There are some ants that actually benefit tree health when they are around them, but there are some that cause more harm than good to our trees. So, we can’t say all ants are bad for trees, but we do need to know the difference between the ones that are good and the ones that are bad.
So, how do we determine which ants are bad for our trees? Here’s a look at some key facts you need to learn about ants and how they impact your tree’s overall well-being.
So, why do ants hang around trees?
One reason ants are attracted to trees is that they are looking for honeydew remains from other bugs. Another reason they love trees is that it’s a potential resident spot for them. They feel at home in rotting wood and tree cavities.
Therefore, it’s not the ants that are harming the tree. When they are drawn to most trees, it’s usually a sign to us something is already going on with the tree.
If we catch the condition in time, we can treat the tree and save it.
– Does that mean no ants cause actual damage to our trees? No.
There are some ants that do cause direct harm to our trees:
1. Carpenter ants: If you see sawdust collecting around your tree’s base, then you have carpenter ants. These black ants are drawn to trees that are rotting. At this point, you need to contact a local arborist to decide if your tree needs to come down to prevent the risk of the tree falling.
2. Red imported fire ants: These are the ants that create those watery blisters on us when they bite us. They also wreak havoc on young trees. So, if you see an anthill near the base of your tree, you need to contact an arborist to get information about insecticides for your tree immediately.
So, how do I get rid of ants from my trees?
Although most ants are not harmful to trees, they are a nuisance when they travel to your house and other parts of your lawn. Here are 3 ways to stop ants in their tracks:
• Use a solution of one gallon of water to 30 drops of peppermint oil to treat your tree. Ants are sure to pack up and leave because they dislike the smell of peppermint.
• Apply insecticide or horticultural soap to your tree to destroy the supply of honeydew.
• Surround the base of the tree with ant bait to catch them when they are on the move.