FOL­LOW ANT TRAILS TO UN­COVER PESTS

The Leader (Nelson) - - OUT & ABOUT -

Ants can be a real nui­sance in the gar­den, but be sure to carry out a lit­tle de­tec­tive work be­fore you deal to them. If you no­tice an ant trail climb­ing a stem or scouting ants ex­plor­ing a leaf, check to see where they’re go­ing. Ants feed on the sweet hon­ey­dew ex­creted by sap-suck­ing in­sects, so fol­low­ing th­ese trails will of­ten lead you to well-hid­den pests – like the aphids hid­ing un­der an egg­plant leaf (pic­tured).

Soapy wa­ter, a squirt with the hose or squash­ing with your fin­gers will con­trol the aphids, which re­pro­duce partheno­genet­i­cally and viviparously, mean­ing that a sin­gle fe­male can pro­duce off­spring with­out a male and the ba­bies are born live, rather than hatch­ing from eggs. Keep check­ing to see if the in­fes­ta­tion has re­turned, as aphid pop­u­la­tions can build up rapidly.

Track the ant trail back in the other di­rec­tion to ground zero, the nest, as well.

Com­mer­cial prod­ucts for ant con­trol in­clude Ki­wicare’s NO Ants Gel Bait or NO Ants Liq­uid Bait, Yates’ Neverong or di­atoma­ceous earth from www.DENZ.co.nz.

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