With its beautiful flowers filled with a variety of shades such as pink, white and red, the peonies add great interest to your garden. However, the visual impact of these flowers can be interrupted by the presence of ants. You have probably heard that the ants present in the buds of the peonies are necessary for them to flower, however, this is not true, since the ants suck the sap from the flowers. Although they do not cause serious damage to the peonies, when the ants become a nuisance or when it is a sign of infestation, you must implement some control measures to eliminate them. We share tips to remove ants from peonies.
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- Go to a garden supply store and buy boric acid bait. It is important that you buy baits with the active ingredient hydramethylnon for effective chemical control of high toxicity.
- Put the poisoned bait in the areas where the ants travel and wait several weeks to see the results since the ants have to carry the poison to the nests and the effects are not immediate.
- On the other hand, you can put sticky traps around the base of the peonies to catch the ants and keep them from getting on the flowers.
- Examine peonies closely for signs of cochineal. Look for white cotton balls in the peonies that form when the small scale insects feed in large groups. Look for other signs of cochineal infestation that attracts ants such as mold and black mold. Examine the peonies for faded, discolored leaves, leaf fall or growth problems.
- Spray the pests with a powerful jet of water to reduce the severity of the infestation.
- It releases natural enemies in peonies such as beetles and parasitic wasps, as a method of biological control to kill cochineals.
- Apply a low toxicity insecticide, such as horticultural oil or insecticidal soap, and reapply according to the instructions on the product label. The use of a low toxicity insecticide such as horticultural oil helps kill cochineals on contact without disrupting populations of natural enemies.
- Ant populations should decrease once the cochineal infestation is under control; However, if the problem does not disappear completely, you will have to use general elimination practices to complete the control program.
Be sure to wear gardening gloves and goggles to avoid injury when handling poisons or insecticides. Be careful with children and pets when using poisonous bait.