Hi, I have a proble im my front garden with ants..... until now they have been kind of ok, but I have noticed that i have lost many plants down the side of the garden where they are.....now I know we need ants.....so what do I do???
As Verdun says, ants can kill plants if they make their tunnels and nests in the roots which then have no way of taking up food and water from the soil. You can use proprietary ant killers for a permanent solution but you can also just encourage them to move elsewhere with a solution of one small botthe of essential oil of cloves dissolved in 10 litres of water and poured over the affected plants or pots. The ants can't stand the smell and move on.
I have lost several plants because of ants undermining them. The latest was my rhubarb, huge ants nest in it. I didn't want to use poisonous ant killer for that so I've lost it, wish I'd known about oil of cloves.
Read something somewhere (as you do) that ants don't like the smell of mint either. I have loads of mint and picked lots of sprigs, crushed them a bit to release the smell, and put it around an area where ants had been busy tunnelling. A few days later they appeared to have "moved on" and I saw no more evidence of earth removal . Don't know if this was a one off or a coincidence, but would certainly give it a go if you grow mint.
mmmm ok folks thanks, will try the gloves thing as they do have the right to life, just not in my garden......Ive lost aqueligias ive had for years and my roses dont look well, its probably mostly root damage. I know they're the problem because ive seen loads of them and although I have slug problems on the back, they've not been an issue on the front much, my pots on the front are full of ants, so will def try the cloves idea, thanks to everyone