Friday, April 22, 2011


So, some of the pests that I see frequently in my pond/hydroton system are ants. For the most part, they aren't a problem, though they do enjoy some of the sweeter fruits that you might grow, like tomatoes and strawberries. Well, since I have quite a few strawberries growing right now, I'd really like to limit the losses I take from the ants. By ants, I'm talking about sugar ants (or at least that's what people call them down here). They don't bite, and they can live just about anywhere - under leaves, rocks, inside toys, etc.

Well, turns out that hydroton makes a nice ant home, too, especially if you have a couple of inches of hydroton that don't get too wet from your inflow.

So, the question is how to get rid of them? I don't want them eating all my food!!

Yesterday, I tried to flood them out. I basically just turned up the volume of the inflow so that it was faster than it could drain. The problem is that I have overflow holes just drilled into the grow beds, so when the water got that high, it all overflowed. A terrible waste of water!

But, it worked. The ants got the heck out of there. I met their escape with my garden hose, which at least served to scatter them temporarily. I'd wager that they'll be back soon enough, though. There were some other critters in there that ran from the flood, too. Interesting...

My plan is to install some bulkhead fittings into my drain holes so that I can at least prevent the water from spilling out onto the ground. I don't really have any better ideas, though, do you?

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