Turns out that aphids are largely farmed by ants and once you get aphids in your yard then ants will continue to farm them year after year in order to milk them for their honey. This was told to me by a friend this summer who also maintains that even better than ladybugs for aphid control is figuring out what type of aphids your ants are farming and then plant sacrificial plants for those particular types of aphids. I’ve got aphids that were at first all over my tomatoes but then moved to the pink flowering dogwood. I wonder what type of sacrificial plant the ants would like better? I suppose, too, that I could just go after the ants!
Excellent! My social insect fascination is spreading!
If the aphids are plentiful enough to threaten the dogwood, you might want to start knocking them off with a hose. You will soon see what the second choice is! Beware though… their second choice might not be your first choice.
Don’t go after your ants! 😦