War with WeeWees

1 09 2013

One interesting ant we’ve seen a lot of in Belize is the leaf cutter (or as the locals here call them WeeWee ants). They can truly decimate a plant. We “foiled” them at our apartment by surrounding tempting plants with these pellets we obtained from The Garden Center in Cayo which the leaf cutter ants take back to their underground, fungus growing “baby nurseries”.  Once there, the pellets “explode” and supposedly take out the colony. We noticed that when we sprinkled them around our potted plants, the pellets disappeared overnight, but the leaves remained on the plants and we never saw any ants.

Before our Summer vacation, the leaf cutters  were already hard at work carrying away leaves and the beautiful flowers

flamboyant tree4

from one of the gorgeous flamboyant trees in front of my husband’s classroom.

RansClassroom5671

When back from Summer vacation, they had eaten half the tree and had marched back and forth between the jungle and the tree so often that they had worn this path into the grass almost foot wide (I guess the Pledge can is there for scale). There can be up to 8 million ants in one colony.

Antpath

My husband sprayed that Fish bug killer around the tree and along the path (probably didn’t stay too long because it is rainy season), but it seemed to deter the ants.  My husband continues his saga….Well, I was so proud of myself for saving the one tree, all they did was move to the other big flamboyant tree next to it. There were many more on this one. It is like they redoubled their efforts. There were two trails now going to it and they did not merge until just on the other side of the fence in the jungle. They are smart…. they saw that one line was destroyed so they built two lines. But they are not that smart.  They were also attacking a hibiscus bush on the back side of my building. Their line for this one joined with the other two lines but instead of just going 20 yards and connecting, they went all the way around the building then connected. I sprayed again both the new big tree and the old and the hibiscus. I cannot be outdone by an ant brain. But I was thinking, if you added up all of their brains, it would probably be the size of a basketball.

War with an army of ants. Who will win?

Stay Tuned…


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