Natural Ant Repellent?

Brooke N
by Brooke N
Can I get some advice? First time gardener here, with my first crop ever. I planted squash and cowpeas in a raised trough, and ants are going crazy on them. They're eating the peas and stealing the pollen from my squash flowers. I'm looking for a safe and natural repellent, no chemicals. I looked online and tried black pepper and cinnamon, but it hasn't seemed to help much. Though it has been an unusually wet week so perhaps it just washed away too quickly. Can anybody help me save my peas?!
  6 answers
  • Bonnie Bassett Bonnie Bassett on Jul 17, 2013
    wish I could help but I am having problems with ants eating my sunflowers! so I hope you get answers that I can use too! :)

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jul 18, 2013
    Are you sure it isn't aphids that are doing the damage and that the ants aren't just attracted to the aphids' honeydew? Spray with a commercial insecticidal soap (there are plenty of organic versions available), making sure you get the undersides of the leaves.

  • Brooke N Brooke N on Jul 18, 2013
    Thank you Douglas! It's definitely the ants, not aphids. I inspect the plants several times a day (what can I say, I'm obsessive about this garden producing!) and I watch them climb up the vines, enter into the pods and take things out of them. The leaves remain mostly undamaged. And since I pollinate my squash by hand, I see the ants getting in and out of the male flowers and running off with all the pollen! I didn't know they did things like that.

  • Mary Richard Mary Richard on Jul 19, 2013
    My aunt swears by sprinkling old coffee grinds around plants to scare away ants.

  • Bonnie Bassett Bonnie Bassett on Jul 20, 2013
    I have lots of coffee grinds I am going to try that ! ty Mary

  • Kathy Kathy on Apr 11, 2015
    I sprinkle dry grits around for them to carry back to the nest to share . Unable to digest!