How to keep your orchard ant-free

How to keep your orchard ant-free

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How to keep your orchard ant-free

Did you know that a fungus common in citrus rots can help to protect your crops? 

Penicillium is a fungus that often appears on citrus fruit rots, especially oranges. This fungus has properties that are very helpful in combating ants that attack crops.

Some fungal genus members produce penicillin, a molecule that is used as an antibiotic, which kills or stops the growth of certain kinds of bacteria.

Penicillium will not kill the ants, it will simply cause them to move to another location so they can forage for food elsewhere.

This type of fungus can be applied directly by dusting, or by spraying or watering.

Ants, despite what many believe, do not feed directly on the leaves they cut. 

They actually cultivate and consume another type of fungus that grows on the pieces of leaves they collect. 

This is where penicillium comes into play, as it is an antagonistic fungus, i.e. it feeds on other fungi. 

By introducing it into the ants' environment, we can eliminate the food source of these insects and thus protect our crops.

To take advantage of the properties of penicillium, follow these simple steps:

  1. Collect bits of penicillium that you find on decaying citrus fruits.
  2. Place the pieces of penicillium in a jar or container.
  3. Fill the container with water to completely cover the mushroom pieces.
  4. Let the mixture stand for 24 hours.
  5. After this time, strain the solution to remove the remaining pieces of peel and mushroom.
  6. Your penicillium solution is now ready to fumigate your crops.

Apply the penicillium solution directly on the areas affected by ants, in the way you consider most convenient according to the type of crop you have. 

With this natural and simple method, you will be able to keep ants at bay and protect your plants without resorting to chemicals harmful to the environment.

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