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Why Are Ants in My Plants?

When an ant colony arrives in your garden, it’s important to know why they are there. Understanding what is attracting them can help you eliminate the infestation. Check out a few reasons why ants could be crawling around your plants.

Are Ants Harmful to Plants?

Ant on plant

While having ants in your garden may not seem ideal, it isn’t always a bad thing. Ants can be beneficial to gardens since they help control pest populations and aerate soil. However, their presence can also be problematic. Ants are attracted to honeydew—a sugary substance produced by some garden pests. These pests can cause plant damage, and unfortunately, ants protect them. Some ant species are known to eat young plant seedlings too.

Why Ants Are in Your Plants

Ants and aphids on plant

Ants won’t stick around if they don’t have access to the things they need to survive. Here are a few things that attract ants to your garden.

  • Pests: Ants will eat small insects that are likely to crawl through your garden. If these pests are in your garden, there’s a good chance you’ll find ants.
  • Honeydew: Aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects produce a sweet liquid called honeydew. Ants are attracted to honeydew and they will actually protect these garden pests in order to obtain this sweet treat.
  • Overgrown Vegetation & Yard Debris: Tall grass and overgrown plants provide ants with a place to hide. Grass clippings, leaves, and rocks can also act as shelter for ants. 
  • Moisture: Ants need water to survive. From watering your plants to rainfall, it’s likely that your yard and garden has moisture build-up.
  • Trash & Recycling: Ants love to snack on your leftovers. If they can find food or a sweet residue in your trash and recycling bins, they won’t hesitate to climb inside and hang out in your yard waiting for more.
Why Ants Are in Your Plants

How to Control Garden Ants

No Spill Ant Kill

If ants have settled down in your garden, there are things you can do to get them to leave. Check out a few tips for controlling ants in your garden.

  • Clean Up Your Yard: Removing items that attracted ants in the first place is key to getting rid of them. Mow your lawn, trim plants, and remove any yard debris.
  • Remove Moisture: Make sure your garden and yard doesn’t have moisture build-up. Don’t over-water your plants and check for spots where moisture could accumulate. Remove empty flowerpots and ensure your gutters are draining properly.
  • Eliminate Food Sources: Check your plants for signs of garden pests. If you can get rid of them, ants are likely to move to a new location. Our 3-in-1 Garden Spray will not only kill pests on contact, but also provide you with residual repellency.
  • Create a Protective Barrier: Spraying the perimeter of your yard and garden with a plant-based insecticide spray can help keep ants away. Our Yard Bug Spray kills ants and other pests on contact, but it also has repellent properties that act as a barrier to keep pests away.
  • Ant Bait: Ant baits are designed to attract ants so they’ll feed on the bait and carry it back to the nest to share with the colony. Placing our No Spill Ant Kill bait stations in your garden will kill the ants you see and help eliminate the source of the infestation for long-lasting protection.

Knowing why ants are in your plants is the first step to getting rid of them. This can also help you implement preventative measures to avoid an infestation. If pests are giving you a fit, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.


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