The Q&A Archives: Ants!

Question: I just went to repot my young bleeding heart and there are ants all over the place inside the pot! They're very tiny red ants and very numerous. Looks like there might be a nest because it is absolutely overwhelmed with ants. I also have other small bugs in there.

Can you recommend a pesticide that will get rid of these nuisances? There aren't any aphids or anything like that on the plant and it hasn't begun to flower yet. I plan on putting the bleeding heart in my screened in porch and I don't want the ants to invade other plants and then the house. I don't care what you recommend - I just want the ants gone!

Answer: Since you plan to repot anyway, take the plant outdoors and wash away all of the old soil from the roots(to get rid of any ant eggs). Then repot in fresh soil. Ants like to nest in places where they won't be disturbed and where there's enough moisture, but not too much. That's why you'll find anthills near the driveway where it's dry, but not in lush, green lawn areas. If you water thoroughly each time you water, by soaking the pot in a tub or bucket of water, you'll discourage ants from living in the soil of containerized plants.

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