How to remove ants from my pot: Different methods

Potted ants don't usually harm the plant, but they can be annoying.

I recently found the soil in one of my pots a little lumpy and, surprise! Some very hardworking ants had settled in it. Although it is true that these insects do not harm plants, they can be somewhat annoying, especially if they end up entering the interior of the house. This is how I asked myself this question: How to remove ants from my pot?

Fortunately, there are many quick and easy methods to accomplish this task. In case you run into the same problem, I have decided to list the different options that have worked for me on several occasions.

How to remove ants from potting soil?

To eliminate potted ants we can use natural household products or insecticides

To eliminate potted ants we can use natural homemade products or insecticides

As we have already mentioned before, ants do not usually harm plants. However, it is convenient to eliminate them, especially if the pot is near our house and thus prevent them from entering. There are different methods that we can use for this. Below we will discuss some of the most effective.

Use insecticides and baits

We will first explain how we can apply insecticides and baits to eliminate ants from the pot. For this we will need the following:

  • Permethrin
  • Diatomite (DE or diatomaceous earth)
  • Specific bait for ants
  • Mix two cups of water with a tablespoon of mint soap

Once we have acquired everything, we can follow the following steps to carry out the complete treatment and make sure that there are no ants hanging around our pot, or carry out only one of these methods. This will depend mainly on the magnitude of the infestation.

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  1. Apply permethrin to the soil: Permethrin is a very powerful insecticide that paralyzes the nervous system of ants that come into contact with it, causing death. It should be noted that this product can also be very harmful to people and pets, so it is very important to use it correctly, following the instructions on the package.
  2. Use a bait: Ant baits are made up of sugars, proteins, and oils that contain insecticides. The workers carry this food to the colony, which causes direct damage to all of them: other workers, larvae and even the queen. This will reduce the entire colony little by little. It is important that the insecticide used is slow-acting, so that the ants do not die before reaching the colony.
  3. Cover the surface with diatomite: Diatomite is an organic insecticide composed of minerals. By spraying it on the surface of the ground, the ants will come into contact with it and die within about thirty minutes. It must be reapplied if the substrate gets wet.
  4. Spray the leaves with mint soap: Finally, it remains to spray the leaves of the plant with a mixture of two cups of water and a tablespoon of mint soap.

Submerge the entire pot in water

Another method to eliminate ants from the pot is submerging it in water mixed with insecticide. What will we need for this task? Let’s see:

  • Hose
  • clean bucket
  • Approximately 3,7 liters of water
  • Tub or bucket big enough to fit the pot inside
  • Clean spray bottle in a bottle
  • A cup of dishwashing soap or insecticidal soap

When we have gathered all these elements, we must follow the following steps:

  1. Prepare the mix: We must fill a clean bucket with 3,7 liters of water and add a cup of detergent, dishwashing soap or insecticide soap.
  2. Split the mix: Then you have to separate half of the prepared solution. We will use it to fill the large tub or bucket. Next we must fill a small bottle with the atomizer and a little of the mixture. With it we can spray the ants that manage to escape. The rest of the solution must be poured into the soil in the pot and let stand for an hour. It is best to place the pot in a shady place.
  3. Submerge the pot: The next step is to submerge the pot in the large bucket that contains half of the mixture. It must remain there for fifteen minutes. Probably ants continue to escape, for them we must have the bottle ready.
  4. Rinse the pot and plant: Finally we have to rinse the pot and the plant with clean water. It is best to use a hose for this. Before moving the vegetable back to a sunny spot, it is best to wait until it has dried completely.

Change or clean the pot

The appearance of ants in pots can be prevented with natural homemade products

The appearance of potted ants can be prevented with homemade natural products

If we are not convinced by the first two processes to eliminate ants, we will always have the option of simply change the pot or disinfect it. In this case we will need the following elements:

  • Hose
  • Atomizer in a bottle
  • cloth or sponge
  • New soil to fill the pot with
  • Mix bleach with water in a ratio of 1/10

If we already have everything, we must find an easy place to clean and get down to work. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Rinse the roots: When we remove the plant from the pot, we will have to get rid of the infested soil and rinse the roots well to remove the substrate and the remaining ants.
  2. Clean the pot: Once empty, it’s time to disinfect the pot. For this we will use a sponge or a cloth. We will submerge it in a mixture made of one part of bleach for every ten parts of water and we will rub the inside of the pot.
  3. Place the plant: To relocate the plant, we can use a new pot or the same one, but previously disinfected. To do this we must first fill it with new soil and place the vegetable inside. Don’t forget to water afterwards.

Apply homemade products

Finally we have the option of apply natural household products to treat or prevent ant infestation in the pot. There are different methods we can use:

Ants on a leafants on a leaf

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Home remedies against ants

  • Spread ground coffee: Ants can’t stand coffee grounds, so just sprinkle a little on the potting soil to ward them off.
  • Surround plants with toxic products for ants: An effective way if we do not want to use insecticides is to surround the plants with a product that is toxic to ants or that drives them away. Apart from ground coffee, we can also use pepper, cinnamon, baking soda, mint and chili powder.

I hope that these methods will help you to combat the ants in your pots!

How to remove ants from my pot: Different methods

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