It’s funny what people think they know about ants. I went to my local Farmer’s Market where there is a booth staffed by master gardeners. I wanted to see if they’d have suggestions. ‘Ants don’t eat plants’, I got. We looked it up in their pest bible and they learned that yes, ants sometimes will eat plants. The staffer said she’d just pull up the plants, kill the ants, and start over.
I’m stubborn. So I’m still fighting. I haven’t lost too many more kale plants to the ants, but they were still there after two treatments of diatomaceous earth. I never did try the petroleum jelly, cause they’re girdling the stem inside the ground, too. Instead, I headed out with my kettle of boiling water.
Yes, I was prepared to lose the plants – if only I could stop the roiling masses of ants attached to the stems. So I poured and poured, like I was watering each plant, but with death (muaah, ha ha). The air had a peculiar steamed-broccoli smell to it, but I was satisfied I’d made some damage. Next day I go out, the plants do not appear dead, and there are still ants. Really? Maybe it’s a big nest under there, and the ground was pretty cold. I try again.
But, three days later, they’re back. It’s on to the borax and jelly.