Protect young or sensitive trees from possible injury by wrapping the trunk with a collar of heavy paper, duct tape, or fabric tree wrap and coating this with the sticky material. |
When numerous ants are found on plants, they are probably attracted to the sweet honeydew deposited on the plants by honeydew-producing insects such as aphids or soft scales. Ants may also be attracted up into trees or shrubs by ripening or rotten sweet fruit or floral nectar. These ants can be kept out by banding tree trunks with sticky substances such as Tanglefoot. Trim branches to keep them from touching structures or plants so that ants are forced to climb up the trunk to reach the foliage.
Check the sticky material every 1 or 2 weeks and stir it with a stick to prevent the material from getting clogged with debris and dead ants, which will allow ants to cross. Ant stakes with bait can also be used around trees. In landscapes, some mulches can repel ants and discourage nesting. For example, aromatic pencil cedar mulch repels Argentine ants, whereas pine straw provides an ideal nesting site. Be aware that not all types of cedar chips repel ants: the effectiveness of red cedar chips found in California has not been verified.
The Argentine ant can be nearly impossible to control. At best, regular treatments keep as few ants as possible from entering the home or business. General tips for limiting ant infestations include:
Eliminating piles of lumber, bricks or other debris that could serve as a nesting site for ants. Keeping landscape mulch less than 2 inches thick and at least 12 inches away from foundations. Ensuring the sprinkler system does not spray directly onto the foundation. Sealing as many cracks in the building's exterior as possible. Keeping tree and shrub branches trimmed to prevent touching the home. Considering re-landscaping to avoid using plants that are prone to aphids and similar insects. At the very least, treat such plants for aphids regularly.
Carpenter ants in trees are not directly harmful to the tree. Control is not essential for the tree's health, as the ants are only taking advantage of an existing situation of soft, weak wood in which to establish their colony. Stress, mechanical injury, environmental conditions, disease or other insects are responsible for killing limbs or sections of the trees in which the ants are able to nest.
For more control related tips, check the links below:
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