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Are Ants Bad For Your Vegetable Garden?

Are Ants Bad For Your Vegetable Garden?

Are ants bad for your vegetable garden? Ants are not always bad for your garden. They can provide a lot of benefits and you should welcome them into your garden.

Ants are not inherently bad for the garden. In fact, they can be quite beneficial to the plants in it. They may be the key to a bountiful harvest.

They eat insects and even fertilize plants for better growth. Ants also aerate the soil and help with its drainage.

But…and you were waiting for this, ants are not bad for your vegetable garden unless they move to a plant and start consuming the leaves.

The problem with ants is that they will bring pests and diseases from their habitat to your garden. They can also kill plants by bringing in seeds from the ground which will promote weed growth.

There are plenty of natural ways to keep ants away from your vegetable gardens, such as spraying vinegar or lemon juice, putting down diatomaceous earth or even sprinkling cinnamon around the perimeter of your garden.

Deep down, most of us know what hard working “little critters” ants are. We generally want to leave them alone.

But they can be pushy and when they identify a territory they want, they’ll move in.

Whether it’s the house of garden, they are really focussed on what they want.

Are Ants Bad For Your Vegetable Garden? Pros And Cons

Ants in gardens
Ants can be unwelcome guests in many gardens

So let’s look at the pros and cons of having ants in your vegetable garden.

In this article, I want to keep it pretty straightforward. I’m not going to paint ants in a bad light. In fact, the gist of this article is generally favorable towards them.

We’ll look at the pros and cons of ants in your vegetable garden, their role and how to deal with them.

Pros

1. Ants eat insect pests.

2. Ants help aerate soil.

3. Ants help with drainage.

4. Ants eat pathogens from the ground.

5. Ants keep away birds.

6. Ants provide food for bees.

7. Ants can protect plants against weeds.

8. Ants fertilize plants.

9. Ants help control garden pests.

10. Ants can clean up dead animals around your garden.

11. Ants keep away pests such as mosquitoes, snails, slugs, caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, aphids etc.

The cons of having ants in your vegetable garden are:

1. Ants carry disease causing organisms on their bodies.

2. Ants can destroy plants by moving seedlings from the ground.

3. Ants can damage plants if they get inside the roots.

4. Ants can cause problems with harvesting crops because they may bite off parts of the plant.

5. If you have pets, then you must consider how ants react to cats and dogs.

Ants..Pest Or Friend?

Ants in your garden
Ants help clean up dead animals around your garden

We’ve looked at the pros and cons of whether ants are bad for your vegetable garden. It seems the good outweighs the bad.

While that’s good, the problem is that these little creatures can be such annoying pests. But let’s continue on the “good train”.

Many claim ants and vegetables go together like peanut butter and jelly. Ants work to keep the garden clean and free of pests, which is really important for growing delicious vegetables.

They also provide a natural form of pest control as they can eat up to 500 times or 30 percent of their own body weight in pest insects per day!

We’ve established that ants are very important to a vegetable garden. Ants eat pests that are harmful to vegetables. They also aerate the soil by digging tunnels with their powerful jaws and claws which helps with water drainage.

Ants are not just helpers in a vegetable garden, they are necessary for healthy growth!

How To Deal With Ants In Your Vegetable Garden

garden pest or friend
Are ants a pest or friend?

Still, many gardeners simply don’t want ants in their vegetable gardens despite the good they can do. So let’s look at ways to deal with ants in a garden if you have them in droves.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of having ants in your garden, but don’t want them to become pests, here are some tips on dealing with them:

1. Don’t allow ant colonies near your vegetable garden. Ants need places to live where there is plenty of food and space to grow.

2. Keep all areas of your garden well-maintained so that ants do not build nests.

3. Make sure you remove any compost piles or other organic material that could attract ants.

4. Spray your garden regularly with a non-toxic spray containing garlic oil. This will repel ants and make it difficult for them to find your garden.

5. Use diatomaceous earth (DE) to deter ants. Sprinkle DE over your garden beds before planting seeds or transplants. The dust will stick to the ants’ feet making it difficult for them to climb back up the stems of your plants.

6. Planting companion plants such as marigolds, nasturtiums, petunias, borage, chamomile, fennel and dill will discourage ants from entering your garden. These plants emit chemicals that repel ants.

7. You can use a homemade trap made out of a glass jar filled with beer and placed upside down in the middle of your garden. When the ants enter the jar, they drown in the beer. But this is up to you.

Dealing With Ants In Your Vegetable Garden – 5 More Tips

aphids in the garden
Ants feeding on aphids

1. Do not apply pesticides or insecticides around your garden. Pesticides kill beneficial insects too. Insecticides can harm people when applied incorrectly and even after following instructions correctly.

2. Be careful when using traps or sprays. Read labels carefully and follow directions. Also check for safety information before applying products outside.

3. Remember that ants are not always bad for gardens. They can help keep pest populations low and prevent diseases from spreading.

4. If you still have problems with ants, contact an exterminator who specializes in controlling ants.

5. If you are allergic to ants, avoid getting close to them.

Enjoy the benefits of having ants living in your garden without worrying about them becoming pests.

One thing I need to mention? If they are away from the house then leave them alone.

And finally, remember that ants are helpful in keeping your garden healthy and pest-free.

JD Dean

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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