How to Keep Ants Away From Citrus Trees. Ants can become a nuisance when they become attracted to the sweet fruit that fall from citrus trees. Mid-summer to fall ushers in an explosion in the ant population, according to the University of California. During this time, generally three types of ants--the southern fire ant, gray ant and Argentine...
Ants can become a nuisance when they become attracted to the sweet fruit that fall from citrus trees. Mid-summer to fall ushers in an explosion in the ant population, according to the University of California. During this time, generally three types of ants--the southern fire ant, gray ant and Argentine ant--infest citrus trees. Not only are ants attracted to the fruit, they feed off of the honeydew that is secreted from other pests such as aphids. Aphids suck out the nutrients in leaves to digest the nitrogen, according to Robert Brudenell from the Denver Post. Their excrement consists of sugar from the plant and is deposited on leaves. Ants are attracted to the honeydew; therefore, they cover the trees foraging for the aphids' residue. that serves as ant food. By taking some ant control measures, you can help keep ants and their pest friends away from your citrus trees and restore the health of the trees.
Things You'll Need
Prune off any branches that are within 12 to 30 inches from the ground. Use a pruning pole to cut next to the branch collar or swelling that attaches the branch to the trunk. Cut in a downward 45-degree angle.
Apply sticky material that contains polybutenes and is not oil-based, because the oil will cause harm to the tree. Reapply according to the directions, but generally the sticky material will last from two to 10 months.
Water away from the trunk. Prevent water from pooling underneath the trunk by building a circular mound around the trunk area with dirt.
Set ant baits around the citrus tree. Ant baits contain food that is laced with poison that the ant brings back to the colony. Expect to have to wait several weeks to see a reduction in ants. Determine what type of bait to use by looking at the ants. Fire ants prefer protein, while gray and black ants like sugar. Allow the type of ant that is infesting your tree determine what type of bait to use.
Spray a broad-spectrum chlorpyrifos insecticide at the base of the tree to kill off the worker ants. Reapply the spray according to the directions.
Tips & Warnings
Clean up from under the tree any fallen citrus fruit that may attract more ants.
Keep garbage cans away from citrus trees, because they can attract ants to the trees.
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