The battle with Ants and Blackfly

Ants are a nuisance. They are everywhere (not in the house thank goodness), but the garden is full of them. They dig massive holes. They crawl all over my beloved lavender (I take it personally).  They are even in the vineyard, so I check on old vines regularly to make sure no grapes are near the ground otherwise nasty little creatures are there.

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English lavender – great for bees and very pretty!

Ants are also all over cherry trees (thanks to other nasties – greenfly and blackfly, they feed each other). And we have a few cherry trees: two old ones and six new ones we planted last year as Steve and I adore cherries.

We obviously wanted to kill green and blackfly naturally, without nasty chemicals. After searching the net last year, I learned that Dr.Bronner’s Castile soap (Lavender flavour) is a great solution (and it is Organic of course!), as long as you re-spray every so often (depending on weather, we do it every 3-4 days at the beginning of summer, always after rain and when needed late in the summer).

As we have some left-over stock of Dr.Bronner, we started the battle with aphids: lavender smell puts them off (they hate it) whilst mild organic soap kills them. As soon as aphids are gone, ants are gone. We spray all our fruit trees (except figs, last year we killed all the leaves, and figs leaves are not attractive to aphids or ants anyway)  and the long border of red robins which for some reasons were covered in greenfly this year.

I must declare Dr.Bronner’s castile soap works! So far, me 1 – aphids 0. By the way, if anyone needs Dr.Bronner’s Organic products, please contact me.

Dr.Bronner’s Organic castile soap – Lavender

Now back to ants. I came across this article Getting-the-ants-out-naturally and tried mint first. We have mint all over the garden, and I planted it everywhere despite mint being a weed as I love its smell when you walk around the garden.

Our ants walked all over mint and laughed at me. They are Galician you see, very hardy… So I suggest keep the mint for the mint sauce for your lamb but don’t count on it against ants.

Boric acid I am yet to try (if I’ll find it), otherwise some ‘Hormigol’ traps will be on my next shopping list (some fellow blogger had success with it) .

I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I would appreciate any other natural solutions against ants.

New parking, landscaped garden and new vines canopy made by Steve – June 2014.
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