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Ants on Fruit Trees

Last post 28-05-2009 3:38 PM by Lennie. 10 replies.

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  • 17/04/2008 09:57 AM
    • SarahW
    • 08 Mar 2008
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     Does anyone have any idea of how to stop ants going up fruit trees please?  I am going to put ant powder round the base but I noticed them swarming all over the branches of my plum trees so think it needs something a bit more drastic!  Any advice would be gratefully received.  Thanks.  Sarah

  • 17/04/2008 10:22 AM
    • Figwort
    • Peterborough
    • 20 Dec 2007
    • 258
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    Sarah

    You can use a thick band of fruit tree grease around the trunk - this works really well.

    The ants are probably in the tree farming aphids &/or feeding off sap. If the tree is small enough to spray, and you don't mind using insecticides, you could spray to kill any aphids, which will stop the ants farming them! 

    There are never any problems in gardening - just opportunities!
    Geoff Hodge
    www.gardenforum.demon.co.uk
  • 17/04/2008 11:33 AM
    • sue1002
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
    • 06 Sep 2005
    • 9,684
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    Is the soil around the trees a bit on the dry side?  Ants prefer drier soil to wet, you could try drowning them out. 

    sue1002
  • 17/04/2008 01:59 PM
    • bubbles
    • essex
    • 15 Jan 2007
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    I get lots of ants too ... not really worried about them... should I be?  I have never taken steps to get rid of them... should I?

    Ty

    Alex

  • 17/04/2008 06:57 PM
    • Bog Myrtle
    • Southern Turkey
    • 07 Feb 2007
    • 346
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     Sarah, as Figwort says, fruit tree grease. Or, if you don't fancy that, you could whitewash the trunk of the tree from the ground to about a metre up the trunk. That stops them.

    Bubbles, the ants themselves aren't a problem, but as Figwort says, they do "farm" the aphids for the sticky sap they exude - and this includes attacking and driving off any predator which would otherwise eat them and get rid of them out of your tree.

    The other time they become a problem is when they find their way into the house

    Admittedly, I never had that happen whilst in Scotland, but in Turkey it's a pain sometimes - you don't dare leave anything edible lying, or leave a spilled dribble of anything like honey or jam on a cupboard shelf, because they'll find it overnight, and you'll have a column of them tramping through the house to reach it. And once they find a way in, it's really hard to divert them again Sad

  • 17/04/2008 07:03 PM
    • Bog Myrtle
    • Southern Turkey
    • 07 Feb 2007
    • 346
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    Sue, I've found it's really hard to get rid of ants with water, unless you're able to absolutely swamp them.

    They're a real nuisance here in tubs and containers - they seem to like the loose soil, and get in the bottom of the tub, where they make a nest. I asked the RHS about it, and they reckon that wouldn't harm the flowers in the tub, but it does, because the activity of the ants turns the soil into dust, and the flowers die.

    The only way I've found to stop it is to submerge the tub in a drum of water for several hours, then take it out and let the excess drain. Anything less just doesn't get rid of them.

  • 17/04/2008 08:28 PM
    • sue1002
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
    • 06 Sep 2005
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     We had ants in one of our Clematis pots last year, there was a huge nest in there and the only way we could rid it was to take the clem out (I waited til it finished flowering) and flush all the ants down the drain with the hosepipe.  The nest was well into the roots and I ended up cutting away half of the rootball to get to them.  After it was repotted we raised the pots on small bits of wood smeared in grease so the ants couldn't get back into the pot.

     

    The front garden here doesn't get watered as often as the back and we get more ants there but I find after giving it a good drowning, they disappear - probably into next door's garden but they don't come back in a hurry. 

    sue1002
  • 18/04/2008 07:38 PM
    • bubbles
    • essex
    • 15 Jan 2007
    • 272
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    Thanks Embarrassed I have a real issue with ants here, I would be fighting a loosing battle to try and get rid of them entirely.  I reckon there were over 30 nests in the garden last year. 

    Keeping them out of the house is also another drag.  As you say, it does not take much to entice them in. 

    Ty Alex Smile

  • 25/05/2009 11:58 AM
    • M lyons
    • 25 May 2009
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     what do you mean by whitewash ?

     

  • 28/05/2009 03:28 PM
    • JamesA
    • Peterborough
    • 24 Aug 2006
    • 215
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    I've been battling with ants.
    I bought a roll of that band with fruit tree grease on.
    It does work well and stops the ants crossing it.
    It was £6 for enough to cover 12 trees (which was far more than I needed).

    If you have Vaseline in the house you could try that first.

    I then squished the ants that were already on the tree, but the hazel tree is only 3 feet tall.

    I've now put powder down and have had some bait stations around for weeks, but there still seems a lot of ants.
    I normally don't like using chemicals, but decided to blitz them this year as we're getting them in the house.

  • 28/05/2009 03:38 PM
    • Lennie
    • Forest Hill
    • 24 Feb 2009
    • 121
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    Squished the ants! Surprise Ive studied ants from a small age and they are very intelligent. Dont squish them, observe them!

    Lives in harmony with all insects and mammals.SnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnailSnail