Ants in Nepenthes MEDIA.

PlantPropagandaOctober 15, 2013

I have two large N. 'Miranda' that I transplanted to 1g pots a few months ago. They have been doing fine but do not have pitchers at this time. I came into the studio this afternoon to find the media (100% sphagnum moss) half-deteriorated into that sort of "ant dirt" that you see piled up around ant hills. There were thousands of them, and I could see the trail to and from the Nepenthes as well as the larvae in there, too.

Why in the heck would ants choose to live in the sphagnum moss? And why just those two Nepenthes? Not a single one of my other plants has ants. As mentioned, the Mirandas do not have pitchers and the ants are not on the leaves, just living in the soil.

How do I get rid of them without harming the plant? Vinegar? Diatomaceous earth? Do I need to transplant again? They are indoors and I have seen these same ants in our main house so I am sure they are contributing to the problem, otherwise I would let them live in harmony. Help!

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A past post from JungleMel seems to make sense to me.

"Just submerge the whole thing, roots especially, in a bucket of water. Get rid of any media the plant was potted is/is around the roots and repot the entire thing. Ants can't swim and the Nepenthes will be fine. It should get repotted in fresh media if it was infested anyway."

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:19PM
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That makes so much sense! I wonder how and why they got in there in the first place. Should I worry about them coming back? Will definitely be repotting.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Ants are attracted to the nectar on the pitcher's rims.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:41PM
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