The Q&A Archives: Ants On My Daisies

Question: I have a problem with ants infesting my marguerite daisies. They seem to create these ugly barnacle looking things on the branches and then the branches start to wither. It happened to a small citrus tree too, I just pulled it out and tossed it; it looked so disgusting!! What do you recommend for this?

Answer: Believe it or not, the ants are not responsible for the damage to your plants! It sounds as though the stems of your plants are host to scale insects. These sucking insects exude a sticky substance called honeydew, which attracts ants. So, if you get rid of the scale insects, the ants will go away, too. On citrus trees the general treatment is horticultural oil, to smother the scales. You can pick or peel them off if you'd rather not use oil. I'm not sure the oil can be used on your marguerite daisies, though, so read and follow the label directions.

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