Plant Protection

Plant Protection

Weaver ants: the living pestic >

Weaver ants : the living pesticide

Introduction

The life cycle

The main characters

The uses of weaver ants

Conservation and management

15 comments:

Hi there. I really appreciate the points you made. I don’t think I’ve actually thought about it in that way. I can really appreciate how you approached the subject matter and what you said really gave me a new perspective. Thanks for taking the time to write this all out.
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I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing.
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great story. how to kill them or keep off certain trees. I hear rumors of baking powder or soda and sugar, jame etc?
can mix as a solid or spray as liquid mixed ?

good for black ants also.. I”ll try for weaver ants as they generally eat bugs off the trees.

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خدمات مكافحة الحشرات من شركة المستقبل
شركة مكافحة حشرات ببريدة
شركة رش مبيدات بالقصيم
تقدم شركة المستقبل خدماتها لمكافحة الحشرات الطائرة من ناموس وغيرها ومكافحة الحشرات الزاحفة كالصراصير والنمل بأنواعه وغيرها من الحشرات المؤذية ومكافحة أيضا الفئران والزواحف الضارة، فالشركة تهتم بصحة عملائها الذين تتعامل معهم، ويجب أن يكون العميل على معرفة بأضرار تواجد هذه الحشرات على صحة الأسرة، فوجود الفئران في المنزل يهدد الجميع في المنزل ويؤرق راحتهم، أما عن تواجد الحشرات فهي خطر على صحة الأطفال وتؤثر عليهم فالأطفال ليس لديهم وعي بخطورة هذه الحشرات التي تسبب الأمراض.
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض
مكافحة النمل الابيض
شركة المستقبل هي شركة متخصصة في مجال مكافحة جميع أنواع الحشرات، الشركة لديها الخبرة الطويلة في التعامل والقضاء على جميع أنواع الحشرات، وأيضا الشركة لديها الخبرة الطويلة في التعامل مع المبيدات المختلفة والتي تستخدم في القضاء على الحشرات، فيتم بعد معرفة نوع الحشرة المتواجدة في المنزل تركيب المبيد ومعرفة الطرق والأساليب المختلفة والتي تستخدم في شركة المستقبل للقضاء على الحشرات بأنواعها.
شركة مكافحة حشرات بجدة
شركة رش مبيدات بجدة
يتم استخدام مبيدات لا تؤثر على صحة الأفراد وآمنة ولكن في نفس الوقت فعالة ولها القدرة على القضاء على الحشرات بسهولة وبسرعة، يتم أيضا استخدام الأساليب والتقنيات والأدوات الحديثة والمتطورة للقضاء على أنواع الحشرات المختلفة، ويتم تدريب العاملين في شركة المستقبل على استخدام هذه الأدوات والمبيدات حتى يكون لديهم الخبرة الكافية للتعامل مع أنواع الحشرات المختلفة وذلك بالتعاون مع الخبراء والباحثين الذين لديهم خبرة ودراية كاملة في مجال مكافحة الحشرات.
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخرج
شركة رش مبيدات بالخرج
شركة المستقبل هي الشركة الأولى في مجال القضاء على الحشرات، اتصل بالشركة وسوف تجد الاهتمام البالغ في التعامل والمساعدة الكاملة وتنفيذ جميع مطالبك، تعامل مع شركة المستقبل وسيختفي جميع أنواع الحشرات لديك في المنزل نهائيا وبدون عودة للمنزل لتستمتع بحياة بدون حشرات.

allplantprotection.blogspot.com

How to Get R >July 11, 2017

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  • How to Get Rid of Ants Near Your Trees

Trees and pests just don’t get along. Simple as that, right? Well, when it comes to ants lurking around our trees’ roots and stems, things aren’t so clear-cut.

Some ants don’t pose a problem at all–and get this, some can even help us take better care of our trees. Others are out to hurt our pleasant plants.

So how can you tell the difference? Read on to learn everything you need to know about these creeping critters and your tree’s health.

Are ants on trees good or bad?

Ants are drawn to trees for two reasons. They’re searching for sweet honeydew left behind by other insects, or they’re making themselves at home inside trees with cavities and rotten wood.

Generally, ants themselves don’t damage a tree. Instead, they provide a warning sign that our tree is in trouble, which can help us act fast to treat it.

Do any ants around tree roots do harm?

With every rule, there are exceptions! Here are two ants that can be a problem for your tree.

