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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Br

Could anybody advise me of any tips on ants!! Big ones, teeny ones, red ones, biting ones......just lots of them. They devour my lilies, irises, citrus trees, berry bushes and of course my veg garden is never free of them. I do not want to use any kind of pesticides and want to keep the land and wildlife as natural as possible which leaves me with this massive problem, especially this time of year. Any natural tips like a certain peel or something centuries old ........
Big thanks in advance and happy gardening



I would be interested to know what folk in your immediate area grow & how they deal with their gardening issues etc. Local knowledge can be invaluable.
( Ants btw precede us as a species by millions of years & quite probably will survive us by a good few also !! )

16 Dec, 2010


I realise you live in Rio, but generally, ants like sweet foods and don't eat plants, unless they're leaf cutter ants - then they take bites out of leaves and carry them off to their nests to grow their own fungus to eat. They also like dead insects, even if they're much larger than they are, but particularly, they love honeydew left behind by other insects such as aphids. In Britain, ants present on plants indicates the presence of aphids - the ants 'farm' the aphids to harvest their honeydew, so is it possible that other insects have been present on your plants, and left behind sweet deposits, which is what the ants have been going for? Which might mean that the 'devouring' of your plants has actually been these other insects, and not the ants?

16 Dec, 2010


Don't anteaters live in South America? LOL!

16 Dec, 2010


Ant tips? Does that mean their 'ant'ennae? Worthy

16 Dec, 2010


very good worthy lol . the other thing ants can do is if you have pots and they build a nest in one it can kill the plant .you could have any type of ant in south america including driver or soldier ants .all ants that are on the ground are all sisters and they vary in size depending on there job in life . there related to bees and wasps in this respect .i cant think of any ants however that eat plants as bamboo sais and the chances of getting rid of them on a permenent bases are probably quite slim. there are ant killers that are taken to the queen and without a queen theres know nest . i guess you mite be able to dpo the opposit and give them something they do like away from your plot . i think you should do a bit of investigating to see what type they are and as bampy sais see what the neighbers do about them . ants apart from the ones that eat the necter from aphids and the like are normaly a gardeners friend and have symbyoses with plants in a lot of places.good luck bye for now .

18 Dec, 2010


Spearmint and orange peel are known to repel the ants we have in Arizona, though I admit that I haven't had to deal with the leaf cutters! A wide band of masking tape around the trunk of a tree, covered with a thick ring of petroleum jelly, should stop them there.

21 Dec, 2010


i should think that is a great idea tugbreth .

21 Dec, 2010


Thanks so much everybody - sorry im so late in thanking you. Landslides, heavy rain for months and well our friends, the ants have taken a toll on the garden. Brazil really is a jungle but i have learnt so much!

The ants came with the rains and have taken over part of the veggie patch and killed a few other plants. Our garden is only 2 years old (Serra dos Órgãos mountains) so a little vulnerable! They adore the citrus trees and we have (thanks Tugbrethil) done the masking tape and tar (as locally advised here) trick. What worries me is all the ant mountains popping up everywhere at ground level....

We will try the 'Queen Exploding' trick with semolina this weekend - which is easier than the boiling water method which leaves me feeling guilty!

Could anybody suggest any plants to plant nearby which will deter them further??

Once more, thanks in advance. Happy gardening to all of you in my beloved UK. I hope spring is a springing and the birds are singing to you all. xx Tracy

12 Apr, 2011

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