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How do you get rid of ant nest or massive infestation in pots?


By Raquel

Texas, United States Us

My geraniums died this summer, in part it was the heat but there were tons of ants on the roots of one dead plant...I'd like to re-use my pots but how do I need to clean them so the ants don't return? This particular pot is plastic...



I suggest you give the pot a good scrub in disinfectant if you are worried. But the ants may still return and they don't harm plants. You probably had another bug which the ants were attracted to.

20 Sep, 2009


I just wanted to say what a beautiful avatar picture

x x x

20 Sep, 2009


If there were ants in the pots, then they must be on or very near an ants nest. This needs to be addressed first or they will just come back.

I have a Dianella in a large tub that was sitting directly over an ants nest (didn't know it was there). They started excavating the soil out over the rim of the container. The Dianella has survived, but the ants did not!!!

ps. Don't get me wrong here, ants do have their place in nature and I wouldn't harm them normally, but these were, apart from potentially damaging a choice plant, right near my back door. They invaded the house a few years back from a different part of the back garden (literally hundred pouring up from the bottom of a door frame) into my hallway. Not nice.

20 Sep, 2009


Just empty the pot completely, give it a good scrub with hot water and washing up liquid, sterilise if you want to, it won't make any difference to whether the ants come back or not.

When you replant, get a jeycloth, or a piece of weed suppressing membrane, and cut to fit two layers in the bottom of the pot and slightly up the sides. Dust the bottom of the pot with ant powder, place your cloth/membrane into the pot bung in a few stones to keep it in place, fill with compost and plant. KEEP THE POT RAISED OFF THE PATIO or whatever surface its on by using something, pot feet, whatever, to leave a gap between the bottom of the pot and the ground.
The raising off the ground is the most important thing - ants are much less likely to invade the pot. I once lost a rhododendron - the ants had munched through the roots to extend their nest, and I never noticed the telltale ring of fine soil on the ground all round the pot until it was too late....

20 Sep, 2009


Oh dear Bamboo hope you were able to replace the rhodo.

20 Sep, 2009


I did - but only at great expense. They're not cheap plants, especially the larger ones.

20 Sep, 2009


Indeed they aren't

20 Sep, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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