Ants in my maple pots

Discussion in 'Maples' started by seventrees, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. seventrees

    seventrees Active Member

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    Hi all!

    I"ve been growing japanese maples in pots for several years now. During 2006, I found that red fire ants had began mounding in several of my pots. At that time it was just a nuisance, however during my latest round of winter repotting, I found that ants had taken up home in several more of my pots. I have not yet seen any apparent signs of damage from the ants, but I an fearfull that eventually there will be.

    I've tried to get rid of the ants by using "Bengal" ultra dust fire ant killer, "Spectracide"
    fire ant preventer, and another brand that I don"t remember. To date, Bengal seems to work best.

    Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what have you found to be effective in permanently getting rid of the ants? Since maples contain sap, will the ants eat developing roots? Also, will the pesticides harm the maples if not used appropriately?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Better there than the usual place!

    No, they're just using the pots as a place to make their home. This could cause damage if the ants remove the soil from around the roots to make galleries for their eggs and larvae. Also if there are aphids on the foliage, the ants will encourage them as a source of honeydew food, which could give problems. So it would be best to get the ants out of the pots.

    An option for dealing with the ants without using pesticides is to drown them - maple roots should be able to survive inundation longer than ants can, so put the pots in a bucket of water for a day or two.
     
  3. seventrees

    seventrees Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. Never considered drowning. May give it a try with one of my less than favorite plants first.
     
  4. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    good advice, drowning works
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Member

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    Put them in buckets of water as the other answers say, not during winter though, wait untill your trees are fully flushrd with leaves, and repeat till the ants are gone, do not replace your pots onto the soil, raise them up on bricks or timber or some such thing.
     

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