Saturday, December 26, 2009

Leaf Cutter Ants in my garden

Leaf Cutter Ants in Jocotepec Mexico

My neighbor had some Leaf Cutter Ants in her garden but I'm not sure she had a nest there. She did track their trail to a nest in front of my house on the street, dumped a poison powder on them and we thought that was the end of it.

Little did I know that the volcano of dirt under some shrubs and extending into my lawn was from the same critters. I just kicked the dirt back and eventually the mound didn't grow any larger. I knew they were ants but not these guys.

Then there's the issue of a number of my plants not doing so well but I thought it was due to previous neglect, lack of water and I'm new to this climate. Maye some plants were going dormant for the winter.

So two days ago I was working in the garden and noticed the line of ants carrying parts of leaves much bigger than themselves. I followed them back home and sure enough it was where they had been pushing dirt into the lawn a few months before, yikes!!

All I have is a powder that I used on termites down in Melaque so I don't know if that will eliminate these or not. I found the following in an article on Yucatan Living. We'll see in the next few days.

The ultimate solution is pictured here. It is often called padrón by the locals, but this particular brand is called Extermirex. Only use it if you can find the entrance to the colony. Then, while wearing rubber gloves, pour the granules into any holes the ants are using and cover with dirt. The entire colony will be dead within five days. It is the most effective solution we’ve found.

Two openings to the nest with ant powder

The ant train

An undisturbed nest entrance

So they don't like Bouganvilla eh?

Box shrubs are not immune


el jubilado said...

Went out again today and all the ants had changed direction. Sure enough there was another nest 20 yards away. Break out the powder again

.... and there were many dead bodies around the first nest

Steve Cotton said...

I have them at the new place on the laguna. When I get back there, I will try your suggestion. I hate using chemicals, but I dislike the loss of plants more.

el jubilado said...

I swear it's Spring. Plants and trees that I thought were dormant are sprouting leaves like crazy. Watering every few days now to help them come back to life

Elke said...

I'm dealing with this problem at the Raquet Club house now. We have 6 large mounds, the gardener sprinkled powder on 5 of them and I bought more powder this AM. We went out with flashlights last night and found a trail of them munching the last leaves off a rosebush. I sprinkled powder on the garden trails and more on the mounds. Our former tenant did not believe in using toxic products. Screw that! I'm looking for someone to fumigate the house AND the garden, we also saw a ton of cucarachas and some baby scorpions in the jardin.

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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