Why becoming rodents under control on your backyard can be tacky business – Whittier Daily News


Q: In a recent article about aphids you mentioned important ant management is. My inquiry is what’s the ideal way to keep bees from my citrus (Meyer lemon along with cara cara orange)? Some are from the floor and many others are in massive pots. Are there some plants that repel ants?

A: Since ants can be a problem through your backyard, on your home and on your trees, there are numerous strategies you can use from them.

We (like everybody else in Southern California) have nests of Argentine ants all over our property. It seems that any time we try to dig a hole or pull weeds, we end up disturbing an ants’ nest. For ant control throughout your yard (and to prevent ants from invading your home), ant baits stations are the best solution. These require an initial investment since you will need at least one station for each side of your house and probably a few more scattered throughout your yard and garden. There are several types of bait and bait stations available. Bait can come in liquid or granular form and they require different types of bait stations.

When purchasing bait, make sure that it contains no more than 1% borate. Ants will take the bait back to their nest and share with their nestmates. If the bait contains too much borate, it will kill the ants before they can reach their nest. This defeats the point, even though instant ant death is quite gratifying.

If you just want to keep ants out of a particular tree or shrub, another option is Tanglefoot. This is a very sticky, gooey substance that will prevent ants from climbing into a plant. It can usually be found in garden centers and is sold in a small plastic tub. Don’t apply it directly because it can damage bark. First, wrap a portion of the trunk in polyester quilt batting. Then, wrap duct tape snugly within the batting and smear the Tanglefoot over the duct tape. Wrap the tape over the batting tightly enough so ants can’t crawl underneath and bypass the Tanglefoot.

Word of caution: Use disposable gloves when applying Tanglefoot, and apply it using out a wooden popsicle stick or a plastic knife. You do not want also to get this sticky, gooey stuff on your hands and discover that you have to use the bathroom. It does not wash off!

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