[permaculture] leaf cutter ants

George Anna Clark esac at laneta.apc.org
Sat Jun 12 14:45:07 EDT 2004

Hi Mike, enjoyed yours as well, always do (especially on fish pond security)...

>Have you ever thought of trying neem oil to repel them?
>What about using a very strong essential oil...that messes up their
>smell...garlic eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass

       these two are new, will try them .... I'm also interspersing neem 
trees in the live fence around the farm - thinking at some point I will 
make my own neem oil (right... sometime around 2 am after making organic 
peanut butter and hummus...), but have recently been told the trees work as 
a physical barrier for the white fly as well. We'll see in a few years, boy 
do they grow fast. Absolutely love dry conditions.

>Injecting Boiling water into the nest..??

       tried that... I think you need a very large swimming pool full of 
boiling water

>Black Plastic barrier around the field...?
      they're inside the field (and outside as well, of course)

>Sand around tree trunks?
      I think perhaps I did many moons ago -just in case, will try it 
again. Have tried ash and lime, though, also inside their holes...  Also 
tried stick-em stuff that I use on the plastic yellow cards for the white 
flies (which capture about 1 out of 10,000 white flies, by the way, and 
more beneficials than I like) around the trunk, they didn't even feel it.

>Scent barrier around trees/plants that you want...
     I'm working on that - I'm thinking lemongrass is working (yet another 
excuse to grow it)...

>  boric acid as a deterrent?

     verrrrry interesting.

>beneficial fungii, bacteria that attacks the ants, their eggs, or the 
>rotting food
>stores?....check out quassia (active ingredient quassine) to spray around 
>your good plants..

         great ideas, any volunteer research students out there who would 
like to study these in Mexico for your thesis??

>Natural pest? (Rent-an-anteater??)
      Honest to god I tried this once. Well, I bought the anteater (you can 
go to a certain tree on the side of the highway sort of in the middle of 
nowhere and buy live anteaters -sometimes- not always available...)  I let 
him (her?) loose in the field and never saw it again, with no noticeable 
drop in the population... I suppose I would have to start an anteater 
farm.... I do have iguanas living in my roof (they like the heat but I 
suspect they've also discovered the cat food), but perhaps they sleep when 
the ants are active ?? (which is one reason why chickens and ducks don't work)

>Anyone have similar ideas from keeping away goats out of my plants??
>Any tried and true ideas? Offline ideas welcome too...

      The only thing that occurs to me is barbecue... (sorry...)

       good luck and thanks again!
       george anna

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