Answer: Ants are very protective of aphids because when the aphids feed they exude a sticky substance called honeydew. To the ants, this is a good source of sugary food. So ants protect aphids. To control the aphids, hose them off the plant with a strong stream of water or use an Insecticidal soap spray. Once you get rid of the aphids the ants will go away. Good luck with your zinnias.
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