At horticultural forums, the debate about the benefits and dangers of ants in the garden area is not ceasing. Since all the benefits of such a neighborhood are balanced by its negative sides, in this situation, every summer resident decides for himself how much he is ready to put up with the harmful activities of small invaders in his area.
Let’s look at the advantages of the presence of small workaholic in the garden:
- Where ants settle, 2 times more potassium and 10 times more phosphorus accumulate in the soil than in ordinary earth. Moreover, such fertilizers are in a natural form and are easily absorbed by plants.
- Ants destroy many garden pests – larvae, beetles, slugs, spider mites, and so on. In one day, one ant family is able to exterminate about two thousand adult insects and their offspring!
- Digging through numerous tunnels and passages, arthropods loosen the topsoil, which saturates it with air and makes it more suitable for the development of plants.
The harmfulness of ants is due to several reasons:
- Ants are professional “cattle breeders”, and the aphid is their main concern. They not only protect this malicious pest but also contribute to its spread throughout the site. As a result, garden trees, currants, gooseberries, and raspberries suffer from aphids (sometimes a large colony of aphids even causes the death of the plant).
- The lawn, flowerbed or alpine hill, which is hosted by ants, quickly lose their former beauty.
- Red ants gladly treat themselves with berries of strawberries and other garden crops, gnaw on sugary vegetables and root crops, and also damage the internal parts of buds and flowers.
- Brown, red-cheeked, sod, and ordinary garden ants feed on plant tissues, which makes them one hundred percent pests.
- Ants spread weed seeds and damage the roots of newly planted seedlings and young plants.
It seems to me that in small quantities ants do not cause tangible damage to garden and garden plants. Another thing is if they managed to occupy half of the site or settled in the wrong place – on a lawn or flowerbed. But even in these circumstances, destroying annoying insects with the help of pesticides is not a good idea, because at the same time you will also destroy many other useful garden animals and upset the ecological balance.