Ants

Ants are attracted to the sticky honeydew secreted by aphids, leafhoppers, mealybugs, whiteflies and scale insects. While not problematic in and of itself, the presence of ants in your garden may indicate and/or exacerbate aphid problems. See Aphids, Hoppers, Mealybugs, Scales and Whiteflies.

Specific recommendations for fruit trees. To prevent ants from entering the foliage crowns of fruit trees, where they may aggravate aphid problems, use a 4-inch wide strip of polyester fiber matting to snugly surround the trunk, covered by a 4-inch wide strip of household plastic wrap. Smear this with a sticky substance such as Ant-Bar. The barrier will stretch as the tree grows, but once it splits, replace it.

Organic Strategies

Indoor nests:  Strategies 1, 2, 3, and 4 are strictly organic approaches. For an organic approach to Strategy 5, consult the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI™) for appropriate diatomaceous earth products.

Outdoor nests:  Strategies 1, 2, and 3 are strictly organic approaches.

Specific ants

Other images

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This antlion (Neuroptera) is a beneficial insect that preys on ants and other insects.
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Ants (Hymenoptera) tending aphids (Hemiptera) on an okra flower (Abelmoschus esculentus 'Annie Oakley' II)
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Ants (Hymenoptera) in all stages except adults: pupae (with eyes), eggs (white translucent round objects in clusters), and vermiform larvae (oblong and legless, with darken centers)
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Three ant pupae (Hymenoptera) in various stages of maturity. All have eyes. One is nearly colorless. A cluster eggs is in the center.
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Close-up of ant pupae (Hymenoptera) with appendages and mandibles apparent.
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Exposing an ant nest (Hymenoptera) forces the adults to move the eggs, larvae, and pupae to a safer location.
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Ants (Hymenoptera) prefer nests that are high and dry, as here between two pots.
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Exposing an ant nest (Hymenoptera) forces the adults to move the eggs, larvae, and pupae to a safer location.
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One ant is moving larvae while others are struggling to move a cluster of eggs (Hymenoptera)
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Ants (Hymenoptera) are as important as earthworms in soil aeration. One result--an ant hill.
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Do peonies (Paeonia) require ants (Hymenoptera) to bloom?--No.
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Do ants (Hymenoptera) injure peonies (Paeonia)?--No. Ants, like other pollinators, are after the nectar.
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Ants (Hymenoptera) go through complete metamorphosis. These eggs, larvae, and pupa were on lettuce (Latuca sativa)
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The ant (Hymnoptera) on this rose (Rosa) is after the honeydew excreted by cottony cushion scale (Hemiptera)
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An ant (Hymenoptera) tending aphids (Hemiptera) on mint (Mentha)
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Ants (Hymenoptera) tending aphids (Hemiptera) on mint (Mentha)
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Peony bud (Paeonia) showing nectaries oozing nectar, the sweet liquid that attracts ants (Hymenoptera)
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Ants (Hymenoptera) feeding on peony nectar (Paeonia)