|17 crawlers in this closeup|
So there I was, standing over the carnage, debating the wisdom of not using chemicals and an idea struck me. Thinking about how diatomaceous earth was a good control for ants I thought there must be something similarly natural that could take care of these creatures. (Diatomaceous earth is basically super finely ground up diatoms- ancient calcified sea creatures- that effectively becomes powderized glass that ants ingest and die from).
|Leaves stripped and ongoing damage|
Made up my mind and blasted every plant with the remainder of the powder. At the end of the day there were easily hundreds of larvae on the ground...the ants came and took a few away but most of them I simply hosed off. I went to the dollar store the next day and bought more talc and blasted the columbines twice more. In the end I believe several thousand larvae had contributed to the excessive damage- this was just over a week ago and most of the plants have recovered and are beginning to flower but the damage still shows.
|Talc to the rescue!|
|Too bad, so sad|