How to Get Rid of Ants on a Potted Plant Outside

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Though your potted plants were meant for enjoyment, neighborhood ants have decided that they want to enjoy them, too. Unfortunately, their enjoyment detracts from ours as they swarm the plants, creating a nest or looking for food. While ants may not actually damage the plant, they still aren't welcome. In the interest of taking back your potted plant, evicting these tiny nuisances is essential.

Things You'll Need

  • Insecticidal soap
  • Tub
  • Weatherproof tape
  • Fill a tub with a solution of water and insecticidal soap. Make the solution a ratio of 2 tbsp. of insecticidal soap for every quart of water.

  • Place the plant in the tub so the solution covers the top of the soil by an inch.

  • Allow the plant to soak in the solution for at least 20 minutes.

  • Remove the plant, and set it in sunshine to allow the soil to start drying out.

  • Allow the plant to remain in a sunny location 24 to 48 hours to help the soil dry before you move the plant back to its previous location.

  • Wrap a strong weatherproof tape around the pot with the sticky side facing out. Duct tape or packing tape work well for this. Ants will not be able to cross the tape to get back up into the plant. Replace the tape as needed when it becomes full of stuck ants or loses its adhesiveness.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are numerous options for insecticides that are organic, rather than chemical, making them safer to use around your family and pets. Talk to experts at your local home improvement store or nursery about natural insecticides such as pyrethrum and nicotine sulfate.
  • Wear gloves when dealing with insecticides, and read and follow all manufacturers' instructions carefully for use as well as any precautions that should be taken.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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