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Re: PESTS: Need help with ANTS!

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: PESTS: Need help with ANTS!
  • From: "John I. Jones" <jijones@ix.netcom.com>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 10:33:37 +0000
  • References: <199806140231.TAA29076@adit.ap.net>

Tammy King wrote:
> Hi John,
> Hoping you can pass this along to the iris-l list through your VERY generous
> email list....
> Have a really bad problem right now with ants in my irises. I need to know a
> few things: 1.) Will the ants hurt the rhizomes? 2.) What is the best type
> of pesticide to use on them with the least amount of damage? I'm soooo
> afraid they're gonna eat them all up. These are just your everyday average
> normal ants.
> Also, since I've never (gasp) fertilized my iris, what's the best kind to
> use, and when? Is now a good time?
> Thanks a bunch!!
> Tammy K.
> http://users.ap.net/~tlking/irispage.html
> Zone 9/Ca....Where the weather has decided to warm up a tad bit

John takes the opportunity to add a response now instead of later...

In my experience ants won't do anything to the irises themselves, BUT
they may be cultivating aphids on you iris. Aphids are sucking insects
that give off a sticky sweet substance that the ants like (my brain has
shorted out and I can't remember what it is called). If this is the
case, spraying the iris with a dilute liquid dish soap solution should
be effective against the aphids - and very benign to everything else. If
you really want to get rid of the ants, ant traps (little metal
containers with ant poisen in them) available from most garden stores
are very effective. But, the aphids are a much more important problem.

As to fertilizing, a good balanced fertilizer (10-10-10, 20-20-20, or
similar) would be fine. If you want to help them with a guick hit of
something, Miracle Grow applied at about half strength is good too for a
one time shot.

I am sure others will have good suggestions too.


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