Do you ever notice ants leaving black dots on plants? Have you ever wondered what those dots are and why the ants are depositing them there? In this blog post, we will discuss the purpose of these black dots and provide some insight into why ants choose to create them. Keep reading to learn more!
Why Are Ants Leaving Black Dots on Plants?
The truth is that the ants aren’t leaving black dots on the plants – they’re actually eating the sticky residue left behind by aphids! Aphids are small, wingless insects that feed on the sap of plants. As they feed, they excrete a substance known as honeydew, which looks like black dots.
This sweet substance is a favorite food of ants, which is why you’ll often see them congregating around aphid-infested plants.
The honeydew excreted by aphids also attracts other insects, such as bees and wasps. These insects are drawn to the sweet scent of the honeydew and will often feed on it, inadvertently collecting and spreading aphids from plant to plant.
In addition to being a food source for ants, bees, and wasps, honeydew is also responsible for the growth of sooty mold. This type of mold often appears as a black or gray coating on plant leaves and stems.
How to Remove Honeydew from Plants?
If you have aphids on your plants, you’ll likely notice an accumulation of honeydew. To remove this sticky substance, simply wash it off with a stream of water from your hose. You can also use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe away the honeydew.
Take care not to spread aphids when cleaning honeydew from your plants. Be sure to dispose of any cloths or sponges that come into contact with honeydew in a sealed bag so that aphids cannot escape and infest other areas of your garden.
If you have a severe aphid problem, you may need to treat your plants with an insecticide. I find good success with neem oil, but there are many effective products on the market. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and apply the insecticide according to the directions.
How to Get Rid of the Ants?
If you’re dealing with ants in your garden, the best way to get rid of them is to remove the source of their food – the aphid honeydew. Once you’ve treated your plants for aphids, the ants will likely move on in search of another food source.
You can also discourage ants from entering your garden by creating a physical barrier. Ants are attracted to the scent of honeydew, so placing a band of sticky material (such as double-sided tape) around the perimeter of your garden can help keep them out.
In addition, keeping your garden clean and free of debris will make it less inviting to ants. Be sure to remove fallen leaves and other organic matter from the ground so that ants cannot use them as a bridge into your garden.
In conclusion, the black dots on plants are actually honeydew excreted by aphids. This sticky substance attracts ants, bees, and wasps, which can inadvertently spread aphids from plant to plant. To remove honeydew from your plants, simply wash it off with water or wipe it away with a soft cloth.
If you have a severe aphid problem, you may need to treat your plants with an insecticide. Thanks for reading! I hope this article was helpful.
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.