Battling farmer ants

Last year, several apple trees that I’m growing as a hedge got infested with farmer ants. I suddenly discovered some trees that were filled to the brim with aphids. I sprayed with some aphid spray - which seemed to work killing the aphids, and I used an ant killer (comes in powder form) around the trunk. I also hosed off the trees. It was late in the year, and suddenly I didn’t have to worry about the pests again.

That is, until now! :confounded:… Only one tree has been attacked notably yet. But, I know where this is going :joy:

Now I’ve treated the aphids, hosed off the trees and I’ve mixed the antkiller in water and sprayed all the trees. It works like a charm to kill the ants. But, it’s just a matter of days, if not hours, until the guys show up again.

What can I do?

Also, to not having to pull weed and mow around the trees, the ground is covered with fiber sheet/mat/tarp (or what its called :joy:). Could this be worsening the problem? Should I remove the fiber sheet? And if yes, what should I do to the ground to get as little of maintenance work as possible? :innocent:

PS: added an image of the little beasts, just to set the mood :joy:

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Maybe paint the stem with something persistent like permethrin early in the season. That way the ants start dying as soon as they attempt to scale the tree.


The best outdoor ant killer is Sevin powder form form Home Depot or Lowe’s, if rain is expected make sure you cover treated areas so that it stays in powder over your area of concern, sprinkle it liberally where you can keep pets or children from getting to it. Once ants crawl thru it they take it to their nests to destroy the colony. If you are lucky they will poison the Queen and that ends the colony.
Kent, wa