Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Josh on July 26, 2014, 09:46 AM

Title: Ants, what do they mean?
Post by: Josh on July 26, 2014, 09:46 AM
Anyone have experience with ants on bonsai?

Recently, I noticed ants on several otherwise healthy bonsai, some pines and crab.  A new finding, I didn't much worry, as trees appeared healthy.  Then I observed the beginnings of aphid infestation on large crab at fresh growth tips.  I was planning to spray, or cut off.  Then I saw the ants marching out to the aphids.  24 hrs later, aphids are gone.

So are the ants my little saviors?  Good to have?  An indicator there is a meal somewhere on the tree?

Thoughts? 
Title: Re: Ants, what do they mean?
Post by: Judy on July 26, 2014, 10:48 AM
Ants actually cultivate aphid infestations on plants, so they can harvest the honeydew that the aphids put out.  So usually if you see ants, you will also find aphids.  But the ants aren't going to do battle for you against the aphids, as they feed on the aphid waste.
Insecticidal soap should help you out, or just regular strong blasts of water spray.
Title: Re: Ants, what do they mean?
Post by: Anthony on July 26, 2014, 12:09 PM
Josh,

ants / aphids, usually are a sign that something is not right with your tree's health. Though you can protect the tree with sprays or systemics, the problem is there.

Ants taking away the aphids [ and hopefully not coming back or hiding them ] would be a good sign.

Just keep watch.
Good Day
Anthony
Title: Re: Ants, what do they mean?
Post by: Chachie on July 26, 2014, 04:17 PM
Hello, first post here,

I know about these little dudes quite well due to the horticulture we are involved in.

The two guys above me are correct. BUT there is one real obvious thing Ants will go to. WATER. Dryer than normal? Water source near the issue?

Do you see your Ants cruisin ? Essentially they herd the aphids together and harvest their juices. Yea gross.  Where you live is water abundant? Because alot of people will come into our store with your exact panic. Well living in a desert, its h20 these guys are hunting for. We get them in small groups, usually pairs...and they are doing nothing but looking for water.  When living on the coast, it was the same issue.



NOOOO!!! was reading Anthonys post as the op!!! lol I refuse to erase all this lol!
Thing that scares me about aphids is, i think they are born pregnant essentially. So handling this swiftly is good imo.
Yes ants are your savior and can also be a scary sign. We use lady bugs and pray mantis and a cool little guy called a lacewing. These are my buddies in my garden!
Sorry for op goof up on my part.

chad