Occasionally potted plants might seem to be ant and slug magnets, but you can control infestations with barriers, pesticides and traps. Ants visit potted plants infested with aphids to crop the sticky honeydew aphids secrete, and they are drawn to the dark, moist conditions beneath and within plant pots, occasionally building nests in potting soil. Slugs also are drawn to the moist conditions under and within plant pots and also snack on plants overnight. Ants and slugs usually infest outside potted plants, but they stay on pots taken indoors.
Ants Feeding on Aphids
If ants visit your potted plants to feed on aphids, then an alternative is to make barriers that ants won’t cross. 1 barrier is soapy water. Dilute four or three drops of dish-washing detergent in 1 gallon of water, and then stick the plants on their drip strips in shallow trays containing the soapy water. Be careful to not allow the soapy water to slop into the plants’ drip trays. Most plants don’t grow well standing in water. If your potted plants have been on a plastic grass stand, then set the stand’s legs in tins that hold deep water. That method can not be done with wooden or metallic pot stands because the water will damage the stands’ legs. An option for outdoor potted plants is to spray grass stands along with the ground and walls about plant pots using a ready-to-use insecticide that is 1 percent propoxur, which kills ants. Don’t use it on edible plants, however. Wear long trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and safety goggles to employ propoxur insecticide, and follow the directions on the item’s label, which might advise spraying surfaces just until they are moist, not dripping excess insecticide. A ready-to-use insecticidal soap sprayed to protect the potted plants extensively can control aphids on the plants. Insecticidal soap isn’t harmful to people or pets.
Ants Nesting in Pots
Destroying ant nests without damaging plants can be difficult. A method that doesn’t hurt plants begins with diluting 1 to 2 tbsp of insecticidal soap in 1 gallon of water. Stand the plant pots in the solution for 20 minutes. Then remove the pots out of the solution and allow them to drain thoroughly. Discourage ants from recolonizing a potted plant by standing the plant grass on grass feet, which lift the pot off the ground and allow air to circulate under it.
Slugs dwelling in Pots
You can pick out and kill slugs dwelling in potted plants. Favourite hiding places for slugs are the undersides of plant pots and small cavities in potting soil at root ball borders. Verify the bases of their pots, including within their drainage holes, and also pick out the slugs. Run your finger around the inside of the containers at the soil’s border, and remove slugs hiding there. Slugs can be killed by squishing them putting them in a plastic bag in the trash.
Slugs Visiting Plants
Slugs frequently visit potted plants at night. Indications of slugs consist of silvery white paths and irregular holes in plant leaf. Eliminate potential slug hiding areas near your plant pots; they comprise stones, debris and dense ground-cover plants. Also check for slugs on the undersides of benches and grass stands. You can trap slugs with planks placed near plant pots immediately. Verify the planks in the early hours, and destroy the slugs you find. An alternative is to utilize copper foil, which is an effective slug hurdle. Wrap copper foil strips about plant pots or even the legs of benches and grass stands. Alternatively, water the plants, then put on gloves and thinly sprinkle ready-to-use, 3.25-percent metaldehyde anti-slug granules on the moist potting soil surface around the plants’ stems from day. Don’t use anti-slug granules in pots containing edible plants or in places accessible to children or pets. The plants shouldn’t be watered again for 48 hours.