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Leaf Cutter Ants

 
Rob Anton
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Hello, I live in the country of Panama. I want to plant a few acres of Moringa Oleifera. I've tested a couple dozen seeds by starting them in grower bags with great success. My problem is Leaf Cutter Ants denudiung the saplings. Insecticide works but wanted to do the organic thing. I've read Diat. earth may work, but don't know if that would be feasible for a large plot of land. Can anyone help me? Thankyou
 
Adam Klaus
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gardener
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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I think trying to plant a few acres of anything in Panama will prove quite difficult due to the pest pressures you are finding. The key to success would be a diverse planting of multiple species, so that pest loses are greatly reduced. Permaculture instructs that we sould seek to imitate nature as a means to success. Several acres of any one thing is not working along the patterns of nature. Please refrain from the discussion of posion on this website, we arent into that at all. Never a solution. DE would have real difficulty in its effectiveness in your humid climate because it needs to stay dry to maintain its effectiveness. So I doubt that DE is a workable solution.

Polyculture for the win. Need to consider a diverse species guild that would have plants that natually deter the ants, other species that are undesirable to the ants, some catch crops that draw the ants away from your desirables, and just a few of the desirable species that the ants are destroying. Balance.

btw, love those leafcutter ants. just fascinating. sure they are mighty efficient at denuding a seedling, but in their own place, they are amazing creatures.
 
Dan Mangan
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Hey guys! I'm working on establishing some grapes near a small orchard. The lead cutters are mainly in the orchard and in an unused area near by. I would imagine their territory. We use compost yea, boiling water, and spray paths with need and citrus. My first grape vibe is showing growth. The ants seem to harvest some common plants to this area. Adding a sacrifice compost pile for the ants is an idea. I am also looking for the right log of fire ants to funnel into the leaf cutters home. My current search is looking into birds that like eating to big headed ants. If only I could manage an aardvark. Plant guilds are also useful. An observation I've made is that the fire ants and leaf cutters tend to live in infertile land but near a water source. Drip tapes etc, but in areas exposed to the Sun making it dry and not fun for bacteria. Planting in in these areas will be challenging. Pioneer plants? Would ammending large amounts of soil to throw off the levels needed for the leaf cutters? I just don't want them to walk off with my leaves! My bets are on the birds.
 
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