Controlling Leafcutter Ants

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(en español)

Leafcutter ants are extremely fascinating critters, but they do become pests when they start carting off plants from your garden or farm.

In this page, I'll compile some of the ways that people can use to prevent leafcutter ants from attacking their gardens. Please note that I am compiling information from third-party sources, as I have had no occassion to actually need to repel leafcutter ants.

Physical Deterrents

People can protect their trees and plants by physically preventing the ants from getting to them. One method is to place plastic skirts around the area, and coat these with sap or long-lasting adhesives. Another method people have used is to create moat barriers around their gardens and plants by digging a bamboo or platic-lined trench around the area and then filling this with soapy water.

Chemical Deterrents

The following methods have been used with varying success to prevent leafcutters from encroaching on valuable gardens.

Other chemicals

Treat nests with:

References in the literature

Some references in the literature that I have found. I will place summaries of the papers when I get the chance to read them.

Chen, T. K., D. F. Wiemer and J. J. Howard (1984). A volatile leafcutter ant repellent from Astronium graveolens. Naturwissenschaften 71: 97-98.

Hubbell, S. P., J. J. Howard and D. F. Wiemer (1984). Chemical leaf repellency to an attine ant: seasonal distribution among potential host plant species. Ecology 65: 1067-1076.

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Web Site Author: A. Sunjian
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