Why Ants are Problematic to Trees

ants can be a new problem for trees

ants can be a new problem for treesJohnson City, and Kingsport TN

Finding ants climbing on your trees in your yard may seem natural and unharmful. When maintaining your landscaping, pest control is one aspect that needs attention. Ants on your trees are not necessarily the cause of tree problems, as they usually do not cause damage because they are seeking honeydew left by other insects. However, ants can signify a tree’s failing health. Ants burrow and make homes in trees that are rotting or have open cavities. Therefore, they eventually become problematic as the tree continues to deteriorate and require treatment or removal from an ISA certified arborist in the Tri-Cities area like Promier Tree. To help keep your trees healthy, we share why ants are problematic and ways you can prevent ants from becoming a problem.

Are there specific species of ants that may be problematic?

Typically, ants are not the cause of most tree health problems. The ant’s presence is more of a warning that there may be additional health concerns requiring the expertise of a certified arborist in Kingsport. However, some species of ants could cause trouble for your trees and require removal from a professional.

  • Carpenter Ants – Carpenter ants are typically easy to identify as they leave piles of sawdust that gather around the roots of the tree. The piles are the product of ants chewing and discarding wood, causing severe damage to the structure and health of the tree. If the ants are left alone to feed on the tree, you risk losing your tree altogether. Therefore, when you notice sawdust around the base of your trees, call ISA-certified arborists in Johnson City to handle your tree pest problems.
  • Red Imported Fire Ants – Typically found on newer, younger trees, the red imported fire ant can not only cause problems for your trees but could also give you or your pet blisters. The red imported fire ant communities form dome-shaped anthills located at the base of your tree. The professional arborists in Johnson City from Promier Tree highly recommend you do not disturb the anthills. When bothered, the fire ants become very hostile and may sting you. Therefore, do not attempt to remove the anthills without the assistance of your local tree experts in the Tri-Cities area, Promier Tree. Allow us to remove the threat and reduce your risk of bodily harm.

How can I regularly prevent problematic ants?

There are some basic DIY steps you can take to help prevent problematic ants. Ask your local arborist in Kingsport about which treatment is best for your specific ant problem. An arborist may recommend you place ant powder around the base of your trees. The ant powder is simple to apply and will kill the ants when they are foraging for food. If you prefer to abstain from chemical options, using a natural mix of peppermint oil and water to spray on the tree will keep ants away as they dislike the smell. However, if you have sap-feeding insects that produce honeydew, using an insecticide or horticultural soap may be required to cut off the ant’s honeydew supply and kill the pests. Before you decide which treatment you want to pursue, please contact Promier Tree to ensure your treatment is appropriate for the conditions and maintain the tree’s health. You may also request a health evaluation to determine the best course of action for treatment.

Arborist in Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, Tennessee

The key to ant problems and infected or dying trees is prevention. The next time you work in the yard, take a moment to examine your trees to see traces of a possible ant problem. If you have questions about how to treat pests that are overtaking your trees, or would like a personal, professional consultation of the trees on your property, feel free to contact Promier Tree. Our experienced, certified arborists are available by calling us at (423) 765-2626 or contact us online.