My poor azaleas…

My poor azaleas…

Several of my azaleas appear to have perished over the winter. I noticed that they were looking a bit shabby last year, but I suddenly have six or seven bushes (!) that did absolutely nothing this spring. No leaves, no flowers. I have a sneaky feeling that ants are behind this problem, as I have seen multiple ant hills around the bushes that died. Is it possible that ants are the cause of the azaleas' demise? How can I tell? I don't really know much about azaleas or ants...there are probably about 20 azaleas on our property that were already here when we moved in, and I've just sort of let them do their thing...I haven't given them any special care. Could it be something I did or didn't do? I don't want to kill any more azaleas, so please give me advice! Thanks!
About to pop…

About to pop…

Aloe questions

Aloe questions

Plant ID

Plant ID

Name that weed

Name that weed

Garden pictures and questions

Garden pictures and questions

before&after: my office

before&after: my office