Asked on May 31, 2013

To vine...

Rebecca DWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.comSabina


Several yrs. ago I bought a red trumpet vine. Now resides on a sturdy arbor. The beautiful blooms have big black ants. Is this normal and is there a way to get around the problem? :) Help!
4 answers
  • Sabina
    on May 31, 2013

    Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) may be infested by aphids. They pierce the leaves, and subsist on the nutrients they suck out. They are very small and white, usually found on the underside of the leaves, and lay lots of eggs. If this is going on you will find a white substance that is exuded by the aphids; this may get moldy and turn black-it is referred to as "honeydew." Where do the ants come in? They are farmers, and their herds are aphids. The ants feed on the honeydew, and take it back to their nest to feed the young, as well. They will fiercely protect the aphids from predators, but they don't chew on the plant. Is the sturdy arbor wood? Could be carpenter ants. In this case, your concern would not be on the damage the ants might be doing to the trumpet creeper, but what the trumpet creeper is climbing and can the ants be damaging that? In other words, if your plant is climbing up a wooden fence or house, those ants may just be using the vine for transportation into other parts of the structure, and they are very destructive.

  • Rebecca D
    on May 31, 2013

    Sabina, I have two free standing cedar trellis's. I thought cedar repells ants?

  • Black ants are attracted by the moisture held in the leaves and flowers. Use a local ant bait around the bottom of the trellis and they should be gone in short order. If the trellis is beginning to decay or rot that too will attract the ants as well.

  • Rebecca D
    on Jun 4, 2013

    Trellis is in good shape. Yesterday I purchased Bayer Advanced Ant killer, (granules) . I hope it works. Thanks for all the help. ! :)

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