If you’ve ever tried to grow houseplants, you know that keeping them free of pests can be a real challenge. Ants are one common pest that can infest your plants, and if left untreated, they can do serious damage. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to get rid of ants in your houseplants.
Why Are There Ants in My House Plants?
Several factors may be at play if you notice ants scurrying around your houseplants, some of which are unavoidable. In contrast, others may be attributable to you, your residence, or the neighborhood in which you live. Nevertheless, if you know why they are infesting your plants, you will have a better idea of how to get rid of them.
Ants Are Attracted to Sweet Things
These small creatures have a sweet tooth, and one of the most effective ways to attract them is to place a teaspoon in your kitchen with even a single drop of honey. Within a few minutes, the teaspoon will be crawling with ants. They can detect the scent of sweetness from a great distance. This is because sugar provides them with a great deal of energy.
Plants create sugary compounds as they bloom. Furthermore, little insects emit sweet excretions, such as aphids; ants go crazy for these sweet drips, which they harvest from the rear of aphids. Ants will find their way to your plants if they have other “visitors” who produce sweet substances.
Ants Like to Explore
Even if you don’t have much to take home in your pots, you may still find the occasional ants wandering around. This is because ants are incredible explorers and are always looking for new places to find food. Ants can be seen just about anywhere.
Ants are Attracted to Food Crumbs
You may have left “ant fuel” in or around the pot, such as crumbs on the ground or the proximity of the pot to a particularly tempting food source. Ants will be drawn to these, and while they’re on their way, they might discover your pot and decide to set up shop there.
Ants Sense the Presence of Water
Ants can sense the presence of water from great distances since it is essential to their survival. To a certain extent, ants are like humans needing to quench their thirst. There’s no reason to be surprised if ants find their way to your flowerpot in search of water, especially when you water your house plants while it’s scorching and dry outside.
Ants Love Dry Potting Mix
Used potting soil does not absorb water nearly as well as newly mixed soil. When anything like this occurs, the dry soil will wind up full of fissures. Ants will populate these crevices like it’s their heaven. If you find that the soil does not take in water, then it is time to replace it with a different type. Be very careful, as this process easily harms the roots.
Damages that Ants May Cause
Although, as mentioned, ants don’t inflict much direct harm to your houseplants, they can indirectly harm them by bringing up dirt around plant roots when building their nests.
This could become an issue in lawns and other areas where low-growing plants are at risk of being buried by excavated earth. Likewise, they could potentially harm the roots of plants kept in containers. This stress could worsen the situation if the soil is already dry at the plant’s roots.
How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Houseplants
There are many methods to get rid of ants in your houseplants, including:
Other methods include home remedies, such as:
1. Ants Bait to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
Try to determine the pathways the ants take to come close to your plants. Plant the ant baits adjacent to the ant hills once you have found them. Ants can be lured away from your home with the help of a liquid bait that is entirely risk-free to use.
2. Insecticide Dust to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
Insecticide dust is another method that can be utilized, and it is also quite effective. Just sprinkle the powder on the ant trails and around your potted plants to get rid of them. The dust will begin to work, and its effects will continue to safeguard the region for a considerable time.
3. Soil Change to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
Consider switching out the soil if you genuinely care about maintaining the plants’ good health. This will also physically eliminate any ants already inhabiting your plant in their current location. If you do this, exercise extreme caution and try not to harm the plant’s root system.
4. Ant Spray to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
If some ants manage to evade the bait, you can always resort to a spray made from a natural insecticide. It eliminates ants on contact and is designed for use on the actual ants you see. Once you’ve used these two ways, your houseplants will be safe from ants for a long time.
Ants can be kept away from houseplants in pots by using a variety of household items, many of which are already in most people’s homes. The following are the ones that have the most successful outcomes:
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
1. Garlic Water to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
Without using synthetic chemical pesticides, organic gardeners must find alternatives in the natural world to combat pest problems. As it turns out, garlic is a natural cure for this issue. Despite its diminutive size, this underground bulb serves several important roles in the landscape.
The sulfur-containing active components in garlic are responsible for its insecticidal, anti-fungal, and anti-grazing effects. The best aspect of using this method to protect your houseplants from pests is that you won’t have to worry about damaging chemical residues.
To get the most out of using a garlic water solution for your plants, ensure you don’t overdo it! If the solution is utilized more frequently than necessary, it risks harming the microorganisms in the soil that are favorable to plant growth.
2. Cinnamon to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
Many people consider cinnamon to be an effective do-it-yourself ant control alternative. Cinnamon is thought to be effective as a natural insect repellent since ants reportedly cannot abide by the aroma of cinnamon.
