ants & bulbs

Linda Foulis
Wed, 28 Jul 2010 11:05:19 PDT
Hello All,

I am having issues with the ant population in my new yard.  I have tried
every commercial product available in my area to no avail.  Now whether I
was not persistent enough or that they are more numerous than I can begin to
imagine, I don't know.

Have any of you had problems with or experienced ants eating your bulbs?  My
allium karataviense moved well and I have planted them last fall in the
yard.  They were well tagged and indeed I saw signs of growth typical to
that allium this spring.  And then it disappeared.   I've grown these
particular bulbs for years, without  fail they come up, bloom and do their
thing.  I've yet to see them affected by late (really late) hard frosts, and
we did not have one this year so that was not the problem.  About a month
ago I dug down where the bulbs had been planted and they were simply not
there.  No sign of rot, nothing.  The tag was still there.  These were good
sized bulbs as well, a bit bigger than a golf ball.

I tried an experiment about 2 weeks back.  I planted bean seeds in the same
spot that the allium were and at the same time some Swiss chard seeds a
couple of feet away.  They come up about the same time for me so thought
this would be a good test.  The Swiss chard is up and growing well, no sign
of the beans.  Do you think the ants ate my allium bulbs and the bean seeds?

Do any of you have tips, ideas, solutions to get this ant population under
some sort of control?  I've even tried Borax mixed with honey, or peanut
butter, or sugar.  I've read and read online on possible solutions, nothing
has appeared to work.  Boiling water, while it does work (I think), well,
it's a really big yard and there are more ant hills than I can count.
Torching the entire yard is looking good.
Spraying Windex does work on killing what is on the surface almost
immediately however does nothing to kill off that #$*%@ queen.

Hoping for a sure fire solution.

Linda Foulis

Red Deer, AB
Zone 3

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