Ants: Ways to Get Rid of Them On Outside Plants

Unfortunately there's never just one ant image by Jay:


If you see an ant on one of your plants outside, you may not even look twice. The problem with this is that there is seldom ever just one ant; look closer. If upon further inspection you come to realize it's just that one ant plus every ant in his entire colony, there's a problem. Fortunately this is the type of problem that can be solved in several different ways. For the sake of your plants and your sanity, there's a solution that can help.

Several Simple Suggestions

Step 1

Line a planter that you want to keep ants out of with double-sided tape. Ants won't be able to climb up to the plant and will become stuck.

Step 2

Coat the base of the stem of the plant with Vaseline; this makes it very difficult for ants to climb.

Step 3

Mix boric acid powder and sweetened condensed milk into a thick consistency and roll it into balls. Place the balls around the plants and the ants will take it back to their nest and kill them.

Step 4

Sprinkle catnip or set out peppermint or cinnamon near the plant. Ants don't care for the smell and will stay away.

Step 5

Sprinkle cornmeal or dry grits around the plants. The ants will take home what they think is dinner and won't come back for seconds. This is a good way to attack the ants at the source, even if you don't know where it is.

Tips and Warnings

  • Boric acid isn't safe for animals or children so use caution.

Things You'll Need

  • Double-sided tape
  • Vaseline
  • Boric acid powder
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Catnip
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Cornmeal
  • Dry grits


  • Get Ants Out
  • Ants in Houseplants Cause Headaches, But Can be Eliminated
Keywords: ants on plants, get rid of ants, ant problem

About this Author

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.

Photo by: Jay: