I was recently at a public aquarium filled with not only animals, birds, and fish, but also tropical plants. I found some pretty heavy infestations of insects on some of the plants, but I think because of the fish and other animals living there, it would be almost impossible to spray anything on the plants. The point is, the reason I noticed them was the large number of ants scurrying over the plants.

A lot of scale!

Why Ants?

Why are there ants on the plants? Ants like the honeydew that the scale, in this instance, is excreting. Yes, I said excreting! Mealybugs, aphids, and other insects can also excrete honeydew. The ants are attracted to it and are eating it. Yuck!

Look at those ants eating the honeydew from the scale insects.

The Real Problem

If you have noticed a lot of ants, or even a few on your houseplants, it is a good indication that you have an insect problem. The sticky, shiny “stuff” (or poop) on your plant is a good indicator, too. Hopefully you find the insect before the ants do. No one wants ants in the house. Yet, if it isn’t a heavy infestation and an ant or two show up, they may be doing you a favor. Find the real culprits, the insects, deal with them, and the ants will disappear and go elsewhere to look for food.

Hungry ants

Have you ever noticed ants on your plants? Did it lead to the discovery of insects on your plants?

Have a great week, plant friends!

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