red ants in colorado community garden plot

Asked May 21, 2013, 10:01 PM EDT

Do you have a suggestion for mitigating red ants safely and organically?

Denver County Colorado garden insects

3 Responses

Field ants (Formica species) are among the most common ants found in yards and gardens in Colorado. They are black or reddish-brown and black ants of medium size (3/16-1/3 inch) and sometimes are mistaken for carpenter ants. They nest outdoors in loose soil and some produce mounds that incorporate twigs, dried leaves and other plant materials. Migrations into homes can occur in spring when soils warm enough to cause colonies to resume activity but cool temperatures prevent normal foraging in yards. Field ants feed on a variety of foods but most often are observed visiting sweet honeydew excreted by aphids and or other sweet materials.

If you feel the need to control ants in a community garden, the use of ant baits will usually provide the most satisfactory control. Liquid and gel formulated baits may often be more readily accepted by ants.
For more information, see the following fact sheet:

These guys look pretty red with black bottoms. I have venom allergies, so I am concerned. Do red fire ants not live in Colorado? I was going to try borax and sugar tonight at sunset. Thank you for the article.

Fire ants are not present in Colorado.