And living in the south means they are most likely the dreaded fire ants. What to do? I'm trying to grow my food with out chemicals but the fire ants have to go.
Paul Wheaton at Permies.com wrote a great article about ants and aphids. After I read his article I took a close look at the affected plants and - sure enough - there were the aphids! Check out his article here: http://www.richsoil.com/antsandaphids/
Tonight found a corn stalk teaming with ants so I totally covered the plant with diatomaceous earth, came back a few minutes later and every single ant was gone! Tomorrow I am headed out to get more.
I have been very happy with diatomaceous earth (DE) on my tender greens where I have to have pest control if I want any salad at all but at the same time I don't want to eat soapy oily plants. DE is totally safe and, leaves no taste on the produce.
What is Diatomaceous Earth? Here is a good explanation - I have not purchased anything from this company but they had a great explanation of DE.