Ants can be a problem in a garden. They eat beneficial bugs, such as ladybugs. They also help aphids to survive. Ants generally do not harm plants, but may inflict painful stings on humans. If you are growing an organic garden, want to control ants, but do not want to use harmful chemicals and pesticides, you are in luck.
First, consider controlling the number of ants, not getting rid of them all together. Ants can aerate soil, keep wasps away and eat larvae of other insects. Caterpillar control is the best reason to keep at least some of the ants! But, they can sometimes spread diseases from one plant to another, encourage aphids and other unwanted insects to come to your garden, and will sometimes kill certain plants. Carpenter ants are the most harmful to vegetable gardens. Most ants, however, only eat sugary nectar or the excrement of aphids and are not harmful to any plant.
Simply watering daily can keep ant numbers down. It is not effective at getting rid of them completely, but it will make them uncomfortable and can help you avoid a real invasion. Soapy water seems to work well, but may also discourage beneficial insects from making a home in your garden. Almost all bugs are beneficial to your garden, so be selective about what you actually eliminate.
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