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The ants are eating my roses and it's leaves. I sprayed the leaves, but the spray is harmful to the leaves, too. A friend told me to wrap a plastic bag around the base of the plant, but the ants just crawl over that, too. Any suggestions?
Hardiness Zone: 10a
By mexicojerry from Chapala, Mexico
Are you sure the ants are eating the roses? Or are the ants eating the sweet sap that aphids secrete. Aphids do eventually kill roses because they literally suck the life from plants, and secrete so-called "honeydew" which ants lap up and take back to their nest to feed their larva and their queen, so I have read.
To remedy the problem, whether it is ants or aphids, I have had excellent results using "BAYER" brand "Complete Garden Care". It works two ways. It feeds your plants while it protects your plants from parasites. They also make "Complete Rose Care" which works the same way but contains food specifically for Roses. And they also make concentrated sprays for gardens that are 100% safe for kids, pets and wildlife once dry. I highly recommend the Bayer garden products. Pat T in Ocala
As somebody already said, I don't think ants eat roses. Where you have ants on plants, there are always aphids on the leaves or on the buds.
The easiest way to deal with aphids in an organic manner is to spray the leaves and buds in the mornings with a strong stream of cold water from a hose. This will knock the aphids to the ground. Try and direct the water to the undersides of the leaves where you will see aphid eggs and young aphid hatchlings. Do this every third day or so. Do it in the early morning, as you do not want wet leaves for the night.
Examine the rose leaves closely. You will most easily spot them on the undersides of leaves. Aphids can be black, red, yellow, green, or white, and they can very destructive to a plant. Good luck.
Being in Mexico they could be leaf cutting ants, that would be "eating" the plant. There is a bait that you apply around their nest that can kill out the colony, otherwise you would need to keep applying insecticide on the plants. If they are leaf cutting ants, a very large ant, there is no mistake that they are doing the damage rather than some other unseen pest.
Getting rid of ants is easy. Mix sugar and borax together and sprinkle it in the path of the ants. The ants will take it back to the nest where the borax will kill the ants' food supply. Too bad for the ants. Good luck.