How to Get Rid of Ants in a Plant


While admiring the beauty of your plant, it becomes obvious on closer inspection that you aren't the only admirer. As thousands of tiny admirers swarm the plant, you get the uncomfortable feeling that they aren't just admiring. They are foraging for food or setting up camp. Ants come in large numbers and can easily overtake an area. Fortunately, the plant can be taken back with a few tricks that will send the ants packing.

Step 1

Slice up oranges and place them in the plants' soil. The ants will swarm it and hungry birds will carry them away.

Step 2

Slice cucumbers and place them around the plant. Ants find the odor repulsive and will find a new place to gather.

Step 3

Wrap tape around the base of a planter with the sticky side facing the ants. Cut away the tape periodically to get rid of immobilized ants. Add fresh tape to the planter as needed to capture more ants.

Step 4

Place an open piece of fruit as bait in a planter filled with dirt near the infested plant. Drown the ants with water when they swarm the bait. Repeat this as often as necessary to decrease the ant population around the plant.

Step 5

Mix a tablespoon of boric acid into 2 cups of water. Dissolve 6 tsp. of sugar into the solution. Stir it well. Dip cotton balls into the solution and set them around the plant. The ants will carry the bait home and many will die off quickly. If the queen injests the bait, she will die and the colony will be forced to move on.

Tips and Warnings

  • Boric acid may be harmful to children and animals. Place the acid-laden cotton balls in a plastic container and cover it with a lid. Poke holes in the sides of the container to allow ants access only. Commercial is unsafe around children and pets. Read the manufacturers' instructions closely before using.

Things You'll Need

  • Oranges
  • Cucumbers
  • Tape
  • Flower pot
  • Boric acid
  • Sugar
  • Cotton balls


  • Beyond Pesticides: Least-toxic Control of Indoor and Outdoor Ants
  • Karlonia: How to Get Rid of Ants in Your House
  • Self Sufficient Ish: Tips on How to Get Rid of Pests
Keywords: ants in plants, rid of ants, remedy for ants

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.