  • Red imported fire ants: They’re harsh on young trees and inflict people and pets with awful blisters.
    If you see dome-shaped mounds at the base of your tree, be super careful not to touch or disturb those ant hills. The small, dark marron ants will sting whatever disrupts their home. Then, contact your arborist about an insecticide right away.
  • Carpenter ants: Piles of sawdust at the base of your tree mean these black ants are active. In this case, you should call your arborist to determine if the tree needs to be removed. Remember, ants only burrow in rotten tree wood, so a plant with carpenter ants is weak and could be risk of falling.

How to get rid of ants on trees

Even though most ants don’t threaten trees, they can be opportunistic and end up in your home or other parts of your landscape. Here are a few ways to stop that from happening:

  • Spray the tree with a solution that contains 30 drops of peppermint oil and one gallon of water. Ants hate peppermint, so they’ll leave the tree once they catch wind of the scent.
  • Line the bottom of the tree with ant baits to capture them as they travel.
  • Use a horticultural soap or insecticide to rid the tree of sap-feeding insects. In turn, you’ll cut off the ant’s honeydew supply.

blog.davey.com

How to Get Rid of Weaver Ants in Your Garden: Pest Control

The weaver ants or green ants generally make their nests on trees. Their nests looks like a cobweb cover on multiple leaves, where all this little evil creatures lurks behind and plan their next move to bite you. I have personally encountered weaver ant situation in my garden, they generally invades old trees to be precise. In my case it’s my favorite mango tree. Although they do not harm to the tree in any way but the only problem is that they can inflict painful bites which are poisonous in nature, contains formic acid and it can cause intense discomfort, pain and allergy.

I will provide you with some hands on tips about how to get rid of weaver ants from your garden and backyards without any hassles.

They will climb through the tree branches and roam around all over your house through the window or door area and can end up at your bed or sofa too. They even climb through the ropes where we put our clothes to dry off; they eventually end up inside our apparels and undergarments too. Just imagine how dangerous it can be.

These weaver ants are extremely smart and fast, for instance you have spot one of them and even if you raise your hand to hit them they apprehend the coming threat in advance and make a run for their lives. They are the smartest kind of ants I have ever seen. You will never get rid of them if you plan to kill them one by one.

It is always advised to use professional pest control services to deal with any kind pest infestations but if you still insist on try to do something yourself, then you are welcome.

Here’s how I got rid of weaver ants

I will share you my own experience with weaver ants. How I got rid of them, after which they never showed up on my garden again.

Like every other pest problem you need to get to their origins to get rid of them from the roots, the first thing you need to do is find their nests, where there queen resides. If you can kill the queen then they will readily surrender to you. A typical weaver ant’s nest will either look like a combined structure of leaves surrounded with cobwebs or simply some awkward looking leaves folded together.

But beware before you do anything to the nest, make sure that after you attack there nest (that immediately triggers an alert to them and they try to run for cover), they didn’t come back running to your home instead. Hence you need to make proper arrangements to prevent that, you can trim the branches of your tree if it touches the walls of your house, this way you will break the potential bridge they might use to migrate to your building, do make sure that they stay there and die in peace.

You need to apply the “drenching” technique to ensure that they cannot escape when you hit their nest. Pour the pesticide on the soil around the trees trunk before you start shooting their nest. It will trap them and not let them escape under any circumstances.

Now when you are done with securing the perimeter around their colony, break all hell lose and spray mercilessly with your chemical pesticide.

Congratulations now you have finally won the battle against them and successfully got rid of these errant weaver ants permanently.

Although there is another less messy way to deal with them, but it might not be that effective too but you can try it once.

To eliminate these weaver ants outdoors is simple you got to eliminate the queen to kill the colony. You can use a liquid pesticide to saturate the nest. If you have trouble finding it, you can try an “ant gel” in areas that you see them traveling. They will take the poison back to the nest and share it with the larvae and hopefully the queen. Gels will not last that long in the weather so you may want to try several applications if you plan to go that route. The best option, however, is to contact a licensed pest control expert who can deal with the situation in an environment friendly way.

Conclusion

Well getting rid of weaver ants is certainly not an easy task to do, even after taking so much of precautions against them you might still got bitten by few of the weaver ants during your fight against them. Hence before you make up your mind to take on these pests on your own consider hiring a professional pest control company, they will deal with these pests in a more professional and environment friendly manner.

www.servicesutra.com

Weaver Ants – Traditional pest management method under threat

The Vietnamese tradition of using weaver ants to protect citrus crops is in danger of being lost, according to a farmer participatory specialist having studied the practice over the past six years.

