Ants are social insects
They live together underground and build a network of galleries that can be kilometres long. They arrived here on Earth long before we humans did, and to feed and survive, they cultivate fungi that grow under the ground in temperature-controlled environments. For this, the ants use dead organic matter and a hierarchical social system, in which each one exercises its function. To control the growth of the colony, it is enough to control the growth of these fungi.
In the garden, they do not always represent a threat, but inside the house, they can be responsible for the proliferation of infections, after all, they walk everywhere and consume fungi that grow from insects, animals and dead leaves.
Before using a formicide it is important to identify the type of ant and whether the use of these substances puts domestic animals, children or even if they contaminate the soil and water at risk. Nowadays, there are companies specialized in digitization by the process of biological control, which creates an environment increasingly less conducive to ants and other insects.
In the garden, as I mentioned above, we can give up some space for this type of insect, since the work of the ant also favours life on earth, because they are decomposing animals. Due to their action, the nutrients return more quickly to the soil and they serve as food for birds, fish, other insects and even mammals.
The use of sesame seeds is indicated to control the growth of the fungus that feeds them. It is a form of biological control. Ants love sesame and end up carrying the seeds into the anthill. Inside, the presence of the seed causes the growth of the fungus to decrease.
Another suggestion is to prepare an agave macerate. Macerated is the name given to a herbal preparation, which is soaked in water, without boiling. The recipe is to put three leaves of Agave American L., cut into pieces, in five litres of water. Let the mixture rest for five days in a container with a lid. After this rest period, it is time to strain the solution. It is then ready for use. Just water the anthill with it weekly.
There is also a soap solution, which can be used to undo the scouts (holes through which the ants enter and exit). But if you simply want the ants to move, without wanting to eliminate them from your garden, put an apple bite, in a less untimely place. They will move “home” in less than a week to eat the apple you offered. Another tip is, if you find a dead bird, bury it near the anthill. The ants will thank you for the “gift”, leaving your plants and beds quiet for months on end.
Careful observation of the ants can indicate many things, among them, the type of soil that is underneath their land, after all, they build their scouts digging tunnels in the interior of the earth. If the colour of the tingling soil is different from the colour of the soil in your garden, this may indicate a discontinuous soil, which may have been built with different overlapping layers.
Ants also give clues about changes in climate.
The flight of the icas (healthy ants that have wings and come out of the scouts to mate and form new ants), in general, happens with the approach of the rainy season, which also coincides with the arrival of some migratory birds, making these times favorable for the mating of our friends birds and for their feeding.
Another curiosity is that the ants raise camps (abandon their homes) when their nests are in areas subject to flooding or when the anthill is already very full. The changes (from dry to rainy seasons) make them look for higher ground and can reveal the good time to start planting, after a break-in crops, in the season before the rainy season.
All the observations we can record through the inhabitants of the garden can lead us to a “why” in nature, just be aware to correlate the facts.
The important thing is to keep the spirit curious, observe and study every manifestation of life on our planet. Have you ever thought about writing and drawing a diary of your garden? I am sure that at the end of a year, by recording the presence of each visitor, you will have learned the relationship that exists between insects, flowers, fruits and leaves.
Maybe you can anticipate the arrival of swallows and cicadas and discover what feeds them and, on top of that, make a new talent for drawing blossom?