Pest Identification

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Ants in Your Houseplants: Getting Rid of Ants in Your Plants

You know that ants love crumbs in corners, spilled syrup and chicken left out on the counter. You can do your best to prevent an infestation by keeping counters clean, floors swept and food stored safely, but there’s one source of food, water and shelter that you might be unable to eliminate – your potted plants. It’s extremely common to find ants in houseplants, but luckily for you there are several ways to get rid of them.


1. Drowning


One method is flooding them out. First, place the pot in a tub, bucket or basin. Fill the container until the entire pot is submerged. If your pot is especially large and this is impossible, plug all drainage holes and fill the pot itself to the brim with water. Wait for half an hour, then drain the pot. If possible, repot the plant, gently removing and disposing of the ant-filled soil.

2. Starving


Another way to get rid of ants in houseplants is to eliminate insects they feed off of. Insects such as soft scales and aphids excrete a sugary substance that ants crave. It’s important to rid your plants of these attractors to ensure the infestation doesn’t return.

3. Poison


A plant-friendly insecticide may be effective if used correctly. Read labels carefully, as many insecticides are not safe to use indoors or around pets and children. Be sure not to use insecticides on food-producing plants.

4. Natural Solutions


If you’re looking for a natural solution, some gardeners swear that a sprinkling of cinnamon will drive ants out of your plants. Pour a thin line around the pot or on either side of the ants’ trail, or sprinkle it directly into the soil itself. For a truly natural insecticide consider getting an anteater, chicken or lizard as a pet.

5. Prevention


The ultimate solution should be to keep the house itself free from ants. Seal up cracks and crevices in your foundation and around doors and windows. Make sure you eliminate sources of food and freestanding water to prevent enticing them to enter.

Ants in houseplants can become ants all over. Take measure to prevent and eliminate these tiny pests so you’re the only one enjoying your indoor garden.