Planthoppers and ants

feedindyJune 16, 2010

Well I took a close look at my fig tree and it has a small amount of planthoppers and it is crawling with tiny ants. It definitely was not this way last week.

This tree is one I rooted myself last year and it is small (only about 2 feet tall). It is not producing any figs as of yet. It appears lush and healthy besides this week's arrival of pests.

Can anyone suggest a method to rid the plant hoppers and keep ants off of it?

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

One plant. Two feet tall. I'd use a spray of water.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 10:46PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Neem is very helpful in keeping plant hoppers from feeding. That is one of its primary uses: an anti-feedant. Once they cease their feeding, and subsequent production of sweet droppings, the ants will likely become less interested.

I'd suggest that you do some leaf tests prior to spraying your whole plant with the Neem. Though a quick look through several postings recommending neem for F. carica, it never hurts to test a new product first. Treat a couple of leaves and watch for any tissue burning for the next few days. I'm sure that there will be no problems.

By all means, try the sprays of water first. I'm just not confidant about how effective that will be against leaf hoppers, who are able to flit away and then come back.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 3:48AM
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The ants may be aiding you in control of the plant hoppers. Spraying with water could, momentarily, rid you of the plant hoppers but they would return fairly quickly. If Insecticidal Soaps do not help (IPM suggests starting with the least toxic method) then maybe you would consider Neem products.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 8:39AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

The planthoppers tend to move on down the road after a spray of water. If you Google "planthoppers control water" you will see it is recommended as a dispersal tactic.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 6:40PM
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