Valley Permaculture Alliance

I posted awhile ago about how I don't kill ants- nope, I don't do it! And I try not to use the word, "should" because my mother always taught me the world of "shoulds" is a world of judgement, but I'll make an exception and say you shouldn't kill ants either- or any insect for that matter- unless it's a cockroach inside your house- then I understand.

I watched this documentary last night, and I have gained yet even more respect for these fascinating creatures, and while I was aware of the soil aeration benefits of an ant colony, after seeing their landfill of waste, I am yet even more excited to welcome these biting nuisances into my yard. Now to google what the local variety of ants on my property are and what they farm... do they all live off of fungus or only these leaf cutters... I must learn more!

Ants are awesome! Here's a link to the documentary

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/planet-ant-life-inside-colony/

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Comment by Powell Gammill on May 28, 2014 at 11:03am

That is a good reason to kill a nest...pedestrian pathways.  Nothing like standing still and sudden feeling a hundred ants attacking your leg.

As for benefits of termites and gophers, they too flip the earth.  Ants have the additional advantage of killing pests(but they also protect and move about others).

Comment by Catherine, The Herb Lady on May 28, 2014 at 8:14am

Ants are fascinating and we have always appreciated their benefit in the eco system - clean up, soil aeration.  My only challenge in leaving them alone is if they get into our paths - I'm allergic to them so we have some times resort to poison to get that part of the hive out of my way. Don't like to do it and we've tried many other types of deterrents :(

Comment by rafael evangel on May 27, 2014 at 5:38pm

thanks for the link, it reminds me of David attenborough's "Life in the Undergrowth" dvd, which is also a bbc production. BBC, imo, is without peer, even though  national geographic and discovery channel are themselves awesome.Ants farming their own mushrooms is quite intriguing, btw.

  when i was a kid, i used to watch ants from sunrise to sundown during summer break. To call me for lunch or dinner, my mom had to pry me with a crowbar as i sat there crouched for several hours, lol! Witnessed some of the fiercest battles, and seen some incredible ant societal activity which have yet to see in documentaries. Also seen some impostor bugs, some tiny pillbugs which probably mimic the host ants' scent, and benefiting from the shelter, protection, and food provided by ants.

Comment by Heather Green on May 27, 2014 at 11:47am

I don't have any gophers... don't know much about termites... benefits?

Comment by Powell Gammill on May 27, 2014 at 10:51am

ditto for termites (as long as like ants they stay out of your home) and gophers (well, unless they like your garden).

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