I have Michelia alba, recently I've noticed ants laying their eggs on several buds. I've never had that before. I was wondering if someone can help me. What should I do? I want the tree to stay healthy
Here's another picture
Those aren't eggs, but aphids. Aphids excrete a sugary substance that attract the ants. Go after the aphids with fairly strong streams of water and keep them off.
Thank you for your reply, what do you think, can I spray garlic water? Will it harm the plant?
What I think is that you can knock them off with sprays of plain water. As to whether the garlic spray would hurt your plant....depends on what else you add to the spray.
I know that some people think that aphids don't 'like ' garlic. That's pretty silly considering that aphids love garlic, lol. The ingredient that probably works in a garlic spray is the oil. Applied in too much heat, oils can injure plant tissues. I sure wouldn't spray flowers or buds with anything but water.
Use your fingers, too....to smoosh them.
I think they look like the same White Footed Ants I've been having problems with. Here is a link to my post and others' solutions and guidance on the matter.
Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Web WFA link
The aphids are the issue, not the ants. I'm not sure how you can determine the species of ants from the images. How'd you do it?
*shrug* I could be wrong. Just sharing my opinion based on my experience with ants that farm aphids:
1. I have been battling them since last year, so their appearance is very familiar to me.
2. Now that I know where to look and what to look for, I see them everywhere.
3. They're notorious aphid farmers.
4. In the first picture if you zoom in, you can see that their feet "disappear," probably because they're white.
5. If you look at a lot of pictures of common black ants that farm aphids, you will notice that WFA's have an oversized rear end, as do these.
6. In the second picture, the way they are all clustered together is another common WFA characteristic.
WFA's cluster together and don't move while they "share information." Not many ants will stand completely still in the same way. They stand in these clusters, immobile, for so long... then suddenly they all scurry into action at the same time.
Thanks everyone for the reply. I killed some of them to send the chemical message to get out, as well as I sprayed them off with water, I'll check everyday if they'll come back.
Katie, just out of curiosity....what is your general location?
rhizo_1, my location is the sunny Florida