Many people are worried about ants on their garden plants, including roses, due to their destructive impact on the plant.
Why Are Ants Eating My Roses? Ants do not eat roses, but they get attracted to their sweet smell, aphids, or other bugs on its stem and buds. Moreover, you can see them crawling on the flowers when they live within the plant’s roots. Furthermore, they are usually present on wild roses, tea roses, and climbing roses.
To prevent their attack, you can spread coffee grounds, baby powder, or cinnamon and spray vinegar around the plant.
A lot of insects get attracted to plants having pleasant aromas and sweet tastes to get food, but ants do not attach to eat roses and reach there in search of other insects.
Do ants like to eat roses?
Ants are not interested in eating rose petals and buds because they do not like their taste. It has an alluring aroma that can capture the attention of foraging insects, but the leaves taste is bitter.
The petals of flowers give off a beautiful fragrance and smell like fruits or cloves. The taste of petals varies in different types of flowers, as they can be spicy or sweet and citrus or tart.
They have a slightly sour taste, like green apples or strawberries. Accordingly, these insects do not like its taste and avoid consuming it, so they do not eat petals and buds.
However, they are mostly found on the buds and bushes because these sites are heavily loaded with larger bugs that get nutrition from the continuously growing regions.
So, it is better to know that these insects are attacking plants due to the strong fragrance and presence of bugs, not from a nutrition perspective from the plant.
Why do ants attack roses?
Ants reach rose plants due to their attractive odor that can entice their smell receptors from far distance because they do not like to eat the petals.
Every species of these flowers has a distinct fragrance that can attract different bugs toward them because a strong aroma can attract insects.
The tea roses have an odor like tea leaves, and climbing roses have large clusters of each flower and beautiful pinkish color, providing a suitable spot for insects to hide under the leaves.
Some of them have a citrus odor like lemon, and white ones smell like violets. Moreover, others have a fruity aroma of orange and even smell-like cloves.
These flowers smell so nice due to the presence of the chemical monoterpene geraniol that is produced in the petal of these flowers to give an attractive fragrance.
In addition, insects under the leaves can provide a source of food for ants. A large number of bugs, sawflies, and aphids reside on these plants.
Different species of aphids attack the shoots and buds of these plants, like rose aphids, potato aphids, and cotton aphids, as they get sap from the stem to live.
They produce a sweet secretion or honeydew that can attract ants because they like to eat sweet and liquid food for easier digestion and quick absorption of nutrients.
Furthermore, they can also attack soft-bodied aphids when they are dead or not producing enough honeydew and sometimes consume their larvae to fulfill their nutritional requirements.
These insects build their nests in the soil close to plant roots because the soil remains warm and wet and provides a suitable medium to live and grow.
How do ants damage roses?
Ants are not known for posing any harm to roses because they are not interested in eating their part like flowers, bugs, or shoots.
However, they can cause indirect damage by encouraging the growth of other pests living on the plant, like aphids, as both insects develop a mutualistic relationship with each other.
These sap-feeding insects provide a good source of nutrition to ants and get protection from them.
An uncontrolled multiplication of aphids is not suitable for the survival of a plant and leads to its death because they suck sap from the stem and make it devoid of nutrition.
So, it is better to get rid of ants on plants to keep the population of bugs under control and ensure the survival of garden plants.
What type of roses attract ants?
Different types of roses are commonly grown in gardens due to their pleasant fragrance and beautiful colors.
Some people like to have Grandiflora and hybrid tea roses in their gardens due to their popularity, as they are widely used for landscaping.
Moreover, Polyantha has smaller blooms, appears in small clusters, and is grown for edges. The climbing roses are arranged on fences and arbors as they grow longer than others.
The shrub roses can grow higher, are suitable for the cold season, and are known for uncontrolled flower production.
In addition, you can also find these flowers in different colors like peach, apricot, orange, two-tone red, and crimson rose. They have varying fragrances, stress resistance, and cold tolerance.
These tiny creatures like to invade plants with attractive fragrances and are loaded with aphids and other mealy bugs.
They prefer to live on the wild species with a sweet smell and climbing ones with attractive colors and adorable flowers that smell like spicy cloves.
A large number of insects live on wild species of flowers, like sawflies and rose slugs, with their larvae that can attract these insects to the plant.
Moreover, the tea roses smell like fresh leaves of tea with an essence of violet and are named for their fragrance. So, these three types of flowers are commonly infested with these insects.
How to get rid of ants eating roses?
You can get rid of ants damaging roses by washing them off the plant using soap water, as it makes the surface slippery for these tiny insects.
Prepare a soap and water solution by mixing 1 part of commonly used dishwashing soap into 3 parts of water to make a soapy solution and spray to wipe out these destructive insects.
It is better to get control over the aphid population to keep ants away from the plant because most of their population comes after these tiny honeydew-producing insects.
Moreover, you can mix white vinegar into water in equal amounts to make an insect deadly solution because their tough exoskeleton can’t resist damage caused by an acid.
In addition, you can spread a coffee ground or cinnamon powder around the plant pot to keep them away and retain the plant’s beauty and health.
You can also use baby powder against these insects because they do not like the odor of talc and move away from the boundary created with this powder.
Accordingly, this powder interferes with their breathing and dries their exoskeleton, leading to death due to severe complications.