How Ants Help Aphids to Destroy Garden Plants?
What is an aphid?
Aphids are one of the most damaging insect pests to nearly all garden plants, including ornamentals, vegetables, fruits, and greenhouse plants. Greenfly and blackfly are little insects that damage plants by sucking their sap.
Plant viruses can also be transmitted by them. They are most active from spring to late summer, living on the undersides of plant leaves and stems. If left untreated, they can swiftly overwhelm a garden due to their rapid reproduction.
In this blog, we are going to see how ants help aphids to destroy garden plants.
What is the relationship between aphids and ants?
Aphids excrete a sticky liquid called honeydew when they feed on sap. This is an ant’s favourite food, accounting for up to 90% of its diet. When ants return to their nest to nourish the queen and larvae, they regurgitate the honeydew.
Ants raise aphids to ensure an endless supply of honeydew. Ants protect aphids against enemies such as lacewings, ladybirds, wasps, and hoverfly larvae in exchange. Although aphids are submissive to ants, the two invasive species share a symbiotic relationship since they both profit from the arrangement.
A significant number of ants on or around plants usually means a large pest infestation.
How do ants form aphids?
Ants herd aphids onto plants and hold them there by releasing chemicals through their feet that sedate the aphids and keep them under their control. The ‘milk’ the aphids by petting their belly to coax them to secrete their own honeydew. The ants transport the aphids to the juiciest sections of the plant or to a different plant to feed upon, as well as protect them from predators.
What are the symptoms of an aphid infestation?
- Growth has been slowed
- Leaves that are curled or twisted
- Fruit and flowers that have been deformed
- Black sooty mould can form on this sticky substance
Why get rid of aphids and ants?
You can save your garden plants from widespread catastrophe if you treat the aphids before the ants start farming them. If the ants have already built farms with aphid herds, you’ll need to treat the aphids and prevent ants from damaging your garden plants.
Best Pest Control has the instruments and know-how to rapidly and effectively exterminate ants.