Ants’ bodies are covered with a hard armor called the exoskeleton. Most ants are either red or black in color and their length can be anywhere from 1/3 to ½ inch.

Ants do little direct damage to plants. But mutualisms between ants and sap-sucking insects such as aphids make huge negative effects on plants. Ants and aphids share a well-documented symbiotic relationship, which means they both benefit mutually from their working relationship. Ants carry individual aphids or mealybugs or other sap-sucking insects, one at a time, up into fruit trees, and care for and protect them from predators and parasites. In exchange, sap-sucking insects such as aphids produce sugary food for the ants. Therefore, managing ants is one way of controlling the aphid population.

Life Cycle

The ant’s life cycle consists of four stages: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. The entire life cycle of ants usually takes from 6 to 10 weeks. Fertilized eggs produce female ants (queens, workers, or soldiers); unfertilized eggs produce male ants.

Damage/ Signs of an ant infestation

Farming sap-sucking insects:

In spring ants carry sap-sucking insects such as aphids and mealybugs to the plant. Aphids and mealybugs use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on plant sap and secrete honeydew. Honeydew, which is a sweet sticky liquid, is a favorite food for ants.


Large colonies of ants make big tunnels that can harm and weaken plants’ root systems.

Fire ants:

Fire ants sting and their alkaloid venom is highly irritating to humans and results in red bumps and white pustules.

Leafcutter ants:

Leafcutter ants can cause serious damage to crop by removing foliage which leads to a decrease in crop yield.

Ant hills:

Ant hills are annoying to look at, but they can be eliminated using a small rake.

Get rid of Ants

Entomopathogenic nematodes for ants are the right choice if you have a chronic ant problem in a garden or container. They are microscopic organisms that kill the ants in the soil.

Advice for ants

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