What will stop ants eating our veggies?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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TraceyB_2TraceyB_2 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
As the title says really - we are very new to growing our own and seem to have a bit of a problem at the minute with ants. Our beans are coming along nicely but the leaves have been nibbled by an army of ants that seem to have moved into our veggie patch (cant see an ant hill).

We are in the process of planting out some other seedlings and are worried about the ants attacking these too.

Anyone know of anything we can do/put down to solve the problem?

Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • Sally_ASally_A Forumite
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    I've never heard of ants actually killing a crop, they may disturb the root base with their anthills. Which type of beans are they, and how damaged are they?
  • pookiewnpookiewn Forumite
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    My alpine strawberries were killed by ants, and I think they are starting to attack my squash too! There doesn't seem do be a lot you can do about it other than put ant baits down. Nippon gel is rather good for getting rid of them too.
    "Live each day as if it were your last and garden as though you will live forever"
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  • realfoodrealfood Forumite
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    I have never seen ants attack plants. The peas and beans are frequently attacked by a beetle which takes notches out of the leaves. It does not cause any lasting harm, just ignore it.
    The strawberries are most likely to have been damaged by the underground grubs of the vine weevil but there is no licensed treatment for use on edible crops.
  • MankysteveMankysteve Forumite
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    The ants will most likely be attracted to what eating the plants.
  • tanithtanith Forumite
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    Mankysteve wrote: »
    The ants will most likely be attracted to what eating the plants.

    I agree, but its a little early for most of the usual suspects, blackfly, greenfly, isn't still too cold? Although I suppose its been warmer for a week or so..
    Can you describe the damage?
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club :j

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  • TraceyB_2TraceyB_2 Forumite
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    Thanks everyone for your help.

    The beans are both broad and dwarf runners and it looks like the edges of the leaves have been nibbled a bit how realfood has described it - notches taken away from the sides.

    The good thing is that the army of ants are not anything to worry about - would we see the beetle that could be doing the damage? Also (sorry for all the questions) once we (hopefully) get beans on our plants, could the beetle then change tactics and start munching on our crop?

    Thanks again for all your responses.
  • PharmaAlPharmaAl Forumite
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    Google for the pea and bean weevil. It's a small brown weevil that moves off the plant on to the ground very quickly when disturbed. They usually don't do too much damage, just munch a few notches out of the leaves leaves but this year my pea seedling have been eaten away as they germinate.
    Best to grow plants in pots and plant out when they get larger so they can resist the onslaught if you have a problem
  • Lotus-eaterLotus-eater Forumite
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    Bean weevil, definitely, This may help.

    http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/vegging-out/pea-bean-weevil-treatment_46972.html

    tanith wrote: »
    I agree, but its a little early for most of the usual suspects, blackfly, greenfly, isn't still too cold?
    Can you describe the damage?
    I wish! They've been around for a few weeks now on the fruit bushes.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • TraceyB_2TraceyB_2 Forumite
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    Thanks so much for all the info and the links - have had a look and the beans and peas that we have put in are fairly big already so I'm hoping they wont do too much damage - thankfully the seeds we have just planted are the same as others we have sprouting in our plastic greenhouse (we wanted to see which came out best!) so if they ruin the seedlings we do have back ups!

    Thanks again for your help - I get the feeling you may get sick of me!!

    Tracey
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