How Do I Kill Ants in My Flowerpots?


The purpose of flowerpots may have been to add a splash of color to your home or yard, but it would not be surprising to find that they serve a second purpose: as a hangout for ants. Since it is rare to encounter just one ant, chances are many of them are preventing you from enjoying your potted plants without having to watch a bunch of ants party it up in the pots. To reclaim your plant and tell ants to hit the road, a little creative thinking is in order.

Step 1

Wrap tape around the pots with the sticky side facing out. Ants will begin to traverse up the side of the pot to get into your flowers, but they won't make it far. Periodically, you will need to remove the tape and replace it as it begins to accumulate a collection of ants.

Step 2

Mix 6 tsp. of sugar into 2 cups of water. Add 1 tsp. of boric acid, and mix all ingredients well with a spoon. Soak cotton balls in the solution, and place them in a plastic container that you have poked holes into so that the ants can climb in and get to the contents. Attach the lid, and set the container in the planter. The ants will be enticed by the bait and take it home for dinner, which will kill of large numbers of them.

Step 3

Sprinkle cornmeal or dry grits into the soil in your flowerpot. The ants will take this home to eat and be in for a big surprise when it makes them thirsty. As they get a drink of water, the cornmeal or grits will swell up inside them and kill them. This can kill of a lot of ants quickly.

Step 4

Locate where the ants are coming from and attack the source. Pour boiling water down into their anthill and send them a clear message that they aren't welcome.

Step 5

Spray ants as you see them with soapy water. Fill a spray bottle with water, and add dish soap to make it sudsy. Spray any ants you find in your flowerpot to eliminate them quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape
  • Sugar
  • Boric acid
  • Plastic container with lid
  • Cornmeal
  • Dry grits
  • Spray bottle
  • Dish soap


  • Beyond Pesticides: Least-toxic Control of Indoor and Outdoor Ants
  • Home and Garden Site: Combating Pests
  • Self-Sufficientish: Tips on How to Get Rid of Pests
Keywords: kill ants, ants in flowers, kill ants in flowerpot

About this Author

I’m a cleaning guru with a blog that I try to keep up with in my spare time: I’m prior service military, a previously certified EMT-B, a dental assistant, mother of one (2 if you count the cat) married to my best friend, and I have an extensive background in aerospace science and technology.