|Tell-tale signs of an ant colony|
They are even attacking the dogs if they linger too long i one spot.
|Can you imagine how big the underground colony|
is by looking at all the "doors" which are
scattered round the base of this tree
But, seriously, if it wasn't for the scale that they schlep onto the trees I would ignore them. But between the scale and my sugar water bird feeder - I've decided I'm going to declare war.
The first bottle of sugar water which I hung from a branch in a nearby tree was completely consumed by them - to the point that they got giddy (with delight?) and climbed into the bottle and drowned. I refilled the bottle and moved it to another tree and, at last, the resident sunbirds, Cape Whiteye's and even the weavers have finally found it, and are able to feast on the sweet nectar. But after a couple of days I noticed the birds hopping about on the little perch - trying to get a drink, but not lingering long enough to complete the task. On closer inspection I discovered that once again the ants were party crashers. Nope - I'm not having any of that.
|This tree is desperately sick with scale|
thanks to the ants
|The ants completely stripped the flesh from|
this field mouse leaving just some skin and the
So I didn't want to start spraying ant poison and kill off whole colonies. Diatomaceous Earth works very well and I'm using that successfully in my shadecloth veggie patch, but with the wind we have, most of it gets blown away if it's applied to the rest of the garden.
So, what was my solution...
Well, if it's good enough to help with the indoor fly problem, then surely the sticky flystrip may come to the rescue again...?
I wrapped it round the branch on which I hung the bottle. Gotcha, you little blighters!
|The ants have no respect for their dead|
buddies, do they. They're just using them
as a bridge to get over the sticky fly paper.
|They weren't happy with my solution - they massed|
round the trunk to discuss their plan of attack.
In fact, they called out their big brothers / sisters
or so it seemed, as the latest ants are almost
double in size to the first lot that got trapped.
At least it's a way of keeping the ant infestation under control without bringing out the big guns, or having to start chucking poison round the place. An eco-friendly solution in my book... ;)
Or could this be more ammunition to use with RMan in the quest to have a couple of chickens...