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cdub

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I keep my Spathoglottis plicata outside, so naturally it's subject to a few native pests. I've noticed ants having a field day just hangin around the flower buds. Maybe they think they'll find nectar of some sort? They don't do any visible damage, but I would just rather they left the buds and flowers alone. I've investigated a bit and it seems as if they are not living in the large pot, just commuting from their colony and spending the day on my plant. Can I spray with something to get them to leave the plant alone? Like rose bud spray or something? I definitely want to minimize chemical damage to the developing flowers. Plus, the longer I let them hang out, the more I think they will decide to set up shot in the pot soil. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

likespaphs

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chances are they're 'farming' aphids, scale or other pests. you can blast them off with a hose or use a pesticide...
i don't think they like mint nor cucumber peels, so you may be able to find a deterent...
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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I kept finding ants in my basement growroom that were farming mealies. I sprayed and sprayed to no avail. Eventually, while repotting I came upon one of my Cattleyas and unpotted it as usual, only to find the mix swarming over every square centimeter with thousands of ants! It was quickly disposed of and I've not seen any more ants yet.

The moral of the story is, repot your orchid before you bring it in! Those damn ants will supply every plant you own with sap sucking pests.

Jon
________
Ford towcommand
 
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Heather

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Jon in SW Ohio said:
I came upon one of my Cattleyas and unpotted it as usual, only to find the mix swarming over every square centimeter with thousands of ants!
ICK!
I would have screamed bloody murder!
I really don't mind things like ants, but that would have been an unpleasant surprise. EW EW EW!
 

Rick

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SlipperFan said:
I like John's solution...

Can you imagine how many ants that thing must eat to get so big???
That, and how big the ants and termites are that it eats too!!
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Although I find that summering plants outdoors reduces most pest problems- mealies and scale definitely thrive indoors- the one pest that is likely to come in with my plants is ant colonies. For starters, I always pot outdoors, even in the winter if its not too cold. Much easier to eliminate ant problems that way. When discovered indoors, I take the infested plant outdoors and dump the media and wash it off, no matter what the weather. Another trick, unfortunately not as successful, is to completely submerge a plant for several hours....the ants evacuate and the remainder drown....in theory. Fortunately, aphids seem to avoid orchids...and ants do love aphids! (By the way, the main reason that I have always found ladybugs to be failures at aphid control is because the ant farmers do for the aphids as we would for anything eating our farm animals.....all get chased away or killed.) Take care, Eric
 

likespaphs

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Eric Muehlbauer said:
...(By the way, the main reason that I have always found ladybugs to be failures at aphid control is because the ant farmers do for the aphids as we would for anything eating our farm animals.....all get chased away or killed.) Take care, Eric
actually, ants do that with all predators, parasitiods, even...
 
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lindafrog

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Here is a suggestion for ants and another for fruit flies, perhaps it will work with fungus gnats too. Good luck.



GET RID OF ANTS
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home," & can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, esp. if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

GOODBYE FRUIT FLIES
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2"
with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!
 
E

ElixirIce

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Ugh! I HATE ants and it seems that I have some on my paphs, which just happen to be in my bedroom. Lucky me! I want to try the instant grits or the aspartame and let you guys know how it goes, but I haven't come to grips with the idea of letting them swarm into my room with the prospect of free food before I can get rid of them. How about that insecticide chalk that is supposed to be a barrier they can't cross? If it works, I'll have circles all over my floor by noon... :D I'll probably just give my plants a physan bath tomorrow. Is malathion acceptable for use on orchids?
 

NYEric

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If you cant run a hose and wash the ants out change the medium. If you try to use food to kill one pest some other pest will be eating it. E.
 
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