Ants on meyer lemon

Noticed the other day that the leaves on my meyer lemon looked a little unusual. Some of them were starting to curl up and there were dark spots and what looked like trails on them. Upon further inspection I found these ants, they look red and there were clusters of what I can only assume were eggs.

Could these ants be the source of my problem, or are they feeding on something else that’s on tree??

I was able to spray them off with the hose, but curious if there is anything I can do to prevent them from coming back.

The ants are feeding on honeydew from aphids. I can see the aphids in your picture. The ants will leave if you control the aphids. Predators and/or parasites may control the aphids if you keep the ants away. Controlling the aphids is easier.

Learn something new every day…what’s interesting is that I have plenty of ladybugs in my garden, particularly on my one apple tree that has had an aphid problem…

Aphids can easily get ahead of ladybugs for a time.

As an experiment I attempted to relocate a few of the ladybugs from the apple to the lemon tree. they didn’t want any part of the lemon tree and flew off as soon as I placed them on one of the leaves…