Ants in my (potted) plants!

echobellyAugust 15, 2011

With all this rain, the ants seem to have decided to move up in the world, into my potted plants. I have a number of large pots outside, some on pedestals, some on the ground. The ants have even invaded a plant in the pool cage. I'm afraid the poison I use to control ants (Seven) might harm the plant. Should I ignore them? Can they harm the plant? This stuff is all new to me.

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Seven will not harm your potted plants

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 4:36PM
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What kind of ants? Red or black? If red fire ants, use Amdro bait. If black or red and not fire ants, use terro bait.

Sevin might not kill your plants, but it kills honey bees. The amdro and terro will kill the ants and let the bees live.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 7:35PM
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It looks like some pots have red and some have black ants. I didn't know that about Sevin, I'll switch to the other baits. How can I tell the difference between a red and a fire ant? It seems like most of the ants here are fire ants, and have nests under all the weeds I decide to pull. I've got the scars to prove it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 7:41PM
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The fire ants are small ants. If they are small, red and in Florida, then I think it is safe to say they are fire ants. I think carpenter ants can be red, also, but are larger than fire ants.

If you have both red and black ants, I would use both terro and amdro. They are baits so you won't see results instantly. And initially, it will attract more ants. The workers have to carry the bait back to the nest and feed it to the queen in order to eliminate the colony. The bait kills the workers and the queens who ingest it but it takes a day or 2 to see results.

Sevin won't kill the queen unless you find the colony's nest and dust/spray the nest.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 10:45PM
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alys_esmond(9b Orlando)

I've got lots of ants, but have taken a live and let live stance. As long as nobody bit me, I left them alone. That is until I got stung by fire ants in my garden. Nasty critters. Gotta go.
So, off to the garden center to get me some Amdro and I learned how to tell red ants from fire ants:

Sprinkle Amdro on a fire ant nest and they go nuts grabbing the bait granules and carrying them into the nest.

Sprinkle it onto a red ant nest and they go nuts grabbing the granules and carrying them AWAY from the nest!

MUCH safer than sticking a toe near the mound in question :-)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 11:08PM
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Interesting alys, I found something similar is true of Terro - if you sprinkle the granules on a fire ant nest, the fire ants carry it away from the nest. The black ants take it into the nest.

Terro comes in liquid bait stations that I use inside my home, but for outdoors, I use the terro granules.

I try not to kill the ants and live and let live, but like you, the exception is the fire ants. The other exception is any ant inside my home. We get what I call sugar ants here which will swarm all over any food you leave out on the counter. Those have to go as do carpenter ants that can destroy the wood frame of your house.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 11:39PM
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oh and the sugar ants LOVE the terro liquid bait stations. So much so, it is kind of disgusting to see them all over one of the bait stations but not as disgusting as it is to see them all over a cake I have cooling on a rack on the kitchen counter.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 12:57AM
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