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 Ants bringing Aphids on Plum tree leaves 
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Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:02 pm
Posts: 5
Post Ants bringing Aphids on Plum tree leaves
I have an ant infestation. They are swarming over leaf after leaf of my European plum tree, hosting many aphids. There were many, many tiny plums but they are all gone now. Ants are everywhere I look outside. Is there any way to get rid of them?

Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:16 pm

Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:14 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Aurora, Oregon
Post Re: Ants bringing Aphids on Plum tree leaves
Band the trunk with Tanglefoot so the ants can't take care of the aphids and predattors will clean out the aphids. Make sue there's no other way onto the tree for the ants.

Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:54 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:21 pm
Posts: 43
Location: McMinnville, OR
Post Re: Ants bringing Aphids on Plum tree leaves
The Aphids created to food supply for the ants try —biological control
Aphids have many natural enemies, which include ladybeetles, syrphid fly larvae, and green lacewings. Avoid broad-spectrum insecticide applications that would disrupt these controls.
Management—cultural control
Home orchardists: Wash aphids from plants with a strong stream of water or by hand-wiping. Aphid populations tend to be higher in plants that are fertilized liberally with nitrogen. Avoid excessive watering which, together with nitrogen applications, produces flushes of succulent growth.

The aphids leave sugars on the leaves and twigs and the ants are manipulating them to keep up the work, introducing lady Beatles seldom works they just fly away. If you use a chemical remember that you will also kill the beneficial insects as well. We all have a threshold limit of damage that we can accept. Dormant spray can help prevent this problem.

Yamhill county master gardener

Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:31 pm

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Ants bringing Aphids on Plum tree leaves
Another excellent post, Randy.

If you have a balanced organic garden, lady beetles/ladybugs and other natural predators will be attracted to your garden, as they are to mine, to eat aphids. Caution-if you see a tiny red dot, it could very well be a young ladybug. They eat many more aphids than adults do. I thought it was a drop from a slurpee drink and I almost wiped it up. Glad I didn't. :)
John S

Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:13 pm

Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:02 pm
Posts: 10
Post Re: Ants bringing Aphids on Plum tree leaves
When there is a population explosion of one pest that goes beyond the 'balance', spot treatment is nothing to feel reluctant about. When small black ants were transporting green aphids up the tall twin trunks of a sour orange tree with satsuma grafted buds that were growing out, I used masking tape to make a sticky road block. After hosing off the suckers on the tender new leaves, I snuggly wrapped 2 spaced 'rings' of the tape with the sticky side facing outward. Many crawling critters became stuck before reaching the upper grafted area. One morning there were about 20 newly arrived ants on the tape, each one with a sqirming green aphid in it's jaws. Instead of doing the transporting randomly or once in a while, these came as a group. In retrospect, using 3/4" wide tape could be better, because sometimes anole lizards can get stuck, and it is easier to free them on narrow tape. When the glue is no longer sticky, remove and replace....until balance is restored. Maybe riot control officers would consider........

Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:46 am

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:02 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: Ants bringing Aphids on Plum tree leaves
Thank you all the HOS forum responders to my question. These answers contain what I need.

Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:33 pm
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