I was watching one of my favorite TV shows recently: “Shark Tank”. On the show, people with new products and business ideas come to the experts looking for an investment and assistance in expanding their business and idea. The one that impressed me the most was two women who had developed a trap for bedbugs using a special bait they’d developed. It sounded like a great thing, especially for hotels and public housing. It’s just a little trap, smaller than a mousetrap, that slips underneath the mattress. No one knows it’s there, yet it does its work. It could be easily checked, without alarming anyone. There seemed to be full protection in this ideal product. The ladies had not only patented the idea, but had gotten protection worldwide for their special bait formula. It was such an attractive idea and product that all four of the “sharks”, investors, wanted to invest in it. They were almost fighting over who would bid the highest.
What’s that got to do with SFG? Well it reminded me of some of the frequently asked questions that I’m gathering together in a new book that should be out before Christmas 2012. Many of the questions people ask are about ants and how to get rid of them. Of course I had to investigate into why they’re there and what’s attracting them before we could decide the best way to get rid of them. You’ll be able to read all of the answers once this book is published, but what attracted me to more information was a newspaper add for a pest control company that specializes in ant elimination. Here’s what they said in their ad: “First of all, ants are liquid feeders. The food they eat is an almost exclusively secretions from aphids and white flies.” Then they listed the backyard plants that attract aphids and white flies. It included hibiscus, junipers, pines, and conifers, rose bushes, and all citrus trees. None of those are in a SFG, yet we get a lot of letters saying “Ants have invaded my SFG!” I ask “Why?” and they ask “How?” to get rid of them. The purpose of this blog is to ask you, the reader, “What do you know about ants? Why are they in your garden? How did you get rid of them? Is it true that they feed primarily on the secretion of aphids and white flies? Are the ants building their nest in your SFG not to eat any roots or destroy the plants but merely because Mel’s Mix is so loose and friable that it’s easy to dig and make a nest?” Why do ants come in the house? Is it just for water in the kitchen, and is it possible that our perfect Mel’s Mix formula which allows water to be held in the vermiculite and peat moss waiting for the roots to need another drink is perhaps the attraction to the ants? Anyone know an entomologist? Or have any thoughts on this subject? We’d love to hear from you.