How To Stop Ants From Nesting In Plant Pots?

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How to stop ants from nesting in plant pots is the most searched question. If you’re like most gardeners, you’ve probably battled ants at some point in your gardening career. Ants are pesky pests that can quickly damage your plants and ruin your summer gardening fun. Here are a few tips to help you stop ants from nesting in your plant pot.

You can try using cayenne pepper, vinegar, or citrus oil. You can also place sticky traps near the plants or use an insecticide. Some other popular methods include using bait or sprays, replacing the soil in the pot, or scaring them away with certain smells. But, keep reading to understand more methods on how to keep ants away from your potted plants!

Why do ants nest in potted plants or indoor gardens, to begin with?

Plant pots make for comfortable quarters for ants.

The fact is that there are many reasons why ants nest in potted plants. Below, I have compiled a list of the most popular reasons why you will often find a colony of ants in your red plant pot!

Potted plants make for comfortable shelters for ants and other insects.

Potted plants are a fantastic way to bring some life and nature into your home or office, but unfortunately, they also make for comfortable shelters for ants. Ants will often nest in the soil of potted plants, and from there, they can spread throughout the building.

Ants often build their nests in potted plants because the pots provide a safe and comfortable shelter for them, and they are less likely to be disturbed there than if they built their nests on the ground.

If you have a problem with ants nesting in your potted plants, there are many things you can use to stop ants from infesting your plant pots. I’ll get to that in a while!

The soil in your plant pot might be hydrophobic.

Soil can become hydrophobic for a variety of reasons, but it generally means that the water doesn’t run into the soil as it should. This can be a problem because it can prevent the plant from getting the water and nutrients it needs.

If you are having problems with ants nesting in your plant pots, one possible reason is that the soil is hydrophobic.

Interestingly, there is a reason why hydrophobic plants attract ants. It’s because the water droplets don’t spread out on the surface like they would on a non-hydrophobic surface.

As a result, the ants don’t have to work as hard to get water, and they can build their nests more easily.

The soil in your plant pot might not be hydrophobic originally. But, if it becomes old, it could develop a resistance to water absorption, meaning that water will simply roll off as beads rather than being absorbed.

If you’re using old potting soil, make sure to check for ants and remove them if found.

Ants could just be a secondary issue.

Ants are frequently found in close association with other pests, such as mealybugs or aphids. If you see ants in your plant pots, it is important to investigate whether there is an infestation by one of these pests. If there is, the ants could just be a secondary issue.

While ants can certainly cause damage to plants, they might not be the root of the problem. Check for other potential causes of damage, such as pests or diseases.

If you determine that ants are responsible, you can use the methods that I have discussed below.

How to stop ants from nesting in plant pots?

How to stop ants from nesting in plant pots?

Here’s how to stop ants nesting in plant pots.

You can use commercially available chemical sprays or bait.

To start with, you can use commercially available chemical sprays or bait, which are both effective and fast-acting.

There are many different types of ant bait and sprays, so it is important to read the instructions carefully and follow them exactly. It is also extremely necessary to wash your hands well after handling these products.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth into the plant pots.

Diatomaceous earth, better known as DE, is a powder made from the fossils of little sea organisms.

It is effective in getting rid of ants in plant pots because it punctures their exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate and die. You can place it around the outside of your plant pots, as well as inside the pot itself.

To prevent ants from nesting in your plant pots, sprinkle diatomaceous earth into the pots before adding soil and plants.

The best advantage of using this powder is that this is a natural, chemical-free product that doesn’t hurt humans or animals. You need to place it in the pot uniformly, and the ants will wither away!

Use other natural ant repellants that have strong odors.

There are a number of ways to keep ants from nesting in your plant pots. One way is to use other natural repellants that have strong odors. Citrus makes a great ant repellent.

Alternatively, you can use some citrus-based ant repellant products that use the rinds of citrus fruits and water to create a spraying solution that can be used to keep ants away from plants, food, and other areas.

Peppermint oil is another natural ant repellent that can be sprayed or used in a diffuser to keep ants away.

In addition, there are various other natural ingredients that can be used to make an effective ant repellant. Cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, coffee grounds, ground-up or crushed mint leaves, tea leaves, and white vinegar are all known to deter ants.

The common quality between all of these natural compounds is that they have extremely strong odors. It is this odor that ultimately works to repel ants!

Use a DIY dish soap spray.

One way to keep ants from nesting in your plant pots is to use a DIY dish soap spray. You can make your own dish soap-based spray by mixing one part dish soap with nine parts water in a spray bottle. Shake well before using.

Dish soap is effective against ants because it breaks the surface tension of the water, which disrupts their ability to move and breathe, thereby killing them.

Refresh the soil in your plant pots.

Refresh the soil

An extremely popular reason that ants nest in plant pots is that the soil has become too hospitable. Ideally, you should simply switch out the old soil for fresh soil.

This is because ants like to build their nests in areas where they have easy access to food. If you can remove the old soil, the ants will have nothing to eat, and they will move on.

Be sure to dry out any old potting soil before putting new soil in your planters. You can also try sprinkling or placing some diatomaceous earth around the outside of your pot to deter ants from entering.

Keep your soil soaked in water.

Ants can't live in soaked soil.

Another way to stop ants from nesting in your plant pots is to keep the soil moist at all times. If the ants are nesting because of dry, hydrophobic soil, this will help to prevent them from doing so.

It is important to note that this only works if you have ants nesting in your pots specifically because of the dry soil; if there are other reasons why they are nesting, this method will not be effective.

Although soaking the soil may help if ants are nesting in your pot, it won’t do anything if you don’t have an ant infestation in it.

Tackle existing plant pest infestations.

If you see pests on your plants other than ants, take steps to get rid of them. This may include using pesticides or organic methods to eradicate the pests.

While you’re waiting for the ants to clear out, you can also take care of any existing plant pest infestations. Aphids can be eliminated with a mixture of water and dish soap, and mealybugs can be killed with a combination of dish wash soap and rubbing alcohol.


Ideally, you should be using various combinations of the methods that I have listed above. There is little chance that you will be able to stop ants from nesting in plant pots without doing so.

Bear in mind that ants are resilient creatures, and you might even have to repeat the application of these methods to get rid of them for good!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.