Pests and trees just don’t get along. Sounds pretty simple, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to ants, it is often easier said than done to get rid of them. After all, if you use the wrong removal method you could cause serious issues for your tree.
There are some ants that don’t cause any type of issue. In fact, some may even help you take better care of the trees in your yard. However, others can be harmful and lead to a number of issues.
The problem you have is discerning which ants are good and which ones are bad. Here you can learn more about ants and when to take action to preserve the health of your trees.
The Good and the Bad of Ants on Trees
There are two reasons that ants may be drawn to your trees.
- They are looking for the sweet honeydew that is left behind by other types of insects.
- They are making a nest or home for themselves indie a tree with rotten wood or empty cavities.
In most cases, ants themselves won’t cause damage to your trees. Instead, they will just provide a warning indication that your tree may be in trouble. If you notice ants, it may be a good idea to contact the professionals to come and take a look to see if a serious problem is present.
Can Ants Harm Your Tree’s Roots?
There are always exceptions to any rule. There are two types of ants that can be a serious problem for your trees.
- Carpenter ants: If you notice piles of sawdust near the base of your tree, then it means carpenter ants. If this is the case, you need to call the professionals for help. In some cases the tree will have to be removed.
- Red imported fire ants: These can be harsh for younger trees and inflict painful blisters on pets and people. If you notice dome shaped mounds near the base of a tree, then you should not touch or disturb them. Your tree care professional will be able to apply an insecticide that will kill the ants without hurting the tree.
Getting Rid of Ants for Good
While the majority of ants won’t be a threat to trees, they can be opportunistic and may wind up inside your home, or in other undesirable areas on your property. Some tips to keep that from happening include:
- Use some type of horticultural insecticide or soap to get rid of any sap-feeding insects. This will eliminate the honeydew supply the ants are attracted to.
- Put baits all around the base of the tree to capture the ants.
- Spray your tree with a solution that includes 30 drops of peppermint oil and a gallon of water.
If you are still having trouble with ants around and on your trees, call the professionals. They will be able to help you find a viable solution for your ant situation.