Ants on Lemon Tree - Knowledgebase Question

Lemon Grove, CA
Avatar for leslie37
Question by leslie37
April 30, 1998
I would like to know a good way to get rid of all the ants on my lemon tree. The tree already has some lemons, most are small and still green. It produces a lot of lemons every year but we can't seem to get rid of all the ants. They are on the trunk as well as the branches and lemons. I would prefer not to use chemicals if possible.

Answer from NGA
April 30, 1998
The ants are finding a source of food on your tree - some sugary sap of some kind. Check to make sure there are no aphids; ants 'herd' aphid colonies and milk them of honeydew, a sugary residue. Spray your tree with a strong stream of water to dislodge any aphids you find. 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!

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