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PostPosted: May 9th, '08, 17:08 
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There was an old post about yeast and honey in this thread, in case it works I have a wacky guess-explaination for it:
The ants eat the yeast and honey. Maybe the yeast survives for a while in the ant guts. It acts on the sugar in honey and produces carbon dioxide gas.
This thing makes the ant bloat and ... booom !

The crazy thoughts I have.


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PostPosted: May 9th, '08, 17:27 
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that was pretty much it ;)

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 00:19 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
I've just been doing some research on the stuff and it's safety and uses. I think that Food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)powder would be quite safe around the AP set up (and even in the bin of fish food to deal with the ants.)

:!: Important note, it must be food grade with no additives :!: There are DE products out there that have additives to make it work better against fire ants, fleas and ticks, and the Pyrethrin may not be good for the fish!!!!!!!!

Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is used in grain storage to kill pests and keep moisture from being as big an issue and it is highly likely that we eat some of it regularly.

The only caution about it is you don't want to breath the dust, it isn't good to breath any dust but this is kinda sharp dust which is why it kills bugs(probably not a good idea to get it in your eyes either but they don't warn about that.)

People use it as a supplement to animal feed and around animal holding areas to decrease problems with flies and worms.

About the only think I don't know is if it might be bad for the composting worms in the grow beds. I did once see a mention of using it on the surface of a wormery to control flies though so I guess a test would be in order to see if it hurts composting worms.

The stuff doesn't kill instantly but apparently it is quite effective. It kills bugs by damaging their cuticle or outer coating and allowing them to dehydrate. It is therefore quicker when things are dry but apparently still effective after it's been wet. Diatomaceous Earth will hold a huge amount of moisture so many people use it as a soil amendment.

:cheers: I think I'll have to order a bag of the food grade stuff. :cheers:

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 02:04 
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Upon further research, it looks as if food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is relatively safe for earth worms and composting worms (just don't bury them in it as the powder can be quite drying to the skin.)

Only real cautions I see about the stuff are to avoid breathing a lot of the dust, avoid getting it in your eyes, and it can be drying to the skin.

DE is bad for all insects and therefore bad for beneficial insects so if you have a wonderful population of ladybugs and their larva, don't dust that area with DE. Also avoid dusting flowers with DE or you could kill the bees.

I did see these statements in one place.
Quote:
MORE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH BENEFITS: Food grade diatomaceous earth has been reported in scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, e-coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, drug resides, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections. Food grade diatomaceous earth detoxes.

There are some features about food grade diatomaceous earth that correspond with its ability as both a digestive aid and a colon cleanser. The honeycomb skeletal form of diatomaceous earth is found, under microscopic evaluation to reveal a tendency to become filled and clogged with hard debris such as intestinal scale. Food grade diatomaceous earth has not been found to cause any insult to the mucousa or barrier wall.


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Diatomaceous earth has a negative charge and bacteria has a positive charge, wherein it is believed by some that food grade diatomaceous earth sweeps bacteria out of the body by trapping it in it’s honeycomb shaped skeletal form.


I think I heard somewhere that the Bacteria we like for our biofilters are grahm negative or something, does this mean that DE would be safe or harmful to the biofilter?

Now I just gotta figure out where best to get the stuff?

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 04:06 
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Earlier I mentioned fermented pesticide. I finally remembered the name Spinosad. I did a search about it today and saddly enough, it is not appropriate for AP. Though it may be safer than chemical pesticides, it is still toxic to fish. This is a bummer since Spinosad seems to be relatively safe for beneficial insects and wasps.

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 09:50 
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Worm Tea!!!! Perhaps it would be more accurately called worm casting tea. That should be pretty fish safe so long as it is brewed in an aerated fashion.

I am making some due to an ant infestation in a casting bucket that I went to use last night dang it! Upon filling the bucket with water to try and drown the ants, I realized I might as well make worm tea.

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 13:17 
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yes, did a big rant and posted much info on it a while back

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 14:05 
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I had an aphid problem on my cellery recently, I tried everything I knew and then some. It wasn't until I had a couple of frogs moved into the system that the aphids disapeared.

As they say "nature finds a way" :D :D

H.


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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 21:20 
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All My peppers and Okra had been getting horribly attacked by aphids but then I started doing the foliar feeding with iron to help against the deficiency those plants were showing real bad, and now the aphids don't seem to have come back. The aphids on the lettuce is another story though.

They do say healthy plants are the best defense against pests.

Steve, a rant about what worm tea or DE? Do you remember where so we can link it here?

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 21:23 
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I think the thread was called worm tea?

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 21:25 
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and it nearly was ;)
http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2401&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=worm+tea

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 21:27 
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Thanks Jaymie,
I'll have to do read that one now.

:cheers: read it!
Ok now add molasses water to the list of good safe treatments (this one against cabbage moths and caterpillars, might also be good against other things) Did I get that right?

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Last edited by TCLynx on May 10th, '08, 21:45, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 21:37 
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I do beleive Ants are the sheppards of Aphids ,, they herd them up the plants , milk them and herd them home. Get rid of the Ants and Aphids will be substantially reduced.
I did have major ant problems on my White Mulberry trees , did not want to use anything to toxic so I chose to spread some never drying silicon around the bottom of the tree trunk ..... sticky enough to stop or catch the ants and they gave up after a few days.

For the vegies I use a Chillie / garlic watered down mix ,, I don't think the amounts used would hurt fish. Garlic is a known fish attractor I do believe. Cillie ,, not sure but I know birds love to eat them.

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 22:37 
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You are so right there Chappo, at least in many cases ants are the culprits (certain species of ants with certain types of aphids on certain plants.) And those are the ones that it is difficult to get Lady bugs to help against as the ants protect the aphids. Those are also the ones that are not very effective to simply spray off with water since the ants bring them back. That I guess is where the DE comes in. Ants are a major issue here in central FL.

I do have to say, spraying the plants to take care of the iron deficiency seems to have driven the ants and aphids away from some of the plants (perhaps they don't like the taste of the iron in their honey dew.)

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PostPosted: May 10th, '08, 22:40 
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Yes today on my system I saw groups of aphids on plant crevices, with some ants around each aphid group.

Some days ago I saw only ants and thought that was not bad, they wouldn't go into the watery growbed and only cleanup the surface.

Oh the aphids!! The ants seem to be protecting them really...

Iron TCLynx? I am going to try Chappo's idea of a moringa leaf juice foliar spray on the darned ants with aphids..

Yes, TCLynx, the ants have herded the aphids onto only one plant. Mint, tomato, another herb not affected. The tomato plant, has lots of deterring 'hairs' at the lower stem - great idea! The mint and the other herb which is not affected have insecticidal properties of their own anyway I guess.


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