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Organic gardening tutorials, This video is going to teach you how to control ants naturally part 1/4.
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John Greenlee: Isn’t this a beautiful flower? Did you know that it’s also a natural pest control?
We’re here today at Pacific Palisades, California to meet Andy Lopez. And is a specialist in natural pest control. Let’s go meet Andy and see if we can talk him out of some of his secret recipes for controlling insects naturally.
John Greenlee: Well, to tell you Andy, I’m looking at all these ingredients here and I’m wondering if we’re having lunch or if we’re making insect sprays. What’s happening here?
Andy Lopez: Well, one of the things you’ll find in the garden and in your home environment is ants. Everybody’s got an ant problem, more or less. If you control your ant problems, you control over 75 % of the problems in the garden.
John Greenlee: Now why is that?
Andy Lopez: Ants like to get in to everything. They do, they believe in the numbers. Ants are very highly advance society. I started into ants into sixth grade about an Uncle Malcolm’s Ant Farm. Do you know what that is?
John Greenlee: I’m sorry.
Andy Lopez: They were little clear plastic things, there’s a label in there that says, send this for Ants. Then I said, “I don’t need to order ants. I got plenty of ants.” That was the whole purpose of it, so in the sixth grade that was just crazier for me. I mean instead of doing Phys. Ed, I got into vegetable garden. I was the only male amongst all the ladies doing the garden. The guys thought that I was up to something and they go, “Hmm, he’s up to something.” Then that was the year I blew up my garage. I bought one of those chemistry sets, blew it up. It says do not mix everything. I was in the mood of do not do, I did it. You know, wet paint, do not sit, I would sit. So I blew up the garage.
John Greenlee: Is that how you became invisible?
Andy Lopez: It’s a starting process and then I bought a beehive. I cut a wall in the kitchen, put the beehive in it with the class then somehow I decided I want to do the ant thing. Well actually what happened was my mother was spraying Raid. Every week she will spray Raid and we will, the five of us, my dad, and my cat and the ants and everybody will sit on the front yard while my mom will be spraying whatever it was in there. I will see the ants, with all of us sitting there, they’re going whew in there right? And I say, what is it the ants are looking for? Food and water. So I figured out, I will just going to feed them. So I borrowed Uncle Malcolm’s Ant Farm and in the other side of the kitchen I kind of put up an ant farm there. Well immediately the ants started coming over to the beehive to steal the honey and I started, so I had to teach them to live in harmony together. And ever since that I became an ant expert.
Remember this is in the sixth grade and people would call me up, “Andy, why don’t you come over and help me control my ants.” So I started, I said, when you feed a 10,000 pound gorilla. Anything will it wants to eat right? Ants actually weigh ten thousand pounds gorilla. If you actually, I don’t know how they figured it out. They figured out that it takes a million ants, dead ants to make a pound. I don’t know how they figured it out.
John Greenlee: It’s a job I wouldn’t want.
Andy Lopez: Yes and so I started feeding ants to see what they want and I developed what I call an Ant Cafes. All this is, is a little bird house.
John Greenlee: Ant Cafes.
Andy Lopez: I call them Ant Cafes, I used to call them Ant Bars but I give talks in kids, I go to schools and I tell the kids to adopt an ant farm, learn about the ants because ants are very smart. They’re smarter than human beings, they don’t have homeless, they don’t have wars. If they do have a war it’s just some skirmish over this. Lately the ants used to fight each other now the ants are getting together. They have many queens working together. They have lawyers, doctors, farmers, you name it. They do honestly, I swear.
John Greenlee: Lawyers?
Andy Lopez: They have lawyers, everything. I don’t know. I promise to say, they’re very advance society. They really are very smart. I swear that every month, they have a meeting. So this is where the food is and this is where the stuff is. So I started feeding them. And all I’ve done is I basically got a plastic cup, put it inside and part of it, I call it Dances with Ants. It’s in my first chapter of the book.
John Greenlee: Dances with Ants.
Andy Lopez: Dances with Ants, remember Dances with Wolf, you have to, how the person’s style to communicate with that wolf, well it’s the same thing with the ants.
I told the kids and I told the people, “Hey, it’s alive, it has its intelligence.” Just because you don’t know what it’s saying and it doesn’t know what you’re saying, doesn’t mean that we’re not, you know, something’s not alive and it doesn’t have any intelligence. You know how you get into a man, through the stomach, right? Well it’s the same thing with the ants. That’s how you get their attention. There are two ways to get attention.
John Greenlee: You invite them to the Ant Caf?.
Andy Lopez: There are two ways to get attention. You kill someone, you kill the ants or you feed them. Either way, you’re going to get their attention. So I tell people, this killing thing is got to stop. We’ve got to learn about how to live in harmony with things. Certain pests can get out of hand, you want to get their attention, but feeding them is what the ants are looking for. They come in the house for food and water, right?
John Greenlee: Right.
Andy Lopez: Right. So first thing we do, we’re going to call it, that’s why we call it dances where in there are steps you have to take. People will say, “I will go directly to step five.” It doesn’t work. You have to follow them in a logical way. First step is you have to follow the ants to see where they’re coming in, where their trails are, how they come in to your house. And I swear you have to start to be sneaking and go. As soon as you know they know you’re looking they disappear. I don’t know if you ever notice that but soon as your, “Where did they go?” They’re gone.
One lady called me up and says on, “I’m whispering because they’re listening in.” And then she said, come over here quick. I came over and then they’re gone. So I say, go over to the store and call me from there, we’ll sneak up on them. It’s really funny; I’ve been doing this for years. One lady says there’s swarming and they’re going massive flight. I said, walk around your block and sure enough it was a pest control company spraying. Because the ants will go from where these chemicals to where there are chemicals. That’s one of the problems. If you’re not using any chemicals, you’re neighbor is spraying, that’s where they’re going to go.
John Greenlee: They’re going to come to your house.
Andy Lopez: We’re over here to hang out. This is great, we’re smoking cigars, whatever it takes. So that’s one of the problems. Basically you want to feed the ants. In the beginning, I learned the ants love honey, I experimented. I used to use other things. I used one day, I used pancake syrup and I preserved and something and they won’t touch it. They won’t touch anything I preserved with adding some food coloring. May be they know something, right? So they usually like honey, they’re either into protein or honey. One of the products I buy is called Drax. 5 % Boric acid, mainly it’s apple mint.
John Greenlee: What does this do?
Andy Lopez: The Boric acid will kill them. One of the things that you have to learn is that we have an infestation, of anything, something’s out of balance. Like with the ants, whenever you have a billion, trillion ants. It’s out of balance.
John Greenlee: Something’s wrong.
Andy Lopez: You have to reduce there population down. So at the same time, I teach people two things. Be considerate of other living things and only kill as a last resort, only as a last resort.