David, a fellow bamboo connoisseur, sent me several articles on the use of coffee to prevent pests. The Bambusa multiplex series of bamboo is particularly susceptible to sooty mold at the nodes which attracts ants. This often happens during warm humid evenings and is a nuisance, but does not harm the plants themselves. I'll usually manually remove it by blasting the mold (and ants) off with a high pressure water stream.
Another alternative is to use coffee to repel the ant in the first place.
Read more on this method using coffee here.
The nice thing is, if your not a coffee drinker, like me, places like Starbucks give them away for free, you just have to ask.
Mad Man Bamboo
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