What's living in my hops?! - Home Brew Forums
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
smashed4
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Spotted these tonight on my hops.

At first I noticed the ants, and it seems each ants are somehow guarding very small insects or eggs.. its small and looks like black dots to the naked eye..

Also we can see another bug.. maybe the same bugs as the eggs??

Sorry, I know nothing about insects.. are these harmful to the plants and if so how do I get rid of it?



https://www.dropbox.com/s/kvd5ezg60o...608_192206.jpg


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Old 06-08-2012, 11:51 PM   #2
badbrew
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That's a crazy ant. We don't have any cool ants here. The other one looks a little like a tick.



 
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:56 PM   #3
brewingmeister
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Was the ant milking the other bug? Ants will farm aphids and other smaller bugs for sweet secretions. Can't identify the other bug for certain though.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:49 AM   #4
theredben
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The other bug is an aphid. The ants will farm them for their honeydew. Aphids will not hurt a hop plant unless the numbers get quite high, but with the hot summer weather the numbers do climb very fast.

 
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:59 AM   #5
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Ant cows. It maybe as simple as treating for ants. And letting the predators eat the aphids. I've also read in Homegrown Hops by David Beach that you can try using banana peels for aphid control. And the potassium from the peel will feed the plant.

 
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:14 AM   #6
damdaman
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Yeah ants farming aphids... treating for the aphids won't work, the ants will just farm more. You have to get rid of the ants.

An easy way to do this is to plant nasturstium around the base of your hops. The ants will farm their aphids on the nasturstium instead.

Some people use ant bait to kill the nest, I find this less than ideal. You don't want arsenic-laced ants walking all over your hops/garden/house contaminating everything before they die.

 
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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I was told to feed my ants ground corn meal. Apparently they cannot digest it and die! Good luck.

 
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:41 PM   #8
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I use Diatomaceous Earth around my hops every week or two (anytime after a rain spell as it does not work when wet). It will kill ants and many other pest bugs (warning: will also kill some good bugs like spiders, lady bugs, and worms). If things get really bad, I will bring out the nuke and dust with Sevin, but only if I have a bad enough problem that I think my crop or hop is at risk...good luck with the ants. Oh, by the way there are several type of DE so you want one that is baited so it will kill the ants. Basically, they take the bait back to the nest and the DE wipes out the whole colony. I use Safer brand DE and it is available at Home Depot in a yellow bag in the pest control area.

 
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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Soak chewing tobacco in water for a day. Decant the liquid into a second container so the tobacco sediment remains in the first one. Squirt a bit of dish soap into the tobacco water. Spray some of the solution on the ant trails and pour the rest onto the ant hills. The solution exterminates the ants in a few minutes.

Read more: How to Kill Ants Outside the House | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_7164662_kill...#ixzz1xPDmN2Gt
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:54 PM   #10
unionrdr
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Yup. The whole trick is to chemically neutralize the chemical trails tha ants leave so others can follow to the food source. and I've never seen aphid eggs,so I don't know that that's what the black spot is. but the adults are white or very pale green. Once you get rid of the ants,you can gop to a good garden supply & by lady bugs in bulk. I used to have to do that at my last house with roses & some veggies in my garden,like leaf lettuce. they'll stick around as long as the aphids & spider mites are plentifull. they love to gorge themselvs on small insect pests. I love'em! Def organic to the max.


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