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Blackfly, what the hell?
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Author:  Cobra [ 22 May 2019, 16:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

Nutcracker wrote:
but the entire garden is overrun with ants. I've lived here ages and never have I seen so many. .

They say that Milton Keynes was built on an ant hill, and I tend to think this correct !
I get loads of ants too, including fire ants ( bloody things)
I tend to stir up the nests, exposing the eggs, and watch the starlings and blackbirds have a banquet, before the eggs are moved back underground.
Rinse and repeat !

Failing that, I have a nice little neuro toxin that I mix with sugar, ( its pretty much the same colour) and leave it ( covered to exclude other things)
around the edge of the nest.
To kill an ant nest you have to kill the queen, and this way, they take the poison back to her.

Author:  Loufada [ 11 Jun 2019, 16:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

I have two pots of Mint, one has a ant nest inside for sure. Compared to my other mint in pot, the leaves are very pale... I do not want to use any chemical so I will de-pot the said mint, clean of the soil in a part of the garden that birds love (the silver lining…) and report the bare rooted mint in new soil. I will probably need to hose myself after that work! :07hysterical:

As for insects on my bonsai, this year it's aphid-tastic for me. I spotted only a few lady birds but no where near enough what is required for the quantity of aphids. Against my liking, I had to use some chemical :roll:

Author:  Cobra [ 16 Jun 2019, 16:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

At least the clean up crew have finally arrived, Ladybirds will be as big as 747's by the time they wade through this lot!

Image520-009b by Cobra, on Flickr

Image520-010 by Cobra, on Flickr

Image520-007 by Cobra, on Flickr

Author:  john blanchard [ 16 Jun 2019, 18:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

Stunning pictures, thanks.

Author:  Cobra [ 17 Jun 2019, 18:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

john blanchard wrote:
Stunning pictures, thanks.

Thanks John :201thumbup:

Well a quick update, I've now counted 4 Larvae at any one time. But there must be a hell of a lot more than the,
the aphids have taken some real punishment over the last couple of days, long may it continue !

Author:  John M [ 18 Jun 2019, 16:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

Mention (in a couple of posts above) of 'spraying chemicals' (o.w.t.t.e.) encourages me to remind
all who may have forgotten, or who didn't know in the first place,that a very effective first attack
on green/blackfly and many other insect pests is a spray of soapy water. One decent squirt of detergent
(e.g. Fairy Liquid) in a spray bottle of water can be extremely effective against these pests. The value
of soapy water lies in the lack of more harmful chemical ingredients, thus saving the planet just a little.

Detergent in water (for those who don't know) reduces the surface tension of the water, thus allowing
the water to flood the respiratory spiracles of the aphids, drowning/suffocating them. It works - I told
my daughter about this, as she has an infestation on her allotment plants, and it has freed them of the
little b*gg*rs.

J.

Author:  Cobra [ 18 Jun 2019, 19:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

I tried it, the amount of rain that we've had in the past week or so ( the pond is up 4 inches) possibly nullified the effect.

Author:  sputnik [ 19 Jun 2019, 15:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

How do the ladybirds and ladybird larvae cope with the ants. I moved one onto a heavily aphid infested tree where the ants were protecting them and they surrounded it guarding their aphid herd. It turned tail and scuttled off. Could they kill it with Formic acid or are they not vulnerable?

Author:  Cobra [ 19 Jun 2019, 16:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

Good question!
As far as I'm aware, ( I've been a pestie for a lot of years)
Ladybirds are not known to eat ants, ants are quite veracious predators of anything that gets in their way, ( they have very strong mandibles)
I would suggest that the sheer number of ants v the odd ladybird is enough to make them go elsewhere.

Author:  sputnik [ 19 Jun 2019, 17:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: Blackfly, what the hell?

Cobra wrote:
Good question!
As far as I'm aware, ( I've been a pestie for a lot of years)
Ladybirds are not known to eat ants, ants are quite veracious predators of anything that gets in their way, ( they have very strong mandibles)
I would suggest that the sheer number of ants v the odd ladybird is enough to make them go elsewhere.


So once the aphids are being farmed by ants what natural predators can we rely on?

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