peonies & ants
I'm new at gardening. I want to plant peonies along my driveway. The closest one to my neighbor will be 6ft. I also store my camper about 6ft. away in summer, & 6in. over the winter. How can I be sure the ants don't go where they're not welcome? Thanks, unklbil.
Peonies and ants have a symbiotic relationship. The ants that protect them generally eat sweets. To be sure they arean't attracted to your camper, don't leave out sweets or any food for them to be attracted to. Make sure all crumbs are cleaned up. Also, don't disturb the ant colony by trying to kill them. When that happens they feel threatened and often start several colonies nearby.
Enjoy your peonies and don't forget to add lots of compost to the planting bed. They'll love you for it.
-- I kill stray ants with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water in a spray bottle. I believe the liquid soap serves to immobilize the ant and then drown it. It works within seconds. My mother-in-law used a mixture of Simple Green and water to the same effect. Just wipe up with a sponge.
-- Coffee grounds. Make yourself some coffee and just scoop the wet grounds out of the pot and place them in strategic locations. The ants back off. (And if you don't drink coffee, you can still make it and use the grounds.) I used to keep the grounds damp by spraying them with a little water now and then. When the ants start getting bold, use more fresh grounds. After awhile, they just stopped coming!
-- I have found that grease-eating ants (carpenter ants) like a mixture of bacon grease, flour and boric acid. I place it in a small glass jar with holes in the lid (this keeps kids and pets out) and mark the content. Just place outside or near the nest. They will eat it and die over a period of weeks. Use the same type of container for other ants and mix with peanut butter and boric acid, or honey and boric acid. For common sugar ants you can buy little containers of liquid boric acid solution.