How To Get Rid Of Ants In A Way That Is Safe For Both Plants And Wildlife

Question From: D. Corbman - Oceanside, California, United States
Q: Hello, and thank you for taking my question. I live in North County of San Diego and have maintained an organic yard for 13 years: botanical style; "English country garden" as some describe it. I have eradicated ants by using cold-pressed neem & karanji oil for pests over the years. According to my "safe" pest control service which I have had to use twice (successfully), the ant nest is in my 5-8 foot slope behind the retaining wall. The ants are at the base of a Duranta alba (quite large/established) and one Ceonothus (also large and mature). I thought I wiped them out, but the Duranta that HAD them, is clear and they are now at the base of the other two and the Ceonothus is harboring them again as well. They are not REALLY going up the plants as I wash them and spray periodically. Short of the "sticky tape" which I do not think is appropriate, what can I use that is safe for both the shrubs and wildlife? Again, thank you. Will I receive a reply via my email? And, depending on your schedule and the pertinence of my question, will I be able to intercede before the situation worsens....

A: I live in Michigan and generally ants are not a serious problem here so I have no first hand experience with serious issues. I recommend you go back to your professional pest control service for advice. If you let us know what works for you in your area we'll share your information with other yardeners. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy

Q: Nancy, thank you, but the Pest company will only suggest a regular pest control company or that I purchase TERMINEX myself. In that it is so very toxic no matter how carefully applied, I do not dare do that. Do you have any other associates who might assist me in this issue? Thank you.

A: Diane, I Googled organic exterminators in Califormia and many came up. Using your city, give it a try. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy