugs".? The ants move the
mealybugs around (woe to the host plant, it is a sticky mess) and eventually
you get a mass of mealybugs and a mess of ants.? I shoot them off with?a
strong steam of water and follow up with insecticide?if necessary because
they both are persistant and mealies dangerous to my succulents if not

Celeste G.
Phoenix, AZ
Where it is a beautiful 84F now but going to 108F?later today??

-----Original Message-----
From: Alberto Castillo <ezeizabotgard@hotmail.com>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Mon, Jun 22, 2009 6:49 pm
Subject: Re: [pbs] Opuntia flower with ants

Hi Dennis: 


              Do these ants eat pollen or are they actually herding aphids
mealybugs around?

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