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    Something different to my eyes after some 15 years observing – scene:

    fully grown cater flicking body up, back in agitation, green juice smeared on leaf & on its back end (sorry no botanical vocab here!) immediate thought – wasp but not on this big one BUT, as the cat took off safely to another leaf lying still underneath it, I spotted his back feeler had something black on it – pulled it off to discover it’s an ANT! SO…I’m guessing the ant was attacking it from the rear – would this be so? Well then, ant joins wasp & mantis etc. on my enemy list!

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    Talcolm powder works well too … sprinkled around the root system.



    Some tips on ants from overseas:

    Linda: For ants, we have always used Diatomaceous Earth, sprinkled around the baseboards (indoors), window sills, doorways and ant pathways, and outdoors around the edges of structures and doorways. I have never seen it harm a butterfly and have even cleaned off escapee larvae that crawled through the D.E. and got a dusting! We wear little paint masks when we sprinkle this stuff out for protection. It is a safe material to use but we’re always double careful.

    The ants get plugged up and die. Bye Bye Ants.

    Dan added:

    It’s also great for keeping slugs away, their little bellies don’t like to crawl over the sharp diatoms!

    (Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring, soft, chalk-like sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. It has an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and is very light, due to its high porosity.

    The typical chemical composition of diatomaceous earth is 86% silica, 5% sodium, 3% magnesium and 2% iron.

    Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilised remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. As well as being used for an insecticide, it is used as a filtration aid, as a mild abrasive, as an absorbent for liquids, as cat litter, as an activator in blood clotting studies, and as a component of dynamite. As it is also heat-resistant, it can be used as a thermal insulator.)

    Linda: There are two grades of D.E. – the gardening kind that we use for the ants, and then there is a human food-grade D.E. Both are white powder.

    We use the food-grade D.E. to mix in our dog’s food. It has some nutritional benefit but the main reason for putting a light coating of it on their kibble is that it totally prevents stomach parasites and no more need for chemicals or treatments to rid our animals of this. We get that at Wolf Creek Ranch website and order it in the 40 lb. bags. as we have lots of dogs!

    The gardening grade D.E. is cheaper and pretty easy to find at nurseries or online.

    Keep your powder dry! Put it into a second sack and in a can with a lid so it won’t gather any moisture.

    I wonder if anyone here has cats, and has tried sprinkling the used cat litter around their plants and has noticed a difference with ants and/or slugs?



    Bernie Farrell has asked me to post this in the forum (you’ve gotta forgive him for not doing it himself, he’s English, he’s a man, and it’s very cold up there) (teehee)

    +++++ Judi has identified what can be a big problem to all butterfly rearers. ANTS!

    +++++ A single ant can carry off not only an egg but also, small larvae, in its jaws. What’s more they even tell their mates where this source of food is!

    +++++ I found some swallowtail larvae in the south of France a few years ago and put them in a netted container on the balcony. The following morning the container had literally hundreds of ants which were carving up the dead bodies of my cats.

    +++++ One way of getting round the problem is to get a container full of water and stand a brick or similar in it,so that the top of the brick is just above the water.

    +++++ Your cats can then be put on foodplant and stood on the brick. So far I have not met a swimming ant but who knows?

    PS Bernie and I are always teasing each other about nationalities. He knows I”m grinning when I posted what I did right up above.



    Well I had to go in a few pages as theres plenty of “greens” but came up with this interesting expanation from Vicky Steele in the last post…

    So its a good Idea if we are going to handle them, to treat them with kid gloves.





    I’ve seen fallen cats & pupae getting eating by Ants. Ants will attack large insects in such a manner as well, so I’m not surprised at this report.




    Thanks Judi for this observation. I have seen this green fluid like stuff on occasions and I must say I havent seen any ants involved. Thats not to say they wernt there, and I’ll take particular notice next time it does. Last season I dont remember seeing this at all. I know its been mentioned here on these forums before. Might do a search on the word “green” and that would be sure to turn something up.


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