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Monday - December 08, 2014

From: Elgin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests
Title: Possible leaf cutter ants in Elgin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I've planted many beautiful native vines and flowering plants this fall. However, in the past week I've noticed something has been eating these plants, including coral honeysuckle vine, salvia, and mealy sage. The leaves on each of the plants is vanishing. I suspect ants since I've had a similar problem with a rose plant and citrus tree earlier this year and saw the ants walking off with leaves- but didn't expect them to hit the native plants. Could it be another insect? Either way, is there anything I can do to save the plants or is there a anti-ant gardening guide? I'd love for the pollinators to have something come spring. Thanks!

ANSWER:


Since you have had experience with leaf cutter ants, and you are not seeing any evidence of the ants, I am puzzled;  they are generally fairly obvious.

I am going to give you links to three sources that have information about leaf cutter ants that may prove helpful.
www.dirtdoctor.com

www.texasinsects.tamu.edu

www.ehowf .com

I would also suggest that you contact the folks at the Bastrop County Office of Texas Agrilife Extension Service to have a knowledgeable person take a look at your situation.

 

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