30 Bananas a Day!

My recently planted fruit trees are striving to make themselves at home in my hot climate.

But now some local ants, large and small, are turning the leaves into their personal smorgasbord.  

A.  I don't wish to harm the ants on ethical grounds.

B.  I subscribe to a permaculture concept in which nature is something with which to coexist not subdue.  There's room for all creatures to thrive.

But neither an I willing to see my trees nibbled bare.  

Any of your green thumb growers know of a non-deadly but effective repellant to make these hungry ants look elsewhere for noms?

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That sounds like quite a problem. I hope someone knows. The only thing that I know that deters ants is supposedly chili pepper, cinnamon, and I think lemon peels. Not sure on lemon peels. Not sure how that info can help you but maybe you can figure out something to do with that. Maybe put a bunch of that by the trunk of the tree. For the chili you can get chili powder and spinkle it all around the base of the tree.
Or cut up hot chillis might work better then chilli powder.

Thanks, FL

I read about both chili and cinnamon, and tried wrapping a piece of tape sticky side out around the trunk and coating it with both at different times.  The ants didn't seem impressed.  

Maybe I'll try lemon next.  

i read that they dont like mint!

Oh no!  Have you generously added rock dust to the trees?  I read that a really healthy plant will somehow deter pests.

Give them something tastier to munch on like fermented or bruised bananas.

Thanks guys.  

Smeared fresh lemon all over the trunks, but the ants are still marching over it on their way to the buffet.  

It's pretty distressing seeing this plant investment get demolished.  Of course ants are usually silent, but here there are so many that I can actually hear em rustling all over the trees.  

Did leave a banana peel in their path, which should interest a tiny percentage of them.  

ants will eat a whole tree from the inside out.   they will live on as we pass away

yea divert them  to compost sheet composting maybe

We put our kitchen compost out front for a couple of days before it made it's way to the compost pile and an enormous ant colony appeared.  So maybe try something like that, put a pile of lovely stuff out for them a distance from the tree and make a small trail from the tree towards the pile.  At the same time get a squirt bottle and press some garlic in it with water and spray the entire tree.  And while you are doing this, talk to the ants and ask them really nice to go live off your compost offering and leave your trees alone.  Maybe even make a deal with them that if they do you will continue to feed them. :)

One should somehow use water to deter the ants. Eg to build a moat with wide strips of plastic around the tree deep enough not to evaporate too soon.Since tree  roots are near soil surface right next to the tree trunk,the moat should be some distance from the tree.

One has to handpick the ants already in the tree and throw them outside the moat area.How many trees you have??

There is also a white chalk type of ant/cockroach repellent that one buys from Chinese shops.One can paint perhaps ab 5 rings around the tree trunk with it.I don't know what's in it.It is a poison but I believe not as bad as some others.Just reapply frequently.

That's my two cents worth!

If the ants are termites,then the only way is to find the nest and catch their queen.Then there's not much one can do without professional help but to put one's feet up and read a book The Soul Of The White Ant by Eugene Marais,who studied termites for years, living in the bush all by himself with only ants (and baboons) as company.It is a fascinating study.It looks like they are many times more intelligent and intuitive than us people.Also they can build a rock hard, upright structure on top of the nest, that in 'human size' engineering would be a building as high as Matterhorn in Switzerland.

Hi Windlord,

I think chickens might like to eat some ants.  Do you have any neighbors or friends with chickens you can try?  Or heck I live about 2.5 hours from you and I've got some hungry chickens :)

Oh no sorry you are still having problems.  I heard coffee grounds help too.  I looked into it further and coffee grounds supposedly make them look elsewhere to invade and set up a home elsewhere but it doesn't kill them.  The only thing is I am not clear if it has to be used coffee grounds.  If so that might be a problem but perhaps pouring generous amounts of coffee grounds on the ground all around the trunk of your tree and also trying to get some on the trunk too if you can figure out how to do that.  Do lots of grounds. 

Oh am not sure if it is fresh lemon that deters them I think it is just the peel so maybe leaving a bunch of peels on the ground by the trunk would have helped.  Who knows.  Or maybe lemon peels don't work as well as some people claim.



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