Been growing beetroot and carrots in containers which dd has been watering regularly. Today I check in the soil and it's like ant city! I've also got a pumpkin plant and sunflowers in the ground and they seem to be colonising them too on the stems. Are they going to destroy my plants? And how do I get rid of them? There are a LOT of ants in our garden, I have to admit they're not my favourite insect!
Ants don't eat plants but they are clever enough to farm aphids who will drink the sap from your plants and kill them. The ants will defend the aphids from other predators such as ladybirds. I've never had a problem with aphids on beetroot, so unless you can see aphids or the beetroot are looking worse for wear I wouldn't worry.
Thanks for the replies. Ah, I have a nearby tomato plants which have some aphids on, when I have the time I regularly spray them off with some soapy water and rub them off by hand, but they do keep coming back - weirdly enough the ants aren't there. I can't see any aphids on the beetroot though, but maybe they're hiding and the ants are better at finding them than I am? If they're not going to harm my plants I'll just leave them then.
I have ants everywhere at the moment, new bumps in the lawn, edges of walls, under the gravel in the raised beds, living in the bottoms of my pots. Black ones and red ones, and when I disturb them they are on the verge of flying.
I bought some nematodes to try to get rid of them, supposed to move them on, not kill them, but have even more now, so have just bought another lot.