Plants, no matter how well cared they are, can also be victims of pests. To combat them, it is necessary to know why they have appeared, in order to eradicate the root problem. Now you might wonder how to remove ants from plants.
Undoubtedly, these are insects that every year make an appearance in your garden and in your pots, preventing you from enjoying your flowers as you would like. It’s time to put them at bay!
Where do ants come from?
As much as we may dislike them at times, ants do a wonderful job in the garden, orchard, and even in flowerpots. In fact, are part of the group of pollinating insectsjust like bees or butterflies. In addition, there are many plants that produce ‘something’ that serves them, and I am not talking only about pollen, but also sometimes nectar, and even shelter in stems or thorns, such as acacia cornigera. Of course these are not gifts.
Furthermore, there are those who say that plants keep ants enslaved, as they use them for their benefit. And if we think about it carefully, it could be that it was true, although maybe not, since Although it is true that it is the ant that has to carry out a job (pollinate the flowers or protect the plant), it is also true that both parties benefit. Thus, thanks to the task that the insect does, the plant can produce fruits with seeds, or grow without having so many enemies. So, seen this way, more than talking about slavery we would have to talk about mutualism.
For all this, it is not surprising that where there are plants, we see ants too. But where do they come from? Well, in a garden they come out of the anthills that they make in any corner. For example, I can tell you that they made one underground, in an area exposed to the sun that does not usually get wet when it comes to watering.
Being an underground anthill, and being close to plants, what is achieved is to keep that soil aerated. With which, more benefits for the crops and in particular for their roots, which can grow easily. And that is not to mention that, in case of waterlogging, the water will be able to filter faster, minimizing the risk of rotting of the root system.
Why do they go to the plants?
Before getting into the matter, it is necessary to know why they go to the plants. For this, it must be borne in mind that sometimes, the presence of these insects may mean that there is another host that is taking advantage of the sap produced by the leaves: the aphid. Generally, aphids and to a lesser extent mealybugs or whitefly, and ants are usually accompanied, since the aphid produces a honeydew on which the ant feeds. So instead of one plague, we have two.
It can also happen that, simply, the insect is passing through. If you see that there are only one or two, the chances are that they have gone there to drink some water, but it will not do them any harm. Conversely, If you see that there are many and that the plant begins to get ugly … it is time to take action.
What are the damages that ants cause to plants?
Apart from the fact that they can favor the multiplication of existing aphids, mealybugs or whiteflies, they are actually discomforts rather than damage. In Spain we do not have potentially dangerous ants; Furthermore, we have the red ant (in the Iberian Peninsula) that feeds on insects that can become pests, such as caterpillars of fruit trees.
Those that are herbivorous, the most they can do is nibble leaves and / or flowers, or take some seed. But nothing that cannot be remedied using natural products.
How to eliminate ants in plants naturally?
A home trick to repel them, especially when it comes to protecting trees or shrubs, is to rub their trunks with a lemon. They dislike the aroma enormously, and as a result it will keep them well away from your plants. If what you want is to prevent them from going to your pots, you can also rub (or spray) a lemon in it.
When we see that the leaves begin to show symptoms that something is wrong, it is necessary observe them carefully with a magnifying glass if possiblesince perhaps, in addition to ants, it has a plague of cochineal, aphids or White fly. If that were the case, you would have to use a specific insecticide or, if you want to opt for an ecological remedy, you would have to dilute about 300 grams of natural soap in a liter of hot water, and spray your plants once a week.
To prevent problems, it is best to observation. Inspect your plants every so often, and you will see how the risk of them having pests (or that they get worse) is reduced.
How to prevent ants from climbing trees?
If you want them not to climb trees, there are several things you can do:
Put ant repellent plants
Having plants around the trunk of a tree can be a very good idea, as long as the tree is planted in the ground and has room to grow well. But yes, bet on the aromatic to repel ants, such as lavender, peppermint or spearmint. The smell they give off will keep them away.
Place citrus rinds
Again, we play with the smell. The peel of oranges, lemons, tangerines, etc. (all of the genus Citrus), they usually have an intense aroma. This is why it is a good idea to put them near the trees. By the way, you will also fertilize the plants, and the soil.
Spray the trunk with apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a good cooking product, but also a repellent. To use it you have to dilute, in a 50-50 ratio, warm water with this vinegar. Then fill a sprayer or sprayer with this mixture, and spray the trunk of the tree you want to protect.
We hope these tips help you repel ants.