Q: Last year my okra pods were covered in fire ants. How do I keep them off without using strong chemicals?
A: Fire ants are indeed the likely culprits. They feed on developing pods and make a nuisance of themselves while sipping nectar from the flowers. Most fire ant baits aren’t labeled for use in a vegetable garden but look for organic baits containing spinosad, which can be used around vegetables. Alternatively, the non-garden baits can be spread on the perimeter of your garden where foraging fire ants will find them. It’s a good idea to treat your lawn with the same bait products.