Wednesday, September 16, 2009

They're Back!

Cutter ants.

I can actually say they are one part of the drought I liked. They were nowhere to be found. We actually thought the toxic stuff the neighbor's pest control company was using actually had removed them. Wrong.

My first sighting was just a couple days before the rains started here. One hole by the foundation at the front of the house. They were gathering pieces of the mistletoe from the front hackberry tree.

This hole is by Climbing Pinkie in the backyard by Amber's yard. One of the original holes...

Just a few branches of 'Climbing Pinkie' got picked on.

Got all of 'Maggie'.

I followed the trail all the way across the back yard to the "trash" tree we have allowed to live. (We need the shade when all the hackberry trees are gone and the cutter ants seem to like it.)

They start at the top and work their way down.

Workers will drop some leaves but mostly they will bring them down in their own version of a bucket brigade.

Then the ants will carry these pieces to the next relay ant all the way back to the hole in the ground.

"What do you do?" you ask.

I am organic. Until the cutter ants arrive. I have spoken to all the organic gurus in the state of Texas and they do not have the answer. We have done sulfur, Diatomaceous Earth, all that you can name.

Here is where I should get sponsor money ....

It is the only thing that works for roses planted in the ground. Do not use this on potted plants, fruit trees, or any plant you consume. And please follow the directions.

Is the only thing to do for trees, especially fruit trees. Be warned this stuff is like working with melted caramel (only you can not lick this stuff off).

Smear this onto some foil and wrap around the trunk.

Be sure to get it all the way around. The ants will know if there is a break in the action.

Of course this red alert in my garden means I must figure out something to do with the "berry boat" quick.

These items do not kill or get rid of the ants. These items merely keep them from devouring your landscape. With cutter ants you must pick your battles.

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