Get Rid of Ants in Potted Plants

Ants love potted plants. While ants generally aren’t a hazard to your beloved indoor plants, they are an unwelcome houseguest. From their home base in your potted plants, ants can become an annoying problem that ruins your food and causes disgust.

How can you get rid of ants in potted plants? Keep reading to find out!

Why Do Your Potted Plants Have Ants?

Ants love potted plants for a few reasons. They offer shelter and even food. Ants don’t feed on the plants themselves, but they do enjoy the secretions of other plant pests—like aphids, mealybugs, or whiteflies.

You might find ants in your potted plants after bringing in the plant pot from outside, for example. Of course, you just wanted to bring in the pot—but you also unwittingly brought in an ant nest as well.

How to Get Rid of Ants in Potted Plants

You have a few options for getting rid of ants nested in your potted plants.

#1 Cover the soil with diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring and environmentally friendly insecticide used for pest control. (It’s actually made of fossilized diatoms—tiny organisms found in water). The powdery substance works by drying out the exoskeleton of the insect.

Cover the top layer of the potted plant’s soil with diatomaceous earth. Note that this product doesn’t work as well when wet, so make sure to reapply after you water the plant. Also, it’s important to know that this product can be harmful if inhaled, so be sure to follow instructions when applying it and wear a mask.

#2 Submerge the plant.

For a big pest problem, submerging the plant will often do the trick.

First, mix a gallon of water with one cup of dish soap or insecticidal soap in a large bucket. Put some of the mixture in a spray bottle as well. Pour the water-soap mixture into the soil, and spray any ants that start to flee the container. Then, submerge the entire plant—container and all—in the bucket, leaving it for 15 minutes. Finally, water the plant with fresh water to flush out the soap mixture.

#3 Repot the plant.

Take the plant out of its container. Throw away the soil remaining in the pot and use a hose to remove the infested soil from the roots of the plant. Then, use a mixture of water and bleach to thoroughly clean the container (or use a new container, if the plant has outgrown the old one). Finally, repot the plant using fresh, uninfested potting soil.

Need Help with an Ant Problem?

If you have an ant problem, we’re here to help!

We’re here for you. Our expert pest control technicians have the experience and knowledge necessary to quickly and safely get your home ant-free!

Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our websiteFacebook, or Twitter.