Dealing with the Sunflower Eating Ants

by Cynthia

Thanks to everyone that left all the comments and suggestions yesterday on my discovery of the Sunflower Eating Ants. It truly makes me scratch my head. Perhaps someone out there has heard of ants doing this before but I sure haven’t.

When I went out to the garden this morning to do my little check on everything I noticed even more ants on the sunflowers. They are really gnawing away at the stems. I am definitely going to have to do something if I want to save my poor sunflower house.

Last night I made up a garlic tea and it has been steeping all day today. This evening I am going to spray all the sunflowers with it in hopes that it will repel the ants off of them. I am also going to follow Sharon Lovejoy’s advice about placing little saucers of honey out to lure them away from the sunflowers. Hopefully the combination of the two will work.

I took the picture below this morning while checking on the sunflowers. It was obviously too early in the morning for these two as they appeared to have not woken up yet. I thought it was quite an interesting pair to be sharing the same sunflower leaf as a bed!

Spider and ladybug on a sunflower leaf

I am not sure what kind of spider that guy is but I have seen a ton of them in the garden this year. They hide out under leaves (or sleep on top of them!) and scurry away when I accidently scare them. It seems they must like the garden this year as they are everywhere.

Below is the recipe I made for the garlic tea. It can be used throughout the garden to repel insects and it can help eliminate fungus and mildew on plants.

Garlic Tea

  • 2 cups water
  • 10 cloves garlic

Peel and chop garlic and place in a glass jar. Bring the water to just below a boil and pour over the garlic. Cover tightly and let steep overnight.

The next day strain well and place in a sprayer of some sort. Spray on affected plants being sure to avoid the beneficial insects that might be around.

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