Intensification of horticulture and subsequent pressure from chemical companies are to blame, says Dr Paul Van Mele of CABI Bioscience, but encouraging farmers to reintroduce the method could offer an economically and environmentally viable way to sustain fruit production systems in Vietnam and beyond.

Natural pest management

Credit: Paul Van Mele, CABI Bioscience

Traditionally, Vietnamese farmers had a broad experience of natural pest management. Before the 1990s, fruit growers controlled insect pests by conserving a multitude of locally occurring natural enemies, including insect predators and parasitoids (small wasps that lay their eggs on or in a particular pest). This helped to keep pest numbers within acceptable limits and there was little neeed for use of pesticides.

In particular, use of the Asian weaver ant or Oecophylla smaragdina as a pest management method – a practice originating from China – has been used to protect citrus crops in Vietnam for centuries. Weaver ants get their name from their habit of binding living leaves with silk to form communal nests in trees. They feed on a variety of insects including the citrus stinkbug, leaf-feeding caterpillars, aphids and the citrus leafminer, which attack orange, tangerine, lemon and pomelo trees and their fruit. Use of the weaver ant as a pest management method is reported to protect both fruit and nut crops from pests and can also deter small rats. Other benefits include increases in cashew yield, increases in mango fruit sets and an improvement in citrus fruit quality and yield. Some farmers also use the ants as a form of weather forecasting, as a change in the insects’ behaviour can denote an impending storm.

Increased pesticide use

Vietnamese fruit production intensified in the 1990s, when farmers converted paddy field into orchards to benefit from the significantly higher profits. . Newcomer fruit farmers lacked any knowledge of natural pest management, which led to a dramatic increase in pesticide use and a decline in the use of traditional methods. The weaver ant is now mainly confined to more extensively managed orange orchards.

With the increased use of broad-spectrum pesticides the number of pollinators and other natural enemies such as ladybirds, spiders and parasitoids have been affected. In some cases, over-use of chemicals has induced new pest problems by killing beneficial organisms and producing chemical resistance in pests – a phenomenon called ‘pest resurgence’. This has, for instance, led to an increase in citrus leafminer and mites.

Credit: Paul Van Mele, CABI Bioscience

Farmers are responding with increased spraying, even some traditional citrus growers are resorting to chemicals to keep on top of pests coming in from surrounding areas. Investigations suggest that in the Red River Delta in northern Vietnam, none of the citrus farmers practise weaver ant husbandry anymore, while in the Mekong Delta it is mainly older citrus farmers who keep the tradition going.

However, attitudes are beginning to change. Rising chemical application costs, pest resistance and the imposition by many industrialised countries of strict limits for pesticide residues are causing some farmers to question their intensive farming practices. The premium on organic fruit in the West is also a powerful incentive to convert to greener farming methods.

“Vietnam is witnessing a growing interest in a return to cheaper, more environmentally friendly means of growing fruit,” says Van Mele. “We hope that by exploring and building on local weaver ant husbandry knowledge through consultations and workshops in other provinces and countries, and by linking to organic traders in the West, these ancient practices can be revived and safeguarded for future generations.”

To contribute your experiences of weaver ant husbandry to this study, contact Dr Paul Van Mele, CABI Bioscience, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9TY, UK Fax: + 44 1491 829100

Further information is available in a practical, illustrated manual “Ants as Friends: Improving your Tree Crops with Weaver Ants” (shown above).
To order copies, please contact Dr. Paul Van Mele.

www.new-ag.info

Sisterhood of Weavers

With a remarkable array of communication skills, weaver ants may have perfected social networking.

This story appears in the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine.

If aliens ever do land on Earth, don’t get all huffy if their greeting turns out to be: “Take me to your ant.”

That ant might be a queen mother, weighing about the same as a few grains of salt. But she, along with other queens and their worldwide empires, would match the weight of the seven billion people seething across the planet these days. Plus, the queens and their offspring have been living in large, highly organized, cooperative societies—practicing activities from strategic army warfare to agriculture and livestock herding—for at least 50 million years. We’ve been at it for, what, 10,000, tops?

