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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Lemon tree covered in common black ants

Zone Melbourne, Australia | Rowan added on February 17, 2015 | Answered

Our recently purchased potted lemon tree is covered in black ants, particularly underneath the leaves, which is causing the leaves to become droopy. The ants appear to be eating a pale coloured ‘bug’. What treatments do you recommend? We are going to wash the tree with water but I was wondering if there are any specific sprays, natural or otherwise that could be used?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on February 18, 2015

Those bugs are almost certainly aphids, and they are causing your problems. Aphids suck the sap from the leaves, leaving a sweet substance known as "honeydew." The honeydew is highly attractive to ants. You may be able to dislodge the aphids by blasting a strong stream of water directly at the leaves. However, this sounds like a major infestation that will probably require insecticidal soap spray to kill the pests. (Most likely repeated applications.) (Avoid chemical pesticides, if possible.) These articles will help:



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