The Q&A Archives: Indoor Plants & Ants

Question: Several of my indoor plants have become infested with ants. Is there anything, short of insect spray, I may do combat this?


Eugene Spies

Answer: The ants may be there because of the moisture in the soil, or because your plants have an insect infestation and the ants are feeding on honeydew - a sweet excrement created by sucking pests as they feed. I'd take the plants outdoors and hose them off to dislodge any aphids or whiteflies they may be harboring, then inspect the stems for mealybugs (white tufts) or scale insects and remove any found. Then unpot the plants, rinse the roots with water and repot with fresh potting soil. Doing this will remove any ants, their eggs, and any hitchhiking plant pests. This should rid your plants of wildlife. Best wishes with your houseplants!

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