I’d nominate entomologist and photographer Mark Moffett as the aliens’ escort. During years of jungle quests he has discovered new ant species and astonishing ant behaviors. Even over breakfast here in the rain forest of Queensland, Australia, he’s pondering what sort of organism an ant colony amounts to, since it is this social group as a whole, not the individual, that really competes in the struggle for survival and evolves over time. Consider the colony as a unified body in which individual members are like cells, with castes of them performing separate duties like specialized organs.

Just above our heads, in the rain forest canopy, streams the almost perfect society. In other tropical and subtropical woodlands, scores of different ant species may share a single tree. But there’s little room for coexistence where the ants known as Oecophylla make their home—one species here in Australia and in southern Asia, the other in parts of Africa. Long-legged and lithe, they so aggressively dominate huge territories in the forest canopies that locals simply call them the tree ants.

Or weaver ants, because they make their soccer-ball-size nests among the branches by sewing leaves together. Each weaver ant colony inhabits from half a dozen to more than a hundred nests at any given time, forming a metropolis of boroughs and suburbs connected by busy commuter routes. A hierarchy of workers and soldiers maintains and defends this territory, which spreads from treetops to the forest floor, staying in sync through constant communication. They touch each other with mouths, forelegs, or antennae. They lay down scents with different glands to send different messages. They release more pheromones into the air to broadcast signals quickly and widely. They even display symbolic behavior: To warn of an approaching enemy, for instance, they jerk their bodies in a kind of ritualized fight.

Mark “Dr. Bugs” Moffett samples the local delicacy in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Scientists have likened weaver ant communication to a type of language with primitive syntax. Urban planners examine the organization of ant societies. Mathematicians draw upon analyses of ant behavior to devise parallel computing formulas (where multiple problems are solved simultaneously). Ants serve as models in all kinds of studies aimed at figuring out how big, complex jobs get done with small parts and a minimum of instructions.

Here is how a weaver ant nest-construction project gets under way.

A single worker stands on a leaf and reaches to grasp the edge of another leaf nearby. If the span is too great, a second worker climbs over the first, and the bottom ant grasps the newcomer by its wire-thin waist and holds it out closer to the goal. Still not enough? A third ant clambers over the first two and is lifted out farther yet. Ant by ant, a living chain grows into thin air like the arm of a construction crane. Once the distant leaf is grabbed, the squad pulls in unison, often with nest mates that have formed parallel chains and reinforcing cross-links, to draw the leaves’ edges together. Workers begin to array themselves like live staples along the seam between the leaves, legs holding on to one edge, jaws gripping the other. And then? They wait.

As evening comes on and the humidity rises, more workers arrive from nearby nests. They’re carrying larvae that are about to enter the pupal stage and metamorphose into adults.

Larvae of other ant species spin individual protective cocoons of silk. Oecophyllalarvae donate their silk to the colony. Straddling the leaf seam, an adult uses its antennae to tap the head of the larva held in its jaws, telling it to extrude silk from its salivary glands. A worker’s operating manual would read: Swing head to one side. Tappity-tap larva. Dab glob of its silk onto leaf. Swing head opposite way, drawing thread across to other leaf. Keep tappity-tapping larva. Dab next glob there. Step forward. Repeat procedure. When finished, move on to other tasks.

If you’re close enough to witness this use of juveniles as sewing tools, some workers are probably going to be biting you, having caught your motion with their keen eyes, sensed the odors in your breath, or felt movement when you brushed a branch. When you’re really close, an agitated throng coats the nearest plant parts like bristling fur, each ant lifting its body high on four legs, raising its gaster—the largest and hindmost segment of its body—up (sometimes vibrating it), a posture that signals excitement. The two front legs flail forward; they can hardly wait to grab you. The sharp-tipped, curving jaws are cocked open, poised to pincer, puncture, and inject some glandular concoction that adds extra hurt; it may make you woozy as the number of bites adds up.

Meanwhile the troops are spraying formic acid, which burns the nostrils like a whiff of ammonia. They’re also releasing alarm pheromones, from that upraised rear end as well as those formidable jaws, while other workers race off to contact nest mates directly, establishing scent trails along the way to guide them toward the threat. Give the recruiters a few minutes, and thousands may be streaming in your direction. Don’t linger. The population of some colonies exceeds half a million.

