Roy Herold
Mon, 02 Aug 2010 11:33:45 PDT
The first time I visited the conservatory at Kirstenbosch (2002?), they 
were dealing with a terrible infestation of ants. The most visible 
damage was to succulents with the softer sorts of leaves--great hunks 
had been eaten from them. I don't know if there was any damage 
underground, however.

Kirstenbosch keeps the bulk if its bulb collection in a separate, 
non-public greenhouse that may have had better controls.

My own anti-ant experience has been limited to dealing with nests in 
pots or in the root systems of in-ground plants. They are good at 
excavating massive quantities of soil from around the roots, sometimes 
leading to dessication or death. Or they just pile the dirt on top of 
the plant, suffocating it.

As an aside, in my previous garden I had a sand bed that was wonderful 
for growing some of the fussier alpines. Ants were never a problem, but 
burrowing wasps loved it. There were at least three different kinds that 
excavated long tunnels, often under plants. Fill then in, they come 
right back. Losses were minor, however, and they were fun to watch.

NW of Boston

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