How Do Ants Affect Lemon Trees?
Getting rid of lemon tree ants can be tricky. The key is to identify the pest and then get rid of it without harming the tree. You might be able to use insecticidal soap on the smaller trees, but it’s best to avoid spraying insecticides as adults. Using insecticides is often a waste of time and money, as they are highly toxic.
One of the most common pests that affect lemon trees is aphids. These small green insects use sharp mouthparts to pierce the plant. They leave a sticky substance called honeydew. If the aphids are left unchecked, they can cause the leaves to roll and fold. They can also cause wilting.
Another pest that can affect citrus trees is the scale insect. These small brown or white bumps are the culprits of sap sucking. They will pierce the tender shoots and young leaves of the tree to obtain sap. They then secrete a sticky, sugary substance called honeydew. Ants are attracted to honeydew because it is high in sugar and nutritious.
Red fire ants can cause problems in citrus trees by chewing the bark of the tree. They can also destroy flowers. They make nests out of tree branches.
If you have a lemon tree, you can protect it from ants by making sure the branches are high off the ground and are not touching fences or shrubs. You can also apply a sticky barrier to the trunk. The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program recommends this method.