Ants in the garden can be just as annoying as in the home. Especially if you are trying to actively use your garden for leisure or growing your own fruit and vegetables. By building underground tunnels, ants dry out the soil and expose the roots and tubers of plants, which they can also damage directly. Fortunately, there is a simple way to effectively control these little workers.
The Queen Ant
An ant colony, like those of other social insects, revolves around the queen. But unlike, say, bees, ants can have several queens in a single colony, usually between ten and thirty. But there have been cases of huge anthills with thousands of queens. Not that this is typical in Czech conditions.
The Ant Way of Life
Ants are omnivores and mainly seek out protein and carbohydrates. Some species of ants even purposefully keep aphids that produce sweet nectar, which the ants feed to themselves, their queens and larvae. They specifically harm your garden in the following ways:
- damage wooden elements such as fences or pergola posts
- ants ‘breed’ other insects that feed on the roots of the plants you grow
- the ants themselves destroy young plant shoots and buds in search of sweet nectar and pollen
- large anthills can also destroy mature trees, in whose bark and later wood they build paths
There are, of course, a number of insecticides on the market that reliably control ants. But these are usually not very cheap, and they can have unpleasant side effects – they are dangerous chemicals after all. However, borax-based products also work reliably. Borax is a salt-like mineral that acts as a deadly poison on ants. You may know it by its older Czech name, tinkal. Borax is generally considered the most gentle way to deal with ants. You can buy it in most drugstores.