An ant colony is certainly never a welcome sight. Moreover, it can create an irritating problem in the potted greenery. Sometimes, the critters keep coming back. If you face this aggravation, let’s learn about some superb techniques on how to get rid of ants in house plants.
Finding ants and thousands of tiny eggs in container plants is frustrating. You should figure out why it happens and discover what to do to conquer it.
Why Are Ants Attracted to Your House Plants?
Before discussing how to get rid of ants in house plants, you must know why they do so. Basically, they are only trying to survive. Container greenery offers them warmth, shelter, and food.
Ants typically don’t attack potted plants outright. They’re most likely after tiny insect pests such as mealybugs, scales, and aphids. The ant infestation also shows that your house plant isn’t fully healthy.
Normally, ants do not make a house plant their home base. Your main goal is to motivate them to come back to their main nest.
You’re probably wondering why my house plants have ants. There are a few very solid reasons why they choose to nestle in your potted greenery.
Dry Potting Mix
Commercial potting mix can repel the water for plants. Since it gradually dries out, water cannot soak in.
Water should seep through the plant’s edges and out the bottom. Due to the hydrophobic surface, it runs straight through without having a chance to soak in. This generates an ideal environment for ants.
The soil can shrink because of dehydration. This environment is hospitable for an ant colony. If you water your house plants inconsistently, the soil becomes dehydrated. The ants will happily come knocking.
You Transferred the Ants
On most occasions, ants dwell in compost since it provides food for them. Furthermore, the compost is warm and dry.
You transfer the compost with ants unconsciously to the pots, be it as a fertilizer or mulch. Then, they set up camp in your house plants.
Tiny Insect Pests
Mealybugs, whiteflies, aphids, and other tiny insects excrete honeydew. Ants find it very appealing. If you discover an ant colony in your house plants, chances are the pests feed them well.
Ants love to feast on honeydew, the nutritious and sweet insect excrement. Because of this reason, they’ll protect the pests from their enemies.
How to Get Rid of Ants in House Plants for Good
Now, I’ll be talking about several techniques to remove ant colonies in container plants. For this issue, there are both natural and chemical solutions. They work equally great, so it depends on what your ultimate goals and needs are.
1. Replace the Soil
Speaking of how to get rid of ants in house plants, don’t forget to replace potting soil since it is crucial. First, you must remove your plant from the container. Then, set it aside.
After moving the pot to a nice location, remove the soil around the plant’s roots using a brush, hands, a spray of water. Scrub clean if needed. Then, put the greenery back into the pot. Lastly, add the new potting mix as well as water with insecticidal soap sprays.
2. Eliminate Insect Pests
Speaking of how to get rid of ants in house plants, you must remove the insects that give them honeydew. Consider using an insecticidal spray.
First, wash the plants that feature honeydew. Then, take them outside. Next, submerge them to above the soil surface in a solution of one quart of water and 2 tbs of insecticidal soap for 20 minutes. Lastly, remove the house plants from the solution to drain thoroughly.
3. Soak the Potting Soil
If you deal with dry soil, give your container plants a good soak. Just in case the plant is indoors, simply take it outside first.
Another option is putting it inside of the large container. After soaking the plants with a special solution, then pour any excess out.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
Speaking of how to get rid of ants in house plants, consider using diatomaceous earth (DE). Simply spread a thin DE layer over the dry soil surface. The diatomaceous earth will dehydrate the unwanted ants.
5. White Vinegar
Just pour one liter of white vinegar into a pesky ant nest in the pot. I guarantee the ants leave straight away.
Be careful of this ant removal method, though. Some house plants can die because of the vinegar’s acidity.
Bait can help you tackle a massive ant infestation. Place it around the house plants. The ants normally eat the bait before they die in their nest or nearby.
The ants who eat their dead friends will also die. Do not let your pets and kids get into the bait since it is toxic. This is one of the remarkable techniques on how to get rid of ants in house plants.
7. Citrus Rind
Speaking of how to keep ants away from plants naturally, consider using citrus since they hate it.
Just squeeze citrus peels in the direction of the potted plants. The juice that spritzes out can repel the ants.
8. Essential Oil
Peppermint is one of the great ant repellent plants. No wonder peppermint essential oil can deter bothersome ants.
Place the pot in a big container. Then, pour water into it. Lastly, drop a generous amount of the essential oil of peppermint.
9. How to Get Rid of Ants on Flowers with Pot Feet
Placing the pots directly on the deck or ground can lead to ant infestations. Consider using feet to lift them above the surface. This ensures great airflow to their bottom.
10. Homemade Citrus Repellent
Searching for techniques on how to eliminate ants in the planter naturally? If yes, try a heavy-duty citrus repellent.
First, boil the orange peels for 30 minutes. Then, blend them to make a paste. Lastly, pour the mixture around the house plants.
11. How to Get Rid of Ants in House Plants with Natural Deterrents
Ants hate certain spices such as chili powder, cloves, and cinnamon. They also do not like coffee grounds and tea leaves. Scatter any of them around the plant’s base to deter them.
Removing ants from potted greenery is not impossible. Speaking of how to get rid of ants in house plants, just apply any of those formulas. Don’t wait to face a large infestation since their numbers grow very rapidly.