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  • Ant problem in garden

    Morning,

    We bought a 25ft x 14ft polytunnel to go on our 28ft x 18ft lawn which has now being lifted with a turf lifter. We noticed an ant issue before lifting the turf and then covered the area with a weed membrane in the meantime after lifting. Just wondering if anyone knows how to solve an ant issue as it seems to be only getting worse and we hoped to get it sorted before putting the tunnel up because we're unsure how bad it could get if not fixed. We've been putting down Doff Ant Killer anywhere we see ants but they just seem to be popping up in a new place everytime and my courgette flowers have been attacked now along with ants seriously farming aphids on our apple tree.

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    Wow, never seen them that bad, in the past I have poured boining water out of the kettle on them ,but looking at your numbers that probably won't work. Found this stuff, no idea if it's any good...................
    2 x Defenders 600g Ant & Insect Killer for lawns & Patios covers 80SQ MTR 704725043914 | eBay

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    • #3
      Lifting the turf disturbed a few nests & brought the ants out. I’ve got loads of ants farming aphids & walking in a line how they do,get an idea where they’re coming from,they like an undisturbed spot & they need to find that again,they’re not that bad. I’ve never had plants damaged to require using any ant killer,the plants should be alright. Keep pets away from powder,block it or something if need to.
      Location : Essex

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      • #4
        In another thread, Nicos recommended cornmeal. Apparently they think it's edible but they can't digest it. So they die.

        I once cleared a large colony of ants in a ginormous nest excavated under an old tarpaulin and wood. It's a perfect environment for ants. I did clear it with boiling water, but you have to do have to pour boiling water repeatedly down the holes they have made. Probably took me two weeks, but I was assiduous: once every day and night with several kettlefuls each time. I couldn't use chemical measures as we had chickens at the time, as well as dogs and cats. I wasn't optimistic the boiling water would work on such a large nest, but was really glad when it did.
        Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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        • #5
          If you have got chickens just excavate the whole nest into wheelbarrows and tip it into the run.
          A day or so later cart it back with the manure scrapings to fill the hole up again. The birds will get great pleasure from kicking them all to death.
          There will be one lucky hen that gets the queen. They usually go for the eggs first.
          In awkward places I have found that powder and bait are no good.
          I normally use crawling insect killer from a spray can directly down the holes. A one second blast per hole is usually enough. It leaves a residue around the entrance and fills the tunnels with vapour killing loads of them. It is usually the cheapest product that stands any chance of working.
          If the aphids fail to stick to a plant the ants will undermine the roots to kill it. If that fails they will cover the leaves with soil to exclude the light.
          In the past if not too close to a building I have had some success with petrol or even white spirit if the affected plant is already a write off. There is no need to set it on fire.
          The spray cans have worked best and been most cost effective for me so far out of all the things I have tried. There is even a Doff branded one that works.
          Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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          • #6
            The ant killer powder is pretty hopeless, as it only kills the ants which come into contact with it.
            What you want is either the granules or the bait stations. These both consist of poisoned bait (sugar, essentially, so it will dissolve if you get it too wet) which the ants then take back to the nests, and it then kills the whole nest.

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            • #7
              Fine dried polenta (it's made from cornmeal) - as Nicos and Snoop says above - ants take it back to the queen who eats but can't digest it. She dies, no queen = no nest (my success with this was limited but it did work better with red ants)
              Ground cinnamon - deters ants for a while, they just don't like it.

              Saw a chap once who dug up and ants nest and plonked it down on top of another one. The ants fight and both colonies move on (not much use if they just move to a different part of your tunnel though..)
              Location ... Nottingham

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              • #8
                You can get ant nematodes which force the ants to move on. if you were to treat you whole polytunnel with it it should do the trick. available on amazon i think
                "Bulb: potential flower buried in Autumn, never to be seen again."
                - Henry Beard

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                • #9
                  I use Bayer Maxforce baits in the greenhouse, mostly because the ants mess with the drainage of the beds and dry them out. Also in the summerhouse because we just don't like them in there.

                  They work very well.

                  You do need to use one bait for each nest though. Moving a bait that has killed one nest on to another one doesn't work. I can't believe all the bait has been taken in the short time to kill the nest. I think the scent of the previous ants puts the new ones off.
                  I live in a part of the UK with very mild winters. Please take this into account before thinking "if he is sowing those now...."

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