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Ants are a nuisance rather than destructive pests. They look for the sweet liquid known as honeydew which is excreted by aphids and some other sap-feeding insects. Ants protect aphids from attack by ladybirds and other predators in order to secure their supply of honeydew. Increased numbers of aphids may result in more damage to plants.

Spot them

All ants live in nests which generally contain large colonies of wingless female workers. Winged males and fertile females are produced occasionally swarming in mating flights.

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Comment from jenneffer dennis

My azalea has red and black spots on the leaves and further today l found a pest had laid two eggs on the leaves - these eggs look like round circles of spit! I've removed the eggs and dead leaves, and cleaned the leaves with diluted washing up liquid! What is this insect l'm fighting and how do I keep my azalea pest free?

  • Views: 899
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Fri. 3rd August 2012 23:31
  • Last reply: Wed. 15th August 2012 14:36

Ants on fruit trees

Question from karl price

Can anyone help? we have a small number of fruit trees that are covered in Aphids, and so are now being covered in ants as well.
what's the best way to get rid of both of these pests, bearing in mind that the fruit trees are now at the budding stage. please help as i'm sure all this activity is harming the tree.

  • Views: 809
  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Mon. 11th June 2012 18:39
  • Last reply: Mon. 11th June 2012 20:51

Ants in pots

Question from Sue Redfearn

Most of the plants in my garden are in pots and this spring I have already found 2 pots with red ants and another with black ants.

I was checking one pot to see if the plant needed a bigger pot and found the black ants. The root system of the plant seems to have been separated - there is a healthy root system below the plant, then just soil, and another lot of roots at the base of the pots.

Do the ants munch through the roots, do they do any other damage? The plant itself looks healthy enough.

  • Views: 1097
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Thu. 7th April 2011 12:58
  • Last reply: Thu. 7th April 2011 13:20

Distorted new growth in bamboo

Question from Paul Lanzon

Having purchased two phyllostachys bissetii plants (6ft tall) in June '10 and put them temporarily in large pots, the new culms, when they appear, instead of growing upright are inclining horizontally and are too stiff to train upwards without damaging or breaking them off. They seem almost to be curving back into the soil. Such bizarre behaviour! Could it be caused by over-watering?

  • Views: 1213
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Wed. 8th September 2010 17:57
  • Last reply: Wed. 8th September 2010 22:40

How Rid of Black Ants

Question from Fiona Burton

What is the best way to redude the number of black ants in my garden? I seem to have hundreds of them, all over the plants, (in some cases I can hardly see the plant, it is so coavered in ants). I can't quite tell where the nests are, but even if I could, what would be best to use?
They don't seem to be farming any aphids - don't seem to be bothered by aphids, so far!

  • Views: 1369
  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Wed. 2nd June 2010 17:41
  • Last reply: Wed. 2nd June 2010 19:27

Eliminating a tree stump

Question from Pam B

In 2005 I had to give the chop to an apricot tree which had been planted in a very limited space and was growing too high giving problems to the owner-occupiers of the condo where I live.

I have noticed since last year that a strange white fungus is now appering where the stump is still embedded in the soil.

I believe this is nature's way of slowly 'eating' up the stump, but I'd like to know if it's dangerous for the plants that I've planted near this dying stump. Also is there any way of hurrying up the process?


  • Views: 1287
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Mon. 23rd November 2009 11:40
  • Last reply: Tue. 24th November 2009 12:20

Ants-Powder, more powder, and regular mowing

Tip from Susie H.

Dear Emma,
I'm allergic to the red ones, so I have to be vigilant. Put powder down, then when new hills pop up, put powder down again. They like to build hills in lawn that hasn't been mown for a while, so regular mowing helps. It's also hard to grow grass again on top of the old hills, so I dig in some organic matter.

  • Views: 1401
  • Replies: 0
  • Posted: Tue. 12th August 2008 10:36


General post from Emma

Does anyone have any suggestions to get rid of ants? We have red ants in our garden and we've tried to kill them off with powder but unsuccessfully, they just seem to move home into another spot in the garden. Doesn't half sting when hey bite!

  • Views: 1689
  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Sat. 23rd February 2008 19:16
  • Last reply: Tue. 12th August 2008 10:33