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How to Kill Ants & Termites on Flower Roots

By Larry Parr ; Updated September 21, 2017
Ants and termites can make gardening a chore and can damage your beautiful flowers.

Ants and termites can devastate your flowers by eating their roots. Their very presence can turn gardening from a joy into a bummer; after all, nobody wants to be working on their hands and knees among ants and termites. You might find an insecticide to rid your garden of these pests, but many people would rather not spray poisons in and around their flowers. Fortunately there is a nontoxic solution, one that ants and termites cannot build an immunity against.

Purchase a bag of diatomaceous earth designed for the garden. Check with your local nursery or home improvement center for the proper type of diatomaceous earth, known as food grade (not the swimming pool grade) diatomaceous earth.

Stop watering your flower garden for 24 hours.

Wear gloves, eye goggles and a breathing mask as you spread a fine dusting of the diatomaceous earth directly on the ants and termites and the roots of your flowers. Spread the diatomaceous earth onto the dry ground wherever an ant or termite problem exists. Wait until the dew has evaporated before dusting your plants (and the insect pests); the powder must be dry to work effectively. Do not spread if rain is expected within the next day.

Wait 24 hours before watering. The longer the diatomaceous earth remains dry and powdery the better it will control your ants and termites.

Recheck your flowerbeds seven days after applying the diatomaceous earth. If your ant and termite problem is not resolved, make a second application of diatomaceous earth.


Things You Will Need

  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Gloves
  • Eye goggles
  • Breathing mask


  • Ants and termites cannot build an immunity to diatomaceous earth because the diatomaceous earth has sharp edges--the earth is made of pieces of diatom shells--that damage and kill the ants and termites.
  • Diatomaceous earth is non poisonous to children and pets, although it is not a good idea to breath in the dust any more than necessary.
  • Diatomaceous earth will kill fleas in your yard, spiders, and other insects in addition to ants and termites.

About the Author


Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.