This Morning: Alice Beer shares tips for removing pests
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Ants tend to be more active during the warmer summer months and can nest in plant pots as well as in the home. While they do little direct damage to plants, they can be a nuisance for gardeners as they can disturb the soil underneath the plants. According to gardening experts, there are several things Britons can do to try and keep ants out of plant pots.
The Greenhouse People explained: “Having pests in your garden can be frustrating, especially if you’ve spent ages caring for your plants.
“While ants aren’t as destructive as other pests, such as slugs and aphids, their little hills can be unsightly and their nests in pots can disturb the soil and destroy the plant’s roots.
“When deciding how to control pests in your garden, it’s important to remember that chemical pesticides are always the last resort.
“There are a number of ways which can help control ants without potentially harming other insects or plants.”
The experts said that once ants have made their nest in plant pots, it can be tricky to get rid of them.
They explained: “One of the simplest ways to get rid of entire nests is by replenishing the soil in your pot plant.
“This works particularly well if the plant is small enough to be handled.
“Carefully remove the plant from the pot and brush away all the soil.
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“You can also use water to ensure you’ve removed all the white ant eggs.”
Once the soil is fresh, The Greenhouse People said gardeners can work on deterring ants from nesting again.
Ants do not like moist soil so keeping it moist can help keep ants away.
Create homemade ant spray
The experts said: “Some scents like peppermint, citrus or cinnamon naturally deters ants.
“A few drops of these essential oils added to a spray bottle of water will effectively repel your miniature pests.
“If you have an infestation, consider adding a couple of drops of dishwashing soap which also kills ants.
“Spray around the plant generously in the evenings. In the morning, spray the plant with fresh water to remove any soap residue.”
Sprinkle baking soda
According to The Greenhouse people, baking soda is an “effective” way to “kill” ants and is also a “simple hack” to use in the garden.
Ants are not likely to eat baking soda by itself, and so the experts recommended mixing with equal parts sugar.
The pests will be attracted to the sugar and encourage them to take it back to the colony.
The experts said: “Sprinkle this around the edges of your pots where you’ve noticed ants and in areas where there is a lot of ant traffic.”
Get rid of aphids
The Greenhouse People continued: “If you have aphids on your plants, chances are there will be ants nearby.
“This is because aphids create a substance called honeydew, which ants love to eat.
“Getting rid of aphids in your plants will mean that ants are no longer attracted to your garden.”
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