I have been keeping a close eye on my pepper garden this year. Last year I had some issues and I couldn’t figure out what was causing my plants to have holes in the leaves. I posted about it last year under the title of The Great Bunny Annihilation of 2013. I researched it and found it could be a multitude of things. My best guess was rabbits or slugs. I treated for both and this year I figured I would get a jump on this problem and ensure that no bunnies or slugs would be able to get at my plants. I went out to water the garden today and guess what I found… that’s right, holes in the leaves of all my plants, some were worse than others.
I sat there for about 10 minutes staring, what could it be?? I was more than a little annoyed. So I got down there and did a thorough inspection of all the plants. I do believe I have it figured out. Ants, that’s right, ants. They were very small but they were all over my plants. I broke out the magnifying glass and found that the ants were indeed, slowly but surely, snipping the leaves and carrying them off. These are not leaf cutter ants, there were several kinds of ants. Pavement ants, honey ants, pharaoh ants, acrobat ants (yes I used to be an exterminator in years past). I think I know how to treat them. I will use a granulated bait for the ants around the exterior of the garden. This will do two things, it will bring the ants out of the garden to eat the bait instead of my plants, and it will kill the colonies of ants.
I have never seen so many different kinds of ants in one spot with out them fighting over the territory. I hope my plan of putting out bait will work. I will keep you posted as I always do. Another problem I found was that the leaves on some of the plants are yellow. They are healthy, just more yellow than green. This tells me that the nitrogen levels in the soil are too high. This is an easy fix, but I may let it go for now because the issue is not too bad and it may resolve itself. I will give it a few more weeks and we will see if my solution to the ant problem works. Cross your fingers for me.