Cinnamon can cause suffocation and death in ants if they inhale it. A trail of ground cinnamon can be laid up for an ant to walk on so it can be inhaled. You can also try soaking a cotton ball in a mixture of cinnamon essential oil and water and using that cotton ball to wipe down areas known to be frequented by ants, such as doors and windows. This method is also effective.
3. Lemon to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
As a bonus to its use as a tea garnish, lemons can also help you get rid of pesky ants in your home. In addition to discouraging them from staying in the area, the citrus blossoms’ sweet fragrance makes it difficult for them to follow the scent trails they employ to find their way to the food they need. Lemon juice can be sprinkled about the area where the ants are to see if it helps.
4. Baking Soda to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
Baking soda can remove ant colonies already established on your property or prevent new ones from moving in.
You only need some baking soda when you need to keep unwanted visitors out of your home and plants. If you sprinkle pure baking soda about your home’s entryways, windowsills, and other potential entry points, you can deter ants from entering. If you think ants might be hiding in your home, sprinkle some under the baseboards, behind the sink, and anywhere else; it’s moist and dark.
Baking soda and confectioners sugar can be used as a pesticide. Despite the ants’ knowledge that baking soda harms them, it can be tricked into being consumed by masking its bitter taste with sweet sugar.
Tip: In equal parts, the Confectioner’s sugar and baking soda should be mixed in a cup. Remember that ants can tell the difference between regular sugar and baking soda, so you’ll need to use confectioners sugar instead. It’s possible that adding honey, jam, peanut butter, or another food item to the trap will make it more appealing to the ants you’re trying to catch.
5. Coffee Grounds to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
Used coffee grounds can be a fantastic non-lethal natural approach for eradicating ants from your home without killing them. Some people believe that ants dislike coffee grounds because of their pungent odor. In contrast, others say that ants dislike walking on coffee grounds or that walking on coffee grounds might harm ants’ exoskeletons.
If you are concerned that the coffee grounds may leave a stain on the surfaces, lay the grounds on index cards or napkins and place them next to the opening through which the pests are entering the home.
As a result of the rapid decay of their aroma, coffee grounds need to be replaced every few days or once they have dried out to keep ants away.
Sprinkling used coffee grounds around the plants’ stems have the potential to prevent slugs and snails from making your plants and flowers their home as well.
6. Peppermint Oil to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
It has been demonstrated that one of the home remedies that are helpful against ants is peppermint oil. The stimulating scent of peppermint will drive those annoying ants away, and you won’t have to worry about them returning for quite some time.
Spraying regularly is essential to achieving desired results when using peppermint oil. As a masking smell, we recommend spraying the area every 5-7 days on a routine basis. It is possible to spray the area around the plants and the soil.
If this is the first time you’ve used the spray, you should apply it to a few leaves of each plant kind and then wait forty-eight hours to check for any harm. You should only spray a complete plant if you are confident your mixture won’t cause any damage.
7. Dish Soap to Get Rid of Ants in Houseplants
Another effective strategy for removing ants from your home’s kitchen or other rooms is strategically placing shallow dishes filled with soapy water. Draw them in by dangling something sugary in front of them.
This tactic effectively eliminates those teeny-tiny ants, but it won’t eradicate the entire nest from your home entirely. If the ants keep coming back, you might have to take action to address the primary cause of the problem.
A natural do-it-yourself bug spray that is easy to make, soapy water kills a wide variety of creepy crawlies, including ants and many others. Cockroaches are another pest you could try to eliminate using this method.
8. Plant Marigold to get rid of ants naturally
You may think ants are attracted to all houseplants. After seeing the numerous ants in houseplants at your home, you might believe that plants are ants’ best friends. Well, not all plants!
Plant marigolds can also help you get rid of ants naturally. Ants cannot bear marigolds, which are a type of Geranium. Some homes may keep Geraniums in their windows to ward off ant infestations. However, maintaining marigolds near your houseplants can deter ants permanently.
You can even add marigolds to different sections of your house where you spot the most ants or at the place where they enter your home. Marigolds are a great sight for sore eyes, and they eliminate ant infestations!
Ants can be eliminated from potted plants using various methods, including insecticide baits, sprays, and some natural ingredients, such as garlic and peppermint.
If you want quicker and better results, utilizing an insecticide is the way to go; but if you want to keep your garden organic, you should consider using some of the homemade items we discussed.
We will always advise you to get in touch with a professional pest control service if you are unsure of what steps to take or if you lack the necessary level of knowledge. When they arrive, they can assess the situation and choose the most effective strategy to deal with the issue.
You may like the following house plant articles:
- House Plants for Cold Dark Rooms
- Why is My House Plant’s Soil Growing Mushrooms?
- How Often Should You Change the Soil in Houseplants?
- Leaf Spot Disease on Houseplants
- How to Trim a Houseplant
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.