a group of red ants crawling on a branch

Here’s Why You Have Ants on Your Trees

September 15, 2021

ant extermination services in atlanta
Photo by Poranimm Athithawatthee from Pexels

Evict the ants on the trees before they bring guests

You know to look for anthills in your yard, or to make sure there aren't little trails of ants trickling to and from your kitchen. But did you know that ants can also wreak their havoc in your trees? Here's why you might find ants crawling on your trees and why there may be another pest keeping them company.

Why ants like trees

Ant colonies need a homebase, which is usually in the ground. However, trees can also provide the shelter and nutrients that ants need to survive and thrive. Those nutrients mostly come from little pear-shaped insects called aphids. Gardeners are incredibly familiar with these tiny pests, as you commonly find aphids on vegetables in the garden. However, like ants, aphids are not opposed to setting up shop on trees.

Leaves and shoots on trees provide the perfect source of sap for aphids to feast on. Because of the large amount of aphids that will congregate on tree branches, a big clue that you have aphids on your trees is that the trees appear to have sap dripping off of them. That liquid is actually the secretions from the aphids, not sap.

Those aphid secretions—called "honeydew"— are the biggest draw to ants, so they migrate onto the trees to start chowing down. Honeydew contains all the nutrients ants could ever hope for, and the ants are so desperate for it, they will actually massage the aphids' abdomens to increase honeydew production!

How to get rid of ants in your trees

If you want to keep your trees healthy and pest-free, you need to address any aphid infestation. Inspect your trees and if you only find small clusters of aphids, you can dislodge them from your trees with a blast of strong hose water. Aphids won't be able to find their way back to your trees once they've been washed off. If you have large amounts of aphids or you want to be proactive in your defense against them, you can spray down your trees with neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Ants will protect aphids at all costs, so you must focus on getting rid of the ants on your trees at the same time. Harsh chemicals and bait traps won't make much of a dent on an ant population on trees. BREDA Pest Management's ant treatment is targeted and won't damage your trees or disrupt your yard's ecosystem. Our technicians will thoroughly ensure that your trees are free of all ant and aphid pest pressure and if you spot any returns within 90 days of treatment, we will come back and repeat the applications at no cost to you.

If you find yourself needing pest control and want it handled thoroughly, don't hesitate to give us a call. The BREDA Guarantee promises to fix your pest problem and keep it fixed—no matter the circumstances. Schedule a consultation online or give us a call at 770-466-6700.