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Ant control in greenhouse: Paul Stamets' fungus? Try to avoid pesticides

 
pollinator
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Hi,

in a certain tropical greenhouse, ants were a problem for years, as they promote aphids and scale insects, which kill the plants.
The one managing the greenhouse has been using an insecticide (Capito to be precise), which is not something I like. I am looking for a permie solution. As greenhouses are common, and ant problems as well, maybe one of you can be of help.

Is the ant killing fungus Paul Stamets was talking about available comercially?

Are there other way? DE will not work in this specific context as it is too humid.

Predators might be a solution, anyone got some experience?
 
hans muster
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Anyone?
 
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there was some discussion about this at one point but i dont know if i could find that thread
along the lines of
there are broad spectrum fungal products and if you use them and notice an ant with the fungal body on it you may be able to collect the spores and use that to spread to the ants

someone was asking about products which were specific and not broad spectrum so that they could introduce only the ant killing variety

its interesting and i planned on looking up these broad spectrum "pesticide" fungi products to see if any were available in canada but have not gotten around to it yet.....

i would be using it in a greenhouse but do have concerns of unleashing new varieties to the local area

 
M. Phelps
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a google search for these terms:

Biopesticide for sale canada

turned up a bunch of pdf s
i have some reading to do now... thanks for giving me the nudge to follow through on that!
 
M. Phelps
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koppert has controls for scale and aphids but i do not see any for ants

https://www.koppert.ca/en/products/
 
pollinator
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I happen to have e-mailed Paul Stamets site about 2-3 weeks ago asking if they had any commercially available fungal pesticides. I was looking for the one he mentioned regarding termites. They responded that they did not have any commercially available yet, but there are some types mentioned in his book Mycelium Running, chapter 8, that I could try. I got the book and while I have not read it all the way through, I did glance at chapter 8. There, he mentions Metarhizium amisopliae in particular that is effective against termites, and for him, carpenter ants. From what I gather, it is effective against many other type of social insects as well. If he found it to have worked against carpenter ants, I imagine it would work against other types of ants, too. However, he did use a delayed sporulation strain after observation, and harvested that for use for the ants that were invading his house. That one seemed to have worked. The ants devoured it and infected the rest of the colony.
If you don't have the book mentioned above, you may want to purchase it (I got it used) or get it from the library to take a closer look at chapter 8. There are many helpful pictures in that chapter as well.
 
pollinator
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Ants hate cinnamon and wont go anywhere near it, so try sprinkling that around where they are getting into the greenhouse.
 
hans muster
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Thanks for all the replies.

There is research going on in many parts of the world, for example here on fire ants in china
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/505370v1.abstract

but I cannot find a place to buy it ready to use for ants.
 
hans muster
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M. Phelps wrote:koppert has controls for scale and aphids but i do not see any for ants

https://www.koppert.ca/en/products/



Where do you see the product against scale insects? Or which product is it? I only see the one against aphids.
 
M. Phelps
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Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

https://www.koppert.com/cryptobug/
 
gardener
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Currently I don't know of anyone that has Metarhizium amisopliae  for sale as a culture.
You do have some options though, Universities might have some of the culture and if they do, you might be able to get a small sample to grow out in petri dishes.
Another option is to culture an ant or other insect you find that has been eaten by a fungus and then use that culture to make even more.

Paul Stamets is no longer in the mushroom kit business by the way, he is changing direction of his company somewhat and so, isn't going to sell spawn or kits starting in 2020.
His new direction goes along with his current research and I'm sure they need the space and time for the new products they are working on.

Redhawk
 
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A rocket mass heater is the most sustainable way to heat a conventional home
http://woodheat.net
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