10 Effective Ways to Rid Of Ants In House Plants

10 Effective Ways to Rid Of Ants In House Plants

Ants can be an unwelcome pest when they work in your potted plants and destroy your home. Not only are ants unsightly, but they can also risk the health of your plants by encouraging the growth of harmful pests such as aphids. Furthermore, some species of ants have been known to cause structural damage to plant roots.

It’s important to remember that these methods are most effective when combined with good plant care practices. Regularly check your plants for signs of ants, ensure proper watering, and consider re-potting your plants in sterile soil if you suspect a heavy. Prevention is always better than cure, so maintaining a clean, dry environment around your houseplants can go a long way in keeping them ant-free.

This blog post will help you learn how to remove the current ants living in your pots and offer helpful advice about prevention methods that can keep them from coming back

10 Effective Ways to Rid Of Ants In House Plants

1. Natural Repellents

Natural repellents are a safe, eco-friendly way to remove ants from house plants. They include substances like cinnamon, peppermint oil, vinegar, or citrus peel, all known to deter ants.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Non-toxic to plants and humans


  • It may require frequent application
  • Effectiveness may vary depending on the ant Species

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth, a naturally occurring, siliceous sedimentary rock, is ground into a fine white powder that can be a potent deterrent against ants. Composed of the fossilized remains of tiny marine organisms known as diatoms, this substance pierces the exoskeleton of ants, causing them to dehydrate and die. To use, sprinkle a generous amount around your plants; ants will avoid crossing this barrier.


  • Natural and non-toxic.
  • Effective against a wide range of pests, not just ants.


  • It may need reapplication after rain or watering.
  • Not effective when wet.

3. Use Dish Soap Spray

Dish soap mixed with water is a cheap and handy remedy that eliminates ants in potted plants. When sprayed onto the plants, the soap solution suffocates the ants, causing them to die. To prepare this mixture, add a few drops of dish soap to a water-filled spray bottle, shake it well, and spray it directly onto the ants and the plants.


  • It’s cost-effective and easy to prepare.
  • It’s safe for the plants.


  • Requires direct contact with ants to be effective.
  • Frequent application may be necessary as the effect is not long-lasting.

4. Introduce Beneficial Insects

Introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings can offer a biological solution to your ant problem. These insects are natural predators of ants and their larvae. Releasing them into your garden or indoor plant space can help organically control and reduce the ant population.


  • Natural, chemical-free solution.
  • It helps maintain ecological balance.


  • Effectiveness can vary.
  • Predators may also leave after consuming the pests.
10 Effective Ways to Rid Of Ants In House Plants

5. Neem Oil

Neem oil, derived from the seeds of the neem tree, has powerful insecticidal properties that make it highly effective in controlling ants. The active compounds in neem disrupt the life cycle of ants, making it a potent deterrent. Simply mix a few drops of neem oil with water and spray them directly onto your plants.


  • Natural and non-toxic.
  • Multi-purpose, also effective against other pests.


  • It has a strong smell that some may find unpleasant.
  • It may require frequent application.

6. Vinegar Solution

The solution can disrupt ants’ pheromone trails, making finding their way back to your plants difficult. To utilize this method, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it to the areas affected by ants.


  • Easy to prepare.
  • Non-toxic to plants.


  • Requires frequent application.
  • It may have a strong smell.

7. Coffee Grounds

Ants are known to have an aversion to the strong smell of coffee. Using this to your advantage, you can deter ants by spreading used coffee grounds around your plants. This method serves a dual purpose – repelling ants and enriching the soil with nitrogen, making your plants healthier.


  • Readily available and cost-effective.
  • Adds nutrients to the soil.


  • It may alter the pH level of the soil.
  • Requires frequent application.

8. Repotting

If an infestation is severe, repotting may be the most effective solution. First, remove the plant from its pot and gently clean the roots to remove residual soil and ants. Immerse the origins in a mild soap solution to ensure all ants are killed before repotting the plant in fresh, sterile soil. It’s a labour-intensive process, but it gives your plant a fresh start, free from pests.


  • Highly effective for severe infestations.
  • Gives plants a fresh start.


  • Labour-intensive process.
  • Some plants may not tolerate repotting well.

9. Use a Commercial Ant Bait

Commercial ant baits can be an effective solution if natural methods prove unsuccessful. They attract the ants with a food source laced with a slow-acting toxin. The ants return this poisoned bait to the colony, eliminating the entire colony over time.


  • Effective for eliminating entire colonies.
  • Easy to use.


  • It contains chemicals that might be harmful.
  • Not an instant solution.

10. Regular Maintenance and Cleanliness

Lastly, maintaining cleanliness is vital in preventing ant infestations. Regular tidying activities, such as removing dead leaves and other debris and ensuring the area around your plants remains clean and dry, significantly reduce the attraction for ants. These simple practices make your plants less hospitable to ants and can contribute considerably to keeping them at bay.


  • Simple, cost-effective preventive measure.
  • Promotes the overall health of the plant.


  • Requires consistent effort.
  • It might not be sufficient for severe infestations.
10 Effective Ways to Rid Of Ants In House Plants

Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Ants in Your Potted Plants

Maintaining indoor and outdoor plants can sometimes become challenging due to unwanted guests, like ants. They can hinder growth, damage your plants, and become a nuisance. It is important to note that while some ants are harmless, others can pose a significant threat to your plants. Natural solutions like diatomaceous earth, dish soap, beneficial insects, neem oil, vinegar solution, coffee grounds, and regular maintenance can effectively deal with ant infestations in a safe, eco-friendly manner. Repotting or using commercial ant baits might be necessary in severe cases.


In conclusion, dealing with ant infestations in potted plants doesn’t always require harsh chemical pesticides. One can effectively manage and prevent these unwelcome intruders through natural remedies, regular maintenance, and cleanliness. Numerous environmentally friendly methods are available, from leveraging the insecticidal properties of neem oil to introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs or using simple home solutions like dish soap, vinegar, or coffee grounds. Severe cases, however, may require repotting or commercial baits. With these strategies, you can protect your plants and maintain a healthy, ant-free environment.


What is the best homemade ant killer?

Homemade ant killers include borax and sugar, diatomaceous earth, baking soda and sugar, and lemon juice.

How long will vinegar keep ants away?

Vinegar’s effectiveness varies, usually lasting from hours to a few days. Ants may return when the vinegar smell fades.

Can vinegar get rid of ants in plants?

Vinegar can temporarily deter ants from plants but may not eliminate the colony.

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