Trees and pests don’t work well together. But is it as simple as that? The verdict isn't always clear-cut regarding ants around our trees and their roots and stems. Some types of ants don’t pose a problem for trees and can even help our trees maintain their health. Others, however, may be harmful to trees. If you have ants near or on your trees that cause damage or pose an eyesore, read these tips from our arborists in Gainesville with SkyFrog Tree Service for getting rid of harmful tree ants. Contact us today to speak with one of our master arborists about our available tree services and to request a free estimate!
Ants are drawn to trees and their surroundings for food and shelter. Ants infest trees to search for sweet saps, and honeydew other insects leave behind and seek shelter within trees with cavities, rotten wood, and other types of openings. Two varieties of ants can be a problem for your trees. However, it’s important to note that not all ants of these varieties will pose a problem for trees. Looking for professional tree restoration and preservation services? Contact SkyFrog Tree Service.
Red imported fire ants, also commonly referred to as fire ants, can be harsh for young trees, pets, and humans alike to endure. If humans or pets, such as dogs or cats, come into contact with them, the ants can bite and leave behind painful blisters. If you spot dome-shaped mounds at the base of your trees, those are likely ant hills. Be sure to avoid touching or disturbing them. These small, dark-red ants will sting whatever disturbs their mounds. Contact your local arborist about the best way to handle these stinging ants and remove them from your trees.
Carpenter ants construct mounds of sawdust at the base of trees. If you notice piles of sawdust at a tree’s base, these black-colored ants are likely active in that area. In this case, you should contact your arborist to determine whether the tree requires removal or can be treated. These ants burrow only within rotted tree wood, so trees infested with carpenter ants can be damaged severely to the point where they could pose a safety threat. For more information about solutions for carpenter-ant infestations in trees, contact SkyFrog Tree Service.
Most types of ants don’t threaten the health or longevity of trees, but certain varieties can. Ants can become a problem when they harm or damage a tree and when their numbers increase quickly. Ants tend to multiply rapidly; before you even know there is a problem, a whole colony could form below your garden or grass. Ants are opportunistic and can venture into your home or business or into other parts of your landscape. There are multiple methods to help control an ant infestation from the area surrounding your tree.
You could spray the tree with a solution containing about 30 drops of peppermint oil and 1 gallon of water. Ants are repelled by peppermint, so once they catch wind of the scent, they’ll soon vacate the tree. You could also line the bottom of the tree with ant bait, which allows you to capture them as they travel to and from the tree. You can also use a horticultural soap to rid the tree of sap-feeding insects, which will cut off the ants’ supply of honeydew. If you’re unsure about the best method for your trees and landscape, the best option is to contact our arborists at SkyFrog Tree Service! We’re happy to help!
Want to learn more about tree care? Check out our tree services FAQs page, or call us to speak to a certified Gainesville arborist!