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Thread: Lots of ants and aphids/black fly

  1. #1
    bhups is offline Germinator
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    Default Lots of ants and aphids/black fly

    Hello,

    All my crops are filling up with aphids/black fly.
    I have lots of ants too which seem to be sniffing the aphid butts.

    Having a read around, it looks like ants are protectors of aphids.

    So my question is, how do I get rid of the ants so other predators (if they come) can eat the aphids.
    Or how can I rid them both?

    When we were filling our raised bed, we emptied out an old compost bucket into the bed and along with it a whole nest of ants+larvae!!!

    All the help is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Snoop Puss's Avatar
    Snoop Puss is offline Cropper
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    Your best bet is to deal with the blackfly rather than the ants. If the blackfly are as bad as they sound, predators may never be able to get rid of them for you.

    There are assorted techniques. Me I use the disgusting technique of squishing them with my fingers. Organic and certain, but very messy.
    Spain is a big country: where I live, we get frosts, floods and snow, as well as raging heat.

  3. #3
    bario1's Avatar
    bario1 is offline Work in progress...
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    For some reason this year is the worst i've ever seen for aphids - my brassicas are covered in them, in some cases the infestation is so bad that the plants have died or I've had to pull them up to try and save others. I used a neem oil solution sprayed onto the plants recently, but it just seemed to kill the plants! Even spaying with a high pressure hose doesn't budge them.
    He-Pep!

  4. #4
    vixylix's Avatar
    vixylix is offline Early Fruiter
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    Yep - just keep squishing them - I also squish the ants sometimes, for example when they're crawling up my leg - but squish all the aphids you can find or they will just keep multiplying
    bario1 likes this.

  5. #5
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    Jay-ell is offline Welcome To The Jungle
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    Squish the aphids. Blast them with the hose. Blast your hand with the hose after squishing aphids.
    Snoop Puss, bario1 and snowbunny like this.

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  6. #6
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    veggiechicken is offline Warning!! Contains Nuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by bario1 View Post
    Even spaying with a high pressure hose doesn't budge them.
    They won''t be able to have any babies though
    Snoop Puss, bario1, Jay22 and 1 others like this.
    Look on the bright side

  7. #7
    snowbunny is offline Seedling
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    Default The dreaded aphids

    Last year, I had a horrible aphid problem on my cucumbers and courgettes, which destroyed may of my plants, so much so that I've decided not to grow cucumbers this year, until I have a working solution to them. Which is where I am now.

    The other piece of information to the scenario is that I have ants. A lot of ants. They may not do much direct damage, but they are little ******s, farming the aphids. They can also undermine the roots of my veggies. I actually find ants fascinating, so was reluctant to harm them last year, but having seen them playing their part in the destruction of my curcubits, I've pledged war this summer.

    I used a spray-on pesticide to attack the aphids last year, but probably far too late, and it didn't seem to do an awful lot - and was very expensive to buy here in Spain. A bottle was about €10 and lasted a couple of weeks. That's a lot of money for something that didn't work

    So, here's my plan of attack for this year.

    1. Whenever I see an ant nest near the vegetable plot, it will get powdered. Boiling water is ineffective, because the nests are so vast, so it only kills the few ants in the immediate vicinity. The powder is brilliant.

    2. Daily inspection of the target veggies, squishing any aphids I find on their leaves before a full-on assault occurs. This is time consuming and a bit dull, but I think probably the most reliable method of control, to prevent the little sods multiplying.

    3. I've planted sunflowers along the border, onions, shallots and garlic next to the courgettes and sown other flowers (nasturtiums, marigolds, calendula, cosmos and cornflowers) to see if they help at all. These are all, sadly, a way off flowering, as I can't sow seeds before late April because I live elsewhere in the winters.

    Does this sound like it might work? Or any alarm bells set off? Any other suggestions?

    Thanks
    Snoop Puss likes this.

  8. #8
    snowbunny is offline Seedling
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    Ah, I just wrote my own aphid post and then saw this. Glad I'm going with the squishing approach (in my multi-pronged attack). I'm not overly concerned about being organic, but the pesticide I tried last year was ineffective and expensive, so I'm getting my fingers dirty this year
    bario1 likes this.

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