Friday, April 20, 2007

Got Aphids? Control their farmers

Aphids suck the juice from tree leaves.  Ants love the sweet excretions of the aphids.  Therefore ants farm and protect these pests for their own enjoyment.

The most effective strategy for getting the aphid population in check is to stop their farmers with a sticky physical barrier on the trunk called Tanglefoot. 

Do not apply it directly to the bark.   We recommend using 4” wide wrap of waterproof paper or tape on the trunk of the tree and applying Tree Tanglefoot over the wrap.  Tree Tanglefoot will remain sticky longer when applied on top of a surface resistant to oil.  Check the video below for the best way to apply the bands to larger or irregular trunks.

Apply Tree Tanglefoot Insect barrier in a uniform fashion. It can be applied in a heavy or light coat. Heavy coats are approximately 3” wide and 3/32” thick. A heavy coat is used when the insects to kept from the tree foliage are large or numerous, or when there is little time available to maintain the band. Light coats are 3” wide and 1/16” thick. A light coat is good as a general barrier against smaller or less numerous insects, or when the band can be maintained regularly.

Be certain that the ants do not have an alternate route for climbing the tree such as low branches that touch the ground or a sign post that touches the branches.

Generally, Tree Tanglefoot will remain sticky and effective until it is covered with insects, dust or other debris. A build-up of debris or insects will create a bridge for other insect to cross. This debris requires removal and possible re-application in spots. If an area is unusually dusty or the surface of the barrier is stiffened, Tree Tanglefoot can be rubbed around to expose a new sticky layer beneath. Remove bands at end of season.

> Here's a short video showing how