Attack of the annoying ants and other bugs

Shortly before the sunflowers began to bloom, just as they were beginning to form little buds, we noticed some black spots on the leaves.  Those “black spots” turned out to be those very annoying black ants.  You know the ones, sugar ants, that can somehow find a way through a microscopic crack in the floor to make their way to your pantry.  They were just hanging out.  I guess have an ant reunion on the underside of the leaves.  The ants even invited other leafy-looking bugs.  I think those may have been aphids, but I’m no bug expert.

sunflower-bugs-1

From the research that I spent doing on sugar ants, they were “farming” the aphids.  See, the ants collect secretions made by plant hungry bugs, such as aphids.  I know, gross right?  At any rate, those things had to go hang and farm else where.  I found some organic insecticide soap, but I was not going to pay the price that was on the tag.  So, I went the DIY route.sunflower-bugs-2

After a few minutes on the world-wide web, I found the solution I was looking for.  I mean really, why pay for a bottle of soap mixed with water?  It just didn’t make sense.   All you need is a gentle soap, such as baby shampoo, water, and an empty spray bottle.   The uses really are limitless with baby shampoo.  In fact, since I clean my windows with it, I already had a bottle mixed up.  I was already one step closer to getting rid of this gross annoyance.

Step 2:  With the nozzle set to jet, give those suckers a good spray with the soap mixture.   There is a dark enjoyment to killing bugs I think.  After I was finished with my fun time, I let the soap do it’s thing while I fooled around with the tangle mess of a water hose.  It was like Christmas lights!  You can put them up nice and tidy, only to find them in a tangled pile.  How does that happen?  Ugh, very frustrating!  Any who.

Step 3:  With a super-duper spray nozzle attached, it’s time for more dark amusement as I got spray the dickens out of those plants.  Try not to let the soap set on the plants for too long.  The soap can actually burn the leaves.  That wouldn’t make for a very attractive garden, now would it?

sunflower-bugs-3It took a little work, but the aphids and their pals were gone.  That is until, last night.  I spotted one of those lone little aphids trying to hang out.  I suppose it got it’s invite was lost in the snail mail.  It’s gone now.  Yea!

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