How to kill ants inside large plant pots?


I think i have a nest of ants in my pot plants. Every time I water them the ants are everywhere. How can I get rid of them without killing my plants.

  12 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 23, 2020

    If you can, place the plant in a container of water deeper than the pot, thiis floods them out. I have had success with repeated daily flooding of the plant too, just add water.

    Another thing I have done is to use Terro (available at diy stores in the pest control section). I put this liquid Borax on the cardboard squares they give you Ants love this and they take it back to their colony.

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    • Yes my pots are too large for that. I will give it a try once it stops raining. lol

  • I agree with the Terro recommendation. In addition, here's a link with more ideas of you need them:

  • Get an ant bait trap. The worker ants take the poison back to the queen and she dies. The colony cant live without her.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Aug 23, 2020

    You can get ant spikes. Stick them in the soil and ants will go to the bait that shows as a little circle on the top side of the spike. They take poison back to the nest. Another product that we use is called "Home Defense". Spray or pour it in your planter. It won't hurt plants.

  • Maura White Maura White on Aug 23, 2020

    I would just get one of those small plastic Raid ant poison containers and place it at the bottom of the plant. I don't think the poison leaks out of those.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Aug 23, 2020



    I use the Terro ant stations each year they are very effective.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 23, 2020

    If you find ants in your indoor plants, take them outside immediately so the ants don’t become established inside your home. To get rid of the ants nesting in container plants, you’ll need a bucket or tub larger and deeper than your flower pot and concentrated insecticidal soap, available at any garden supply store. Here is a simple procedure that will eliminate the ants once and for all: Place the plant container inside a bucket or tub. Make a solution using one or two tablespoons of insecticidal soap per quart of water. Fill the bucket or tub until the solution barely covers the surface of the potting soil. Let the plant soak for 20 minutes.

    Read more at Gardening Know How: Ants In Flower Pots: How To Get Rid Of Ants In Pots

  • Em Em on Aug 23, 2020

    Optiguard ant gel is the best product around. It works overnight and kills the entire colony with a few BB sized drops. You have to kill the queen so they have to take the poison to her. Otherwise all of the crazy sprays etc people tell you to use are just killing the worker ants and she will produce more. Amazon sells it and it works like a charm.

  • Janice Janice on Aug 23, 2020

    Strange as it may sound, if you sprinkle dry corn muffin Jiffy Mix onto the surace of the soil in your pots, within a few days your ant problems will be gone. Evidently the worker ants take the morsels back to the queen and the cornmeal is not digestible by the ants and they die. I've done this a few times and am always amazed that the ants just disappear over time. May need to repat in a few months but it is an easy and inepensive way to deal with the ants.

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    • Janice Janice on Sep 05, 2020

      If it didn't kill the ants, then it certainly kept them busy for months as the problem of having them in my entry and patio area was resolved.

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 23, 2020

    Hi Unique: Try sprinkling a mixture of 1/2 baking soda and 1/2 powdered sugar around your plants. It won't hurt anything but the ants. I've done this and use it outside too, with great success. Good luck

  • You could try some diatomaceous earth which is all natural. Try leaving some Terro Liquid Bait Traps around the plant pot too.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to answer.