Catnip, pennyroyal, peppermint, sage, and spearmint. Tansy which is often recommended as an ant repellant may only work on sugar type ants. These are the ones that you see on peonies and marching into the kitchen. Warning: You do not want to plant Tansy anywhere that livestock can feed on it as it is toxic to many animals. Do not let it go to seed either as it may germinate in livestock fields. |
Invasive ants also move into potted plants because they offer moisture and moderate temperature. The experts suggest that when you purchase a potted plant from an outdoor nursery, check the pot for ants by slapping the side the pot several times and setting it down. The way to check for Argentine ants is to first water the plant. Those pests will evacuate in response to flooding. To rid a house plant of Argentine ants, take it outside and water it thoroughly and then place it in a new spot. To block small entryways, you will want to discourage the placement of plants and mulch against your home. If the invasion is out of your hands, health professionals warn against insecticides because those chemicals are also harmful to your family and pets.
Sprinkle leaves and flowers from sage, mints or tansy around the outside of your house or plants that are bothered by ants. These plants can also be used as a living barrier for ant control, bearing in mind that they are invasive in their growth habit and using cuttings from these plants as a barrier is more effective. We grow tansy in an out of the way place to harvest the cuttings.
Vinegar sprays in and around the hose foundation will repel ants. Keep way from the soil and concrete. Lemon juice concentrate can also be used: mix 50/50 with water and spray. *
Ants will not walk through a line of talcum powder or chalk dust. Diatomaceous earth may also be used as a barrier in and out of the household. *
Using a silica areogel/pyrethrum spray applied to the base of plants like eggplants and peppers can control fire ants from girdling the stems and killing the plants. This is a good barrier as it stays "put." *
Caulk all cracks and crevices in the building to deny them access. Be sure to use high quality pure silicone caulking as these are less likely to shrink or crack once applied. *
Distribute cucumber parings as a repellant. Cucumbers contain a compound known as "trans-2-nonenal" that repels ants as well as cockroaches! *
Try sprinkling some of those instant grits around the nests. See what happens! *
For fire ants: We recommend Spinosad or try this: Pour half a cup of Epsom salts into the nest and all around it. *
Sticky barriers like Tanglefoot makes an excellent barrier and can be applied to tree trunks to disrupt the ants from farming of aphids. This will naturally biodegrade itself towards the end of the season. NOTE: On young trees with smaller trunks or those with thin bark (aspens, birches etc.) do not apply directly to the bark surface. Instead use some thin fabric tied around the trunk with the sticky stuff applied over this. Remove at the end of the season. *
On smaller plants a bit of petroleum jelly smeared around the base will stop ants immediately.
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