Ants herding Aphids. Quite interesting.

Chub

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Was out in my yard the other day. I noticed there was a small group of carpenter ants around this one unopened flower head. As I looked a little closer there were also bunch of aphids on the same head but no where else on the plant. And that the ants were hovering over them. So I put my car key up next to the aphids, and ants attacked....lol. They were clearly protecting the aphids. I did a little research and found that it is common. Was interesting to watch.
http://insects.about.com/od/coolandunusualinsects/f/antsandaphids.htm
 
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Smoke

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You would protect you meal ticket too if someone was trying to take it.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Seeing ants on a tree is always a cue to examine the tree closely for aphids or scale...MUCH easier to see them than their meal ticket! It's saved several trees on my benches.
 
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I have been batteling harvester ants on one of my hawthorne this entire season. I keep spraying the aphids they die then they replace them i put down aciphate they go away for a week then there back. It's a vicous cycle I even tried bayer advanced tree and shrub and so far it hasn't slowed them down a bit.
 

bisjoe

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I have been batteling harvester ants on one of my hawthorne this entire season. I keep spraying the aphids they die then they replace them i put down aciphate they go away for a week then there back. It's a vicous cycle I even tried bayer advanced tree and shrub and so far it hasn't slowed them down a bit.

Try diatomaceous earth, just sprinkle around the pot, their exoskeleton gets cut by the sharp edges.
 

Chub

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Seeing ants on a tree is always a cue to examine the tree closely for aphids or scale...MUCH easier to see them than their meal ticket! It's saved several trees on my benches.

Was just a daisy in my yard not my bonsai.
 
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got it ,they have managed to tunnel under the stuff and come up at the base of the trunk.I would literally need to cover every square inch of soil to perturb them but that might be what I need to do . Then I worry about compaction of the surface layer of soil.
 

davetree

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I have a spirea that is infested with this ant/aphid combination every year. If I knock the aphids off with a hose, the ants replace them. I have found that if I knock the ants off and then move the bonsai to a different location at least 20 feet away, it takes the ants a week or two to find it. Then I repeat the process.
 

sfhellwig

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I knew that where there were ants there were likely aphids but I didn't know their relationship was that intimate. Another very effective solution is insecticidal soap. You have to make sure the spray hits the buggers but it will break down their body coating. I believe it is considered "natural" and my label says it is "soft" on beneficials. Otherwise it is also said that aphids are attracted to heavily fed plants. The nitrogen and supple growth is very attractive to them. But if your not pushing your fert too hard they are just there on their own.
 

somegeek

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I've taken care of my local odorous ant population using Amdro Ant Block. This stuff worked great. The first fall I used it I didn't get but a single ant inside our home. Might work for what you're trying to ward off.
 

John Ruger

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You can also try worm castings either in a granular form or liquid. It's really pretty good at detering aphids and white flies. There's a substance, organic to the castings, that breaks down the hard shells of the insects...

Just another idea
 

subnet_rx

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Glad I read this, I was leaving the ants alone because I thought they ate the aphids.
 
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WellI have tried just about everything for this tree and it is to big for only one person to move at 8 in diameter trunk and 36" tall in a growing tub that is 2 foot by 4 foot . I think the bayer product in combination with the folar spray Will be the most effective thing. I can use in combination with the aciphate .I have also used talstar and they die go away and come back. If I hit this tree up earily enough next year they might just get detered and go somewhere else. I had a similar incident wit a pyracantha and used this combo and they all died and never returned.The bayer claims to last one season and is systemic and the aciphate and folar spray will take care of the aphids and the ants till the bayer gets a chance to take hold.
 

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