In one of the completed nests a queen, many times the size of typical workers (called majors and minors), is pumping out eggs. When the larvae hatch from the eggs, some of the workers feed and clean them and transport a portion of them to nurseries in other nests. Every so often a large batch of reproductive females and males is produced. They sprout wings and fly off to mate, and the fertilized females may start new colonies. The rest of the time, the queen’s offspring all become nonbreeding females—a fierce sisterhood of near clones that patrol their colony’s territory, search out and collect food, and grapple with any invader, no matter how big, no matter how deadly, in service to her majesty and the survival of the colony as a whole.

A queen may live years, the average worker maybe months, Moffett says, adding: “Any major that actually dies of old age hasn’t been doing its job for the colony.” Two of the scientists he worked with when he was a graduate student at Harvard University, leading ant experts Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson, found that the oldest workers end up in barrack nests near the front lines of a colony’s territory; they’re the most likely to encounter enemies and fall in battle. “A principal difference between human beings and ants,” those researchers have written, “is that whereas we send our young men to war, they send their old ladies.”

Somewhere off in the black rain forest night, Moffett is singing nonsense jingles interrupted by little squeaks and hmmms. It means he’s trying to keep focused while being bitten. When I find him, he’s peeling back silk-hemmed leaves to peer at the inner workings of a nest, and defenders are swarming his arms, sprinting toward his bare neck.

Mapping out colonies in an orchard at the forest’s edge the following morning, we find one that encompasses 17 trees. “Compared with a continuous ground surface, treetops aren’t able to support many heavy-bodied animals,” Moffett says. “Plenty of territory to roam up there, but it’s mainly leaves. So if you’re a predator, the best way to control a large territory in the canopy is to be small yourself but abundant enough to reach all those little surfaces. Think of a colony as a single critter spreading itself through the trees as a thin film.”

As predators, weaver ants hunt practically every kind of invertebrate big enough for a meal—and so effectively that the ants’ territories become patches where many creatures can exist only at low populations, if at all. Chinese farmers noticed this 1,700 years ago and placed nests in orchards to safeguard fruit, making Oecophylla the oldest known form of bio­control. Lately ecologists have been promoting it in Africa as a safe, effective, and inexpensive alternative to pesticide sprays. The poorest farmer can run strings from a weaver ant nest to fruit trees, and legions of female warriors will tirelessly eliminate fruit flies, caterpillars, and other potential pests for free.

As soon as a major latches on to prey, another maneuvers to grab and pull a leg or antenna. Within moments, half a dozen or more majors will have the victim—be it soft-winged moth, scout from a foreign ant colony, or burly scorpion—spread-eagled, stretched beyond its limits, and about to be ripped apart. A couple more sisters gnaw at weak points to hasten the job. Holding the pieces aloft, workers join the river of ants flowing back toward a nest laden with prizes from other hunts. The heaviest chunks are carried by groups that somehow keep coordinated, even as some team members leave and new workers join in.

All the while, different platoons are out tending scale insects and other homopterans (sucking insects that feed on plant juices). The shepherds physically carry this livestock to prime pastures, guard the herds vigilantly from enemies, and gather special droplets of sugar-rich syrup, known as honeydew, that the bugs excrete. Like every bounty, it is then carried off to be shared with nest mates—added to the communal gut.

Even the stodgiest scientists are growing more comfortable with the notion of the ant colony as a superorganism. Moffett’s musings lean further out. He keeps trying to explain to me how weaver ants operate in an Einsteinian universe where space bends and warps. Mentally shrink yourself to ant size and set out walking on a leaf. It’s a two-dimensional plane, except that it curves and twists and after a while suddenly falls off into thin air. No matter, you just climb over the edge and keep walking on the underside, then wend your way down a stem to another curling green surface.

“Weaver ants weigh so little, they’re scarcely affected by gravity,” Moffett says. “The rocking of branches in the wind is a stronger force to them, so they often don’t know which way is down. But if an ant wants to go from one tree to the next, there’s a huge gap relative to its size. It might have to travel all the way to the ground, back up again, and then out on another branch. What Oecophylla often does, though, is get a bunch of buddies together to form an air bridge and cross directly to the other side.”

Moffett may be the only person who perceives ants in Star Wars hyperspace, short-circuiting the usual rules of time and gravity. Still, the rest of us can look almost anywhere and see an ant crawling around and be reminded that nature has invented many ways for animals to be powerful and multitudes of ways for them to be smart.

www.nationalgeographic.com

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