Ants on the Premises? Natural Repellents to Plants That Attract Them

ants and plants
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – Paul H

Ants, tiny yet industrious insects of the Formicidae family, form a fascinating role in our ecosystems. From diligently aerating the soil to participating in seed dispersal, they contribute substantially to the delicate balance of nature. But how can we manage with their presence in our homes and gardens? In this detailed guide, we’ll explore two distinct approaches: ant-repelling plants and plants that attract ants.

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Join me as I delve into the aromatic world of herbs that ants hate to ones that beckon those hard-working workers as well as learning how to achieve a harmonious balance. Whether you’re aiming to keep ants out of your home or create an ant-friendly haven in your backyard, this exploration promises insights, practical tips, and a deeper appreciation for these minuscule garden companions.

Let’s dig in—pun intended—exploring this fascinating world of ants and plants!

Ant-Repelling Plants

  1. Lavender: Ants can’t abide this evergreen shrub. The delicate sweetness of this floral with herbal and woodsy tones to its lavender scent is offensive to those uninvited tiny guests. This plant’s aromatic essential oil that it releases serves as a natural ant deterrent. French lavender is a lovely variety that is easy to care for. This ant-repelling herb has light purple flowers and is best planted in the Spring.
  2. Mint: The refreshing scent of peppermint, which is the strongest aromatic herb in the mint family is so much more than we give it credit for besides merely flavoring teas and candies. Regardless of the variety, mint is a useful pest-controlling plant and one of these ant-repelling herbs that can make a difference. Place mint near doorways to your home or around houseplants to keep ants from entering. You can crush mint leaves to release the mint oils for spot treatment and watch the ants scoot.
  3. Rosemary: This culinary herb adds flavor to dishes while being helpful for ridding ants from your home as a form of nontoxic ant control. While not as aromatic as lavender or mint, rosemary has a strong herbal scent that ants find offensive.
  4. Basil: Basil is another plant that can keep ants away. Besides emitting a smell that ants don’t like, it has a component called eucalyptol, a source of eucalyptus oil, which is effective for killing ants, cockroaches to weevils.
  5. Catnip: Catnip contains nepetalactone, a compound that repels ants. Just be warned, this ant-deterring flora with its strong scent will attract cats to your yard.

Plants That Attract Ants

  1. Peony: Peonies produce nectar-rich flowers with an abundant supply of sugar and acids in their sweet syrup that can attract ants.
  2. Sunflower: Sunflowers are plants that lure ants to the premises. They produce a substantial amount of nectar that aphids feed upon, which only attracts ants and other pollinators.
  3. Sedum: Some type of sedum produce nectar-rich succulent flowers that attract ants and other insects for a tasty meal.
  4. Fuchsia: Fuchsia flowers produce sweet, sticky nectar that attracts ants, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.
  5. Sweet Alyssum: Sweet alyssum has small, fragrant flowers that attract ants and other beneficial insects such as ladybugs and hoverflys due to all the aphids that enjoy their sweet nectar.

In summary, strategically inviting or repelling ants depends on your specific goals. Balancing their presence ensures a harmonious ecosystem while safeguarding your living spaces.

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