Black Ants

Asked August 23, 2016, 9:56 AM EDT

I have a vegetable garden that is doing super. My problem is that in the last couple of weeks we noticed a few 1/4" to 3/8" black ants. Now we are overrun with them. The sunflower, butternut squash, tomatoes, etc are loaded with them. They are very aggressive getting on arms/neck/legs in mass and biting. It has gotten to the point that vines, etc. can't be touched. My question is what can I safely use to get rid of them? Thank you.

Howard County Maryland

3 Responses

Ants are generally good and should be ignored as they aerate the soil, bring up nutrients and make them available to roots, and kill pests. However, if they have large colonies or ant hills in the area, you can sprinkle a generous amount of diatomaceous earth labeled for insect control on and around the colony entrance. Hopefully, you will kill enough of them to cause the rest of the colony to move to another location. The D.E. powder will not harm you or the soil. It will kill other crawling insects until it rains.
Do not let your tomatoes get overripe. Consider picking them at the blush stage and let them ripen on your kitchen counter.

Thank you for the information. I have to totally destroy them. They attack and bite. Is there anything else I can use?

We do not recommend pesticides in the vegetable garden.
The above is labeled for control in a vegetable garden.