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Wasps, Ants etc.

This is a discussion on Wasps, Ants etc. within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Any ideas for keeping critters from burrowing in cork mounts? Earwigs damage the plants but ...

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  1. #1
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
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    Default Wasps, Ants etc.

    Any ideas for keeping critters from burrowing in cork mounts? Earwigs damage the plants but those are easy to drown by submerging the whole thing. There is a colony of very tiny black wasps/bees that have set up housekeeping in the holes of the cork in one mount. The biggest problem is ants making Swiss cheese out of them. One is starting to collapse when you squeeze it and there is a pile of cork dust on the ground. Don't like using pesticides but will if I have to.

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    Hey Chris;

    I've had a lot of problems with ants in my potting soil for my veggies ie: tomatoes. One thing I've found that keeps them at bay is a sprinkling of cinnamon powder. I've also heared that coffee grounds will do same as will dilluted insecticidal soap.

    I have never tried the coffee grounds, little success with the soap and moderate success with the powdered cinnamon.

    I've also read that cotton ball with cinnamon, clove or peppermint oil will deter them.

    Good Luck Bro!

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    I know that ants do not like Hydrogen Peroxide, I have used it on my orchids with no problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDT View Post
    I know that ants do not like Hydrogen Peroxide, I have used it on my orchids with no problems.
    So have I and it works great not only for ants but fungi, rot and other insects as well. However, it doesn't last long and those pesky little suckers (ants) will be back in no time.

    Cinnamon powder seems to work well as long as the residue is there, but I don't know about the oils. Perhaps they'll work just as well because the residue remains for a while.

    Maybe try and cotton balls soaked in this stuff and put it behind?

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    Maybe I'll try a few drops of cinnamon extract on the cork.

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    I wouldn't use the cinnamon powder, as, if you get it on the plants' roots, it will desiccate them.

    The chemicals in cinnamon bark and cinnamon leaves are loaded with bactericides and fungicides, but I am not aware of any insecticidal properties, but why not? I'd love to hear your results.

    Editorial Comment: I don't really understand folks' reticence about the use of commercial pesticides. Properly chosen and used, they are very effective and present little threat to the environment. In many cases, less so that so-called "natural" remedies and "home brews." Part of that has to do with their relative ineffectiveness, requiring many repeated applications, while only a few with a commercial pesticide would be sufficient.

    Another shortcoming, in my mind, is the tendency to automatically equate "natural" with "safe" or "environmentally friendly." Many commercial pesticides are designed specifically to degrade quickly, some from heat, some from sunlight exposure, and some upon contact with soil. Many natural materials persist for years.

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    When I moved to this place 10 years ago there were carpenter ants eating my barn. Sawdust was raining down from the ceiling. I placed some little containers of an ant poison directed at carpenter ants. I may still have the empty containers - I will look when I go out to feed to see if I can find the name but there are several brands. The ants were gone surprisingly fast and have never come back. I have red ant hills all over the place. I started using Amdro for them a few years ago. I just sprinkle some granules around the entrance and the next day they are gone and never come back. Every year they start making new mounds so I just treat those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    I wouldn't use the cinnamon powder, as, if you get it on the plants' roots, it will desiccate them.

    The chemicals in cinnamon bark and cinnamon leaves are loaded with bactericides and fungicides, but I am not aware of any insecticidal properties, but why not? I'd love to hear your results.

    Editorial Comment: I don't really understand folks' reticence about the use of commercial pesticides. Properly chosen and used, they are very effective and present little threat to the environment. In many cases, less so that so-called "natural" remedies and "home brews." Part of that has to do with their relative ineffectiveness, requiring many repeated applications, while only a few with a commercial pesticide would be sufficient.

    Another shortcoming, in my mind, is the tendency to automatically equate "natural" with "safe" or "environmentally friendly." Many commercial pesticides are designed specifically to degrade quickly, some from heat, some from sunlight exposure, and some upon contact with soil. Many natural materials persist for years.
    I don't have a problem with pesticides as such. I just don't want to kill those little bees, spiders or centipedes that might be lurking. You can't buy any pesticides in Ontario now Ray. The only thing you can get without an agricultural permit is soap type products. Really miss the days when you could just sprinkle a few granules on the surface soil and no more bugs. I was able to get a systemic from the States a couple of years ago but that has since been banned so no more.

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:37 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by sciencegal View Post
    When I moved to this place 10 years ago there were carpenter ants eating my barn. Sawdust was raining down from the ceiling. I placed some little containers of an ant poison directed at carpenter ants. I may still have the empty containers - I will look when I go out to feed to see if I can find the name but there are several brands. The ants were gone surprisingly fast and have never come back. I have red ant hills all over the place. I started using Amdro for them a few years ago. I just sprinkle some granules around the entrance and the next day they are gone and never come back. Every year they start making new mounds so I just treat those.
    That is a great idea Karin! These are a small species of ant so the regular size containers should work. I'll just tie them to the mount!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris in Hamilton View Post
    Any ideas for keeping critters from burrowing in cork mounts? Earwigs damage the plants but those are easy to drown by submerging the whole thing. There is a colony of very tiny black wasps/bees that have set up housekeeping in the holes of the cork in one mount. The biggest problem is ants making Swiss cheese out of them. One is starting to collapse when you squeeze it and there is a pile of cork dust on the ground. Don't like using pesticides but will if I have to.

    An excellent insecticide is Movento 48 SC, produced by Bayer, is the first insecticide double sistemia, is particularly suitable for the fight against Hemiptera (scale insects), but it is effective against a multitude of pests, including ants, unfortunately, with arachnids, useful antagonists of many parasites, (in my greenhouse I introduced them several species).
    Cork powder makes me doubt the presence of termites, indagherei and if it is concrete, in addition to tend to rot and to facilitate the accumulation of salts, would not hesitate to replace it with real cork, the operation is not complicated, it takes patience, put in water for a short time and crumble until it clears the roots and plant be transferred to a new cork, if done carefully orchid will continue its unabated growth.

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    I don't believe I can't get that here Elio but I will check. The cork is genuine. I can see the dust falling out of the holes if I watch closely enough
    Last edited by Chris in Hamilton; July 22nd, 2016 at 09:32 AM.

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