Ants are hard workers, picking up scraps and returning them to their nest day in and day out. Once they find a food source, entire tribes of ants will come running, taking small bites here and there until they completely devour leaves. Ants may be attracted to veggies and fruits, but what about succulents? Do ants eat agave plants?
Ants typically don’t eat agave plants, though they do feed on other insects that can affect your agave.
Several insects and small animals feed on agave, likely behind small bites or dead leaves. Below, we’ll discuss eating your agave plants and how to prevent them from becoming a snack to typical predators.
What Is Eating My Agave Plants?
At first sight of ants on your agave plants, you may think they’re the problem. However, ants don’t harm agave plants and are likely after something else. Several critters snack on agave plants, from small insects to rodents.
Insects That Eat Agave Plants
When ants are found crawling all over your agave plants, it may be because of small insects. Ants don’t eat the insects but do feed on secretions that some small insects like mealybugs, scales, and aphids leave behind. It’s a sweet, honey-like substance that attracts ants and is a sign that your agave plant is under attack by insects.
Mammals That Eat Agave Plants
Mammals like squirrels, rabbits, mice, and rats can go after agave plants, especially if there is an extreme drought in the area. One key sign that what’s eating your agave plant is a mammal is large chunks missing out of the leaves or destroyed surrounding soil. These mammals will eat agave mostly for the hydration that comes from the moist flesh found inside.
Do Agave Plants Attract Bugs?
Among the pros that come from growing agave plants, one of them is that they are mostly resistant to insects. Agave is a succulent, which tends to be tough and resistant to all kinds of dangers, including insects. This is especially true in colder temperatures.
A few insects feed on agave specifically, one of them known as the agave weevil. For the most part, the only means of ridding agave weevils from agave plants is to cut infected leaves. If caught early enough, chemical products like pesticides can rid agave plants of weevils.
How Do I Get Rid Of Ants On My Succulents?
If you already have ants on your agave, you’ll need to take a few steps to get rid of them. The cause is likely due to insect infestation, which you can eliminate with these three steps.
If you have more than one agave plant, isolation is key to preventing the spread of infections and infestations. At first sight of ants, you should take infected plants away from others to prevent transmission to other plants.
Ants are hard workers and will try to get their hands on any food they can. Bait that attracts them like borax can work as a way to lead them away from your plant and may kill a big part of their nest. You can add these traps with bait near your pot where you’re growing your agave to move ants from your agave plant toward the bait.
After using bait, you’ll likely notice that most ants are gone from plants. At that point, you can spray your agave plant down with water, washing away all of the other ants that might remain.
Repotting: Your Last Resort
If the three steps mentioned above don’t remove ants from your agave plant, then you may need to repot. Giving your agave plant a fresh home with new soil will help it grow more but also help get rid of all the insects that are infecting it. Do this carefully, and use a potting mix for succulents.
How To Keep Ants Off Succulents?
Getting ants off of agave plants once they’re on and crawling is one thing, but how can you keep ants off of agave plants?
Create a Barrier
Ants may be attracted to sweet scents, but if they can’t get to them, they’ll eventually give up and find another food source. To do this, create a barrier around your pot using diatomaceous earth. This works to repel ants and will kill any that ingest it.
Move Your Succulent
Ants like to come to the same place and journey far and wide to find another. Moving your agave plant around can prevent ants from finding it. Instead of moving it around, you can also surround the base with a moat if you love the spot you have it in.
Use Lemon Juice
Ants don’t like acidic products. You can take advantage of their disgust toward acidity by using lemon juice as a form of repellant. Mix some lemon juice with water and spray the mixture onto agave plants. You can also spray around the pot to keep them from getting close to your plant.
Another thing that naturally keeps ants away is the smell of mint. To use this tactic to rid your agave plant of ants, add a few drops of mint essential oils to water in a spray bottle and give your plant a spritz or plant some mint nearby. Both will help keep ants far from your agave plant.
Ants are not why your agave is dying or has small bites here and there. When you see ants on your agave, you may have other insects to worry about, getting rid of them with the help of pesticides or completely repotting your plant. Get rid of ants and keep them off of your agave plants by adding an acidic or minty smell that will keep ants and other insects far away.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
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