Ants in the house are bad enough, but when they invade house plants it creates a frustrating problem. |
Ants in potted plants are usually harmless. In fact, they help decompose the organic matter in your soil, making the soil richer in nutrients. They also eat termites, flies and fly larvae. However, sometimes ants eat the plant leaves themselves or infest potted plants you want to move indoors. Fortunately, several easy ways exist to get rid of ants, which can save you both time and money.
In general, ants are often an indication that the plant's potting soil is too dry. Try to make sure that your plants are watered regularly and not kept in direct sunlight. Several different methods will drive ants out of potted plants, and most only require common household items.
If the ants have already set up home, here are some suggestions to remove them from pot plants:
If the potted plant is small, try submerging it in water. It should rid the plant of ants, as well as giving it some much-needed hydration. Use a pot saucer. Fill this with water and it should act like a moat, protecting plants from further ant infestation. Place ant powder over the nest and around the base of the plant. Most brands on the market guarantee that their powder will not affect the health of the plant. Erect an ant barrier. This will help to prevent more ants moving into the pot plant. There are a number of sticky or detergent barriers on the market specifically designed to prevent insects from reaching certain areas. Apply these liquids and liquid mixes on and around the plant pot. Other deterrents that may be already in your cupboard include eucalyptus oil, baby powder and petroleum jelly.
How to Kill Ants if Present in Plants Step 1
Mix boric acid powder and condensed milk (use the sweetened variety for the best results) into a thick paste-like consistency. Roll the mixture into small balls and place them on top of the soil where the ants can easily get to them. This sweet toxic mixture will be carried back to their nest and eradicate the problem at the source. Be careful using this method around children and pets, as it is toxic. Step 2
Remove standing water from plants and re-pot them immediately. Ants like to hang out with aphids, and aphids like standing water. Eliminate the excess water and the aphids go away, leaving the ants with no purpose to be there either. Step 3
Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil to a gallon of warm water and mix it up well. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and you have your own bug spray for a fraction of the cost of insecticides and usable around children and animals. Step 4
Set the plant outside and place lemon rinds on top of the soil. The smell repels the ants and when they leave, it won't be by way of your living room. Check on the plant and bring it in when the ants are gone. Step 5
Repot the plant in fresh soil. This will evacuate the ants that have made the old soil their home. Discard the old soil and leave the ants outside. Keep the new soil moist enough without drowning your plant, so that the ants won't want to return.
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