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  • Diatomaceous Earth for ant control

    Ants have found some ripening figs on an unknown, they were making trips to and from the eye. This being an area my daughter likes to play and pick fruit, most insecticides are out of the question for safety's sake. I dusted the fruits and stems with a generous coating of diatomaceous earth, I will report results in a day or three when it ripens.

    Hopefully it works well, it's cheap and easy.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

  • #2
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

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    • #3
      Hope it works. Where did you get it? I want to try it.
      Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

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      • Kelby
        Kelby commented
        Editing a comment
        I got it at a garden center. Amazon sells it cheap, 20lbs for $20 or something similar. You need a duster to apply it.

    • #4
      Used coffee grounds have been all the ant deterrent I've needed for figs so far. Plus it's great fertilizer. Had to step up to diatomaceous earth to protect a few citrus trees where the ants farm honeydew parasites of some sort.
      Tony WV 6b
      https://mountainfigs.net/

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      • 71GTO
        71GTO commented
        Editing a comment
        Do you just spread the grounds around the base of the tree?

      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        Exactly

      • 71GTO
        71GTO commented
        Editing a comment
        Nice. I haven't had to many any problems yet... But it's good to know what to do.

    • #5
      The first year growing figs I used Food Grade DE purchased from a local feed store ~$20.00 for 50 lbs. because I had it on hand for dusting the chickens and chicken coops. I have since switched to "salting" the pots and surrounding areas with used Coffee Grounds

      The Coffee Grounds cause colony collapse but takes ~ 1 - 2 weeks. One or two additional applications ensure no new colonies get established near the trees. Good Luck.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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      • #6
        Thanks Pete, I've been meaning to save my coffee grounds. Ants have been bad in the yard this year!
        https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
        SE PA
        Zone 6

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        • #7
          The only problem with this is when it gets wet it doesn't work anymore and be careful when using this apparently it is pretty harmful to breathe it in Dust mask recommended
          Wish List -

          Comment


          • Tonycm
            Tonycm commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes D.E. Is soft to the touch but microscopically it looks like broken pieces of glass. When breathed in it scars the lungs. To an insect it is like being stabbed multiple times and dries out their body. It can be used safely, you just need to take precautions, like Dave said use a dusk mask.

        • #8
          I like the idea of coffee grounds if it works.
          Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            Its worked for the past three seasons. It keeps the pots (containers) and area where the potted fig are located free on ants. I've posted about its efficacy in the past.

        • #9
          If coffee grounds really work to repel ants from around my fig trees, I'm going to be super pleased. I've been getting a ton of grounds just to dump in my compost pile or around the garden.
          Johnny
          Stuff I grow: Google Doc

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          • AscPete
            AscPete commented
            Editing a comment
            It doesn't 'Repel' ants its carried back to the nests where it causes colony collapse...
            The small amounts that's sprinkled (salted) over the tops of the potting mix and surrounding ground does little to affect the pH or Nutrients

          • don_sanders
            don_sanders commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh, so it's not even a thick layer? Just a light sprinkling?

        • #10
          here's a little interesting DE information for the National Pesticide information center


          http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html
          Ross B. Santa Rosa Calif zone 9b, wish list: CdD Blanc, Igo, Palmata, Sucrette, Morroco, Galicia Negra

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          • #11
            Originally posted by AscPete View Post
            The Coffee Grounds cause colony collapse but takes ~ 1 - 2 weeks. One or two additional applications ensure no new colonies get established near the trees. Good Luck.
            Pete,

            Do you have links to any studies showing this to work? I'm very curious. Is it species dependent or is it effective against many ant species?
            Cutting sales start Nov 1 at 9PM eastern time as always at willsfigs.com

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            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't have any more info than that found with a Google search, which is where I found it a few years ago. I simply tried it and it works on the common ants at my location. The ant mounds that are 50 or more feet away are still active but there are no mounds or ants in the treated area. BTW, we don't have fire ants and I've not seen any claims that it works on them.

            • WillsC
              WillsC commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Pete,

              I will give it a shot and see.

            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              I have no idea how it actually causes colony collapse, but it does at my location. The 2 posted explanations are 1, the ants transport the grounds back to the nest and 2, the grounds interfere with their sense of smell and prevents them from returning with food (following their chemical 'trails').

          • #12
            Wish List -

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            • rusty hooks
              rusty hooks commented
              Editing a comment
              excellent video Dave

          • #13
            Kelby, thanks for this info
            Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

            Comment


            • #14
              As an update, I dusted the fig pictured and haven't seen any ants on it since. I'll probably pick them today since heavy rain is forecast today/tonight.
              https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
              SE PA
              Zone 6

              Comment


              • #15
                What about putting about an inch of vaselene on the trunk so the can,t go up? It was used during a gypsy moth caterpillar invasion one year near us. worked well
                Hi my name is Art. I buy fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs-so I can sell more figs-so I can buy more fig cuttings-so I can grow more figs....

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                • rusty hooks
                  rusty hooks commented
                  Editing a comment
                  or tanglefoot

                • Kelby
                  Kelby commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I could, nice thing about DE though is I can use it all over. We get a lot of spiders in the house that are prone to biting pets and people, so I dust the windows and doors as needed.

              • #16
                When I brought my potted fig trees in before the cold weather hit they had the little fruit fly larvae inside. I know this has been talked about on here alot so I was wondering what would be best. I got some gnatrol and have used it and it seemed to have helped. But I also want something to put down on the soil to completely wipe them out before I start my cuttings. So I was wondering would you all use gnatnix or would this DE work because I think I could get a better deal on it and didn't know how far the gnatnix would go. Maybe you all can point me in the right direction. Thanks
                Kentucky Zone 6b

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                • Erick
                  Erick commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I read a few more articles on this that stated that DE didn't kill gnats. So I will get some gnatnix..
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