Thursday, June 14, 2007

Controlling Ants Around Orchids

Here's an interesting trick used for getting rid of aunts around your orchids. Ants can raise havoc in a greenhouse and proper control of these pests is important. Some orchids like Cattleya orchids are a magnet for aunts because the little creatures love the nectar Cattleya plants produce. Maybe this will help... I got this from a post on the OGD.

Mix two cups of sugar with one cup of water. Add in twotablespoons of boric acid ("Roach Pruf," etc.). Check the labels onpowdered cockroach killers; they may be 99%+ boric acid. Dissolveboth components, and then saturate cotton balls with the solution. Put cotton balls in jars with lids. Punch a hole in the lidfor ants to get in. Baby food jars are ideal. Put the "bombs" wherethe ants are found. The jars sequester the cotton balls so they don't get wet,and pets can't get to them. Even if they could, boric acid has verylow mammalian toxicity, and is much safer than most commercialpesticides. Borax (the commercial laundry cleaner) may also work, but won't eat it. Too little, and it won't work. I've wiped out entire ant colonies with the bombs that commercial pesticides wouldn't touch. You may have to play with the quantities. Too much, and the ants won't eat it. Too little, and it won't work. Another solution is fipronil (Maxforce, Over 'n Out, Regent,Termidor). It's safe enough with mammals that the applied ticktreatment "Frontline" uses the stuff to systemically poison parasites on pets. My "advice" (whatever that's worth) is no substitute forreading the label.

Chandler, AZ

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