Ants on plants

Asked August 23, 2016, 3:13 PM EDT

I have a beautiful large fig tree which was loaded with figs this summer. Again this summer I was not able to eat any. I couldn't figure out if they all disappeared to birds, people, or what since I never found any on the ground. Finally, I caught them--ANTS! Completely covering and demolishing the fruit. How do I protect my figs from ants next year?

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

Ants will feed on honey dew created by a population of aphids that may be on your fig trees before the fruit even start to develop. Controlling the aphids at this early stage will discourage ants from locating your tree. Once the fruit develops and begins to ripen and the sugar content increases, ants will again show up for a free meal. Placing tanglefoot or petroleum jelly around the stem of the fig tree will stop them from climbing into the tree. A sprinkling of diatomaceous earth at the base of the tree will also discourage ants.You may also try covering the tree with bird netting while the fruit is small and undeveloped, birds and squirrels are also fond of figs.