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Intriguedbybonsai
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How to Keep Ants Away from Plants?

How do I keep them away from my plants? I hear they are attracted to moisture, but I have to keep my plants watered. Any items other than Raid that will work to keep those pests away?

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rainbowgardener
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ant control

I'm pasting back in a post I did a week or so ago, re keeping ants away.
In general ants don't eat your plants. If you are seeing leaf damage and ants swarming around, it's most likely that there are aphids. The aphids secret a sweet substance ("honeydew") which attracts the ants. So look closely on undersides of leaves for aphids. If that's the case, if you get rid of the aphids, the ants will go away. But here's ideas for keeping the ants away:

One category is powdery things that clog up their spiracles (breathing pores), if they try to walk over them. This includes chalk line, baby powder, cleanser powder (like comet), bone meal. Make a ring of powder around what you want to keep them away from and they won't cross it.

Another category is strong smelling things, including vinegar, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, peppermint oil or other mints, cloves, garlic. Sprinkle your strong smelling stuff on and around what you want to protect from the ants. (Be careful with the vinegar, don't put it on your plants, it can burn or even kill them, if directly on the plant)

Then there are ways to kill the ants if you are feeling more aggressive (they defintely don't like that): pouring boiling water down into the ant hill, diatomaceous earth around what you are protecting, boric acid powder, and theoretically, put a dish of raw cream of wheat out. Supposedly they eat it and it swells up inside them and they explode. For all I know this this one is an old wives tale, but it might be interesting to try... exploding ants!

Then people have suggested windex + ivory soap, Shakely's Basic H, and simple green. I'm not sure which category these fall in...

cynthia_h
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Please look on the upper left-hand side of the page. There's a Search box.

I just did a search on the key phrase "ants cinnamon" and got 8 pages of threads back. Almost every discussion is oriented towards organic management of ant invasions.

I can recall 8 to 10 management/counter-attack techniques for ant invasions, all of which are discussed at great length in the Searched threads.

Good luck!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Intriguedbybonsai
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So that's where the search feature is! I thought that just some random google search box unrelated to this forum.

Thanks! :wink:

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SP8
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Yeah you’re trying to deal with the effect and not the cause as more likely than not it’s an aphid problem.

a0c8c
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Re: ant control

rainbowgardener wrote:pouring boiling water down into the ant hill
You've gotta remember to get it boiling, then quickly dig down atleast 6 inches then pour, otherwise it won't kill the queen and they'll just move their ant hill and come right back. Kill the Queen - kill the colony, Piss off the queen and they come back with a vengence.

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Intriguedbybonsai
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Location: Escondido, CA (USDA Zone 9-10)

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I checked my plants, and found 1 aphid, and I quickly killed it. There is this other large green bug that has made my trident maple his home, but he seems harmless so I leave it alone.

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