Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Amy - I was going to email this to you but then I decided to post it instead...

I have aphid herding ants!!! A couple of weeks ago I noticed that I had ants on my dahlias. I thought maybe they were eating some part of the plant but when I looked closer I noticed they were crawling all over some aphids which were also on my plants. It looked like the ants were eating the aphids so I left them alone, figuring the ants would eventually eat them all and solve my problem. So I've been watching them and they've been multiplying like crazy. I looked it up on the internet and had to laugh!! Apparently the ants herd the aphids and help them find the sugar in the plant so that the aphids get nice and big and juicy...and then here is the nastiest part...the ants then suck the sugar right out of the aphids' rear end!!! YUCK!! Here's one of the pages I found: http://www.richsoil.com/antsandaphids/
If you scroll down you'll find a very zoomed in picture of an ant actually extracting the sugar from the aphid. I was shocked!!!
So I went and ordered some green lacewing eggs...apparently the larvae love aphids!!! I'll keep you updated. :)


Nate and Amy said...

Yuck! Aphid juice. Well, that answers the question of why the aphids were doing so well. Let me know how the lacewing larvae works.