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Pests: Use Boiling Water To Destroy Black Ants’ Nest: Agriculture

Pests: Use Boiling Water To Destroy Black Ants’ Nest: Agriculture
September 08
14:48 2017

One of the cultural measures in getting rid of white-footed black ants is to destroy the ants’ nest with boiling water.

According to a press release from DEPTFO News, the black ants can be destroyed with boiling water without damaging the plants, other ants and helpful predators such as Lady Bird beetles, lace wings and spiders.

The white-footed black ants reportedly become pests for fruit trees, crops and vegetables are too close to buildings or homes.

“White-footed black ants will only be a problem if fruit trees, crops and vegetables are planted very close to buildings or homes as they are attracted to the honeydew produced on the leaves by sucking insects such as aphids, mealy bugs, scale insects and whiteflies which are in fact pests to these plants,” DEPTFO News said .

“The presence of these white footed black ants on the plants will drive away beneficial insects such as Lady Bird beetles; the Encarsia species, lace wings and other insects that feed on these insect pests.

“This will later result in the development of black sooty mould on the leaves and branches of the affected plants such as fruit trees and vegetables which in fact will affect the overall growth of the plants.”

The Ministry of Agriculture has received numerous complaints of black ants infesting homes and gardens of the residents along the Suva-Nausori corridor.

Tests carried out by the Institute of Applied Science Laboratory at The University of the South Pacific and the Plant Health and Environment Laboratory at the Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand identified the black ant species as the Technomyrmex species.

The ant specimen was confirmed as white-footed black ants that belong to the species Technomyrmexalbipes.

To control these white footed black ants and the development of black sooty mould, there is a need to control the insect pests such as aphids, mealy bugs, scale insects and whiteflies that feed on these plants by carrying out cultural and chemical control measures.

Other cultural control measures include; prune infested stems, branches and fruits and burn them and applying mulch and manure to assist plant vigour.

Chemical control measures include:

White Oil: add three (3) tablespoon or one-third cup of cooking oil and half a teaspoon detergent soap in four (4) litres of water. Shake well and spray it in strategic spots along ant trails.

Soap solution: Use pure soap not detergent. Add five (5) tablespoon of soap in four litres of water or two (2) tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in four (4) litres of water. Shake well and spray it in strategic spots along ant trails.

Commercial horticultural oils made from petroleum can also be used. White soap and horticultural oil sprays work by blocking the breathing holes of insects causing suffocation and death.

Spray the undersides of leaves as the liquid must contact the insects. A second application of soap or oils may be necessary after three to four weeks.

The Research Division of the Agriculture Ministry is also testing some insecticides to control the white-footed black ants.

 

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