The Q&A Archives: Ants!

Question: Will ants damage or even kill my plum tree.
Thank you

Answer: Ants won't kill or damage your plum tree but they are probably attracted because of insects feeding on the leaves. Ants protect and 'herd' aphid colonies to milk them of honeydew, a sugary residue that they excrete while feeding on the leaves of your tree. Spray your tree with a strong stream of water to dislodge any aphids you find. If you could somehow spray all the aphids with insecticidal soap, that would take care of them. Insecticidal soap is lethal to aphids but won't hurt you or your tree. To keep ants from climbing up your tree, place 'Tanglefoot' at the base of the trunk. Tanglefoot is an extremely sticky substance that traps insects if they fly or walk onto it. To protect the trunk of your tree, first wrap it with paper and apply the Tanglefoot to the paper. You may have to remove the paper coated Tanglefoot trap and replace it as it becomes filled with ants - if there are enough dead ants trapped, live ants will use them as a bridge and cross the Tanglefoot barrier! Best wishes with your plum tree.

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