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Is this a problem?? I am not sure what to do.

Posted by marinfla 10 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 27, 10 at 21:43

Need help from my zone 10 neighbors..... Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed many ants on and around my mango trees. I had not really noticed this before but maybe I wasn't paying attention. Here is the question....these small black ants seem to be particularly attracted to the areas of new growth. Several of my trees are having growth flushes and the ants are crawling all over the new leaves and stems. Should I leave them alone??? or could they cause problems to the new growth that I should exterminate them. And if so what would be a safe spray to use?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is this a problem?? I am not sure what to do.

I am experiencing the same thing with my newly planted mango. At first, I used a mild insecticidal soap (walmart $4) twice a week for two weeks. The ants would come back but didn't seem to be doing any damage so I've been leaving them alone. The tree seems to be flourishing. Hope this helps.

RE: Is this a problem?? I am not sure what to do.

Are you sure you may not also have a scale problem? The scale will secrete a sticky, sweet substance called 'honeydew' which then brings on the ants. I don't believe the ants themselves are injurious to the plant but may move in once there are other problems (other pests, decay, etc.). Good luck!

RE: Is this a problem?? I am not sure what to do.

no scale at all, I sprayed all my trees with insecticidal soap based spray, the ants have gone off but if it ever stops raining they may be back. the new growth looks great on all my trees

the answer

After a lot of reading time and researching- the ants are not any threat to the tropical fruit trees. In fact there actually may be of major benefit as they are voracious eaters and they prey on all the pests that could harm our trees. They eat the larvae in the soil of pests that could be eating the tender roots. So I no longer let worry about them even though they are quite bothersome to look at!!

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