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Meyer Lemon scabs & ants

I have a Meyer lemon plant in a pot and it was growing quite nicely but I’ve come back off holiday to find it covered in ants and some of the stems have brown scabs growing on them. Is it ok? Can I get rid of the ants and, if so, how? I wouldn’t normally bother ants but there are so many of them that I think they are damaging the roots as it is only a young plant. I know I can move the pot but the ants will move with it!! Please help!! 


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,924
    Brown scale insects are the “scabs”. Similar to aphids but less peripatetic.
    The ants are feeding off the scale insects’ excreta.

    I take it you want to eat the lemons. In which case, it’s not a good idea to spray the scale insects with insecticide. Instead, run your fingers and thumb up the stem and squash them. Very satisfying. They will comeback. Just repeat whenever you are in a bad mood about something else.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • MelMooMelMoo Posts: 14
    Haha thank you! One of the Facebook groups I’m in have said same and that they can be removed with alcohol soaked cotton buds or cloth. Squishing them sounds much more fun!! 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,064
    That’s a pretty bad infestation - hours of fun await you on the squishing front! I was pretty squeamish about squishing snails until I started putting them near where blackbirds nest in the back garden - by morning they are all hoovered them up, so I now think of it as helping the birds. Assuming it is them...
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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