Well it really doesn't matter what you use. As soon as you use what kills bugs, you also kill the beneficials/predators. Then the faster and more prolifically breeding pests come back, and there will be no predators to eat them. Thus the downward cycle.
Next time you water the container, try completely flooding it to make sure the ants are not actually living inside the container. Just in case. If they are, then flooding will cause them to come swarming out carrying eggs and babies. So do this where you can eliminate them as they come out.
All that said, outside, I rely heavily on the beneficials, but for serious infestation, I cut off the localized outbreak, spray off either water, use sudsy hands to squish and remove. Sometimes I use a drop cloth to catch any that falls to the ground -- dunk and rinse in bucket of soapy water.
After the heaviest aphid pressure is taken care of and the plant has been rinsed off with water, I go searching around the rest of the garden and get uhatched ladybug eggs/pupae or aphid mummies (remove attached to leaf or stem and secure the plant matter to the infested plant), ladybugs, praying mantis babies, spiders, toads, tree frogs, ...whatever member of the Garden Patrol I can find to put to work on the plant. Earlier in the spring, I distribute the unmatched praying mantis ootheca (egg cases) and attach them to plants that need the protection. Usually I have a good idea where to find them because I would have noticed them before.
If you don't have them in your own garden, you could buy them. Ones that you can get as eggs are easier and sometimes more effective -- green lacewings, aphid mummy maker wasps, praying mantis, etc. are there sources in Hawaii?
Sometimes, depending on the plant, trap crops and sacrificial plant that is allowed to be infested is another way to eliminate an infestation. Let those get swarmed, then bag and toss. Usually, it's the weakened plant that is infested more, so be sure to give the desirable plant the best care you can. Cucurbits could be previously affected/suffering from fungal issues or cucumber beetles, for example.
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