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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:15 am 
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Location: Clute,TEXAS
Since I have started becoming a serious horticulturist, I have begun learning some things the hard way. One of these things is the effectiveness of Diatomaceous Earth.

On page 158 of Howard's Texas Bug Book, it proclaims that "No ant will cross a DE barrier in dry-weather conditions."

Anyone that has been paying any attention at all knows that it has been dry and scorching hot all over Texas for pretty much the whole summer of 2009. I have been trying to grow okra all summer. My plants themselves have grown wonderfully. The problem is that any time an okra gets more than one half of an inch long, or longer, ants attack it in mass and completely devour it. My first action was to cover the surrounding ground around the plant with DE, what a waste. The ants merely used it as an easy path to the fruits. I finally just pulled the beautiful plants so to deter the ants from attacking other plants in the garden.

To reiterate, it has been between 95 and 100 degrees F with EXTREMELY little rain (I live near the coast and not near Dallas where most of you are getting all of the rain). It is a dust bowl here and none of this has stopped a single ant from decimating my okra.

Stop the myth.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:26 pm 
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I agree. DE never did anything for me either.

First you have to determine what the ants are eating (protein or sugar). If they eat sugar, you can mix yeast (1 t), molasses (1/2 c), and sugar (1/2 c) and glop some of that in their path. It might take a few weeks but it seems to deplete them until they no long come around.

If they eat protein, then spray the entire area with diluted molasses. If you can find their mound, drench the mound with 3 ounces of molasses per gallon of water. Spray the surrounding 10 feet with molasses water.

Apparently protein ants cannot stand the sugar in their food supply. Drenching the mound ensures there is sugar in there. I think the yeast does something similar in the mounds of the sugar ants. I wonder if you could drench their mounds with yeast water?????

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:44 pm 
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Location: Clute,TEXAS
Thanks David, I will certainly try the drenching technique, anything is worth a try.

I got so upset watching my huge, beautiful, strong okra plants put on fruit just to get obliterated by ants once the fruit were over 1/2 inch long.

Thanks for the help.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:45 pm
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I have had the exact issue but in the Weatherford, Tx area and have had the best result dusting the blooms and fruit.
That was after slowing them down some by drenching the soil around the plants with ant mound drench formula.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:31 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Allen, TX
Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
I agree. DE never did anything for me either.

First you have to determine what the ants are eating (protein or sugar). If they eat sugar, you can mix yeast (1 t), molasses (1/2 c), and sugar (1/2 c) and glop some of that in their path. It might take a few weeks but it seems to deplete them until they no long come around.

If they eat protein, then spray the entire area with diluted molasses. If you can find their mound, drench the mound with 3 ounces of molasses per gallon of water. Spray the surrounding 10 feet with molasses water.

Apparently protein ants cannot stand the sugar in their food supply. Drenching the mound ensures there is sugar in there. I think the yeast does something similar in the mounds of the sugar ants. I wonder if you could drench their mounds with yeast water?????


I've been using orange oil with mixed results. I'll try this suggestion too. Thanks!

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Brian Gallimore in Allen, Texas
Citizen Gardener, Permaculturist, Master Naturalist, NorthTexasVegetableGardeners


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