Ants – On Houseplants

Q: I had a nice jade plant but ants came in and made their home in it so I threw it away. I have since bought a smaller jade plant; so far it is thriving. Now ants have gotten to my ficus tree. I do not have a problem with ants in my home- they just go for the plants. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the ants and save the ficus?

A: Sounds like you have sucking insects like mealybug, scale or aphids in the ficus. Ants love to eat the sticky honeydew excreted by these pests. One way to control them is to wrap the trunk with a three-inch wide band of masking tape turned inside-out. The ants get caught on the adhesive before climbing to the upper part of the tree.

You could also make a bait station to poison the ants: Mix together 4 tablespoons peanut butter, 6 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon of boric acid powder. Put a glob of the mixture in a soda bottle cap and leave it on top of the soil near the plant base.

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