Ants on zucchini plant can be a concern among many gardeners.
Some insects are beneficial but there are those that can compromise the health and safety of your crops.
This is why it is important to understand just what exactly ants do to your zucchini plant and what you can do to address this. So, keep reading to eliminate crop issues caused by ants while using natural techniques to solve this problem. Let’s get right into it.
Are Ants on Zucchini Plants Beneficial to Your Crops?
Did you know that ants actually offer some benefits to your crops?
For instance, these insects boost pollination rates. They march from one flower to another as they look for food. Thus, this action makes them as pollinators, although unintentionally.
Additionally, ants help to support the health of the ecosystem. They aerate the soil, which is a practice in traditional form of gardening. As they dig tunnels, this promotes nutrient and water supply to your roots.
Ants also help decompose organic material faster. They decompose dead insects and leaves, which serve as a natural fertilizer to your crops.
Although there are some benefits that ants offer, there are some concerns to keep in mind, too.
Dangers Caused by Ants on Zucchini Plants
If you see a few ants here and there on zucchini plants, it may not seem to pose serious concerns.
However, if there is more than a few ants, this situation can go out of hand. Thus, it signals a problem that needs to be solved sooner than later.
Ants can increase the population of pets in your garden. These insects are very much attracted to sugar. However, aphids are creatures that produce this favorite food of ants. To make sure these bugs keep producing sugar, ants protect them. This is why when there are ants on your zucchini plants, aphids are also present, as well as other common garden pests.
Moreover, ants cause damages to your crops. In the case of fire ants and bigger ants, they can create holes and destroy the perfectly-looking appearance of your zucchini. Whether you are intending to sell or keep these crops for yourself, they no longer look their best because ants already ruined their appearance.
How to Get Rid of Ants on Zucchini Plants
Ants survive with their colonies, with the worker ants foraging all day to make sure everyone in the nest has food to eat.
Speaking of food, they love honeydew or the juice produced by scale insects and aphids. This sticky substance turns into mold and mildew over time, which causes the destruction of any crop.
Ants can easily destroy a baby zucchini’s developing growth. As a result, the plant loses its vigor and its health. This is why aphids and ants that feed on your crops are responsible for its downfall.
With these things in mind, let us look into these natural ways to control ants on zucchini plants for the best results.
1. Eliminate aphids.
Since ants love the substances produced by aphids, the first thing to do to get rid of ants is to remove the source – the aphids. Once the aphids are gone, the ants’ food source will also disappear, thus causing them to flee your crops.
2. Use water.
A quick way to get rid of ants on your crops is by blasting them with water. If you spray the aphids with water, this can help to remove them from your zucchini plant without harming the crops. As a response to this action, ants should slowly go away, as well.
3. Keep trash at bay.
Ants do not only love honeydew from aphids; they also live on any food material and debris in your trash bin. If you have piles of garbage near your zucchini plant, be sure to remove these right away. It should be far away at about 8 feet of a distance from your crop to discourage ants from coming back.
4. Natural spices can help.
Are you feeling bad about the thought of killing ants on your zucchini plant? In this case, you may consider using a technique that will repel these insects but not extinguish them. One thing you can try is by sprinkling cayenne pepper or ground cinnamon around your crops. Ants are not crazy about these spices, which will make them flee your crops without killing them.
5. Consider other natural ant control techniques.
If the above techniques don’t work, then it is time to move on to something more advanced. I use diatomaceous earth (food-grade quality) to ant nests and trails to remove them. This product dehydrates ants and eliminates them completely. Do keep in mind that it takes time to take effect. Moreover, you need to keep these areas with diatomaceous earth dry, otherwise, it will not be effective.
If you need additional tips on how to remove ants on your zucchini plants or just about any crops in your garden, here is a video that may help you out.
Are Ants Bad for Your Garden Or Are They Beneficial?
It is true that there are certain things as beneficial pests and harmful pests in the garden.
Ants do offer benefits such as pollinating your garden and aerating the soil. This is why they are not at all that bad to have around your crops.
However, anything that gets into excess becomes harmful and even destructive to your plants. For instance, if you have hundreds of ants on zucchini plant, this can compromise your crop’s health and development. When left unaddressed, your plant can even die as it loses its vigor.
With this in mind, it makes sense to take the right action to get the culprit out of your garden once and for all. I hope you’re able to learn from the techniques I shared with you to make sure your crops stay healthy and give you a great yield for years to come.