Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sugar Daddy Ants

I've heard about ants that groom and/or milk aphids for honeydew. FYI: That means massage them so they poop. Where there is sugar, there will eventually be ants. So their honeydew must be sweet. Disgusting. And cool.

That's one treat I am just fine without.

It's true. Found my own little colony of aphids attended by their protector (from predators) sugar daddy ants. Amazing! I was assuming (incorrectly) that this symbiotic relationship occurred somewhere in South America, in the jungles of the Amazon.

Nope. Well it could happen there. But it is also happening in my backyard! In the middle of the Yakima Valley, an irrigated desert! Right in the middle of my raised garden beds.

I guess my problem with aphid infestation this year is making somebody happy. Someone is benefiting from my loss of plants due to aphids gorging themselves on my produce.

Those sugar daddy ants. Fat and sassy. Living high on the hog. Aphid hog. They're having all the fun.

It may be a losing battle this year for my garden, but I'm still going to sic my ladybugs on them. All of them.

Go, natural predators, go!

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