Getting Rid of Ants in Potted Plants

The most effective way of getting rid of ants in potted plants is a combination of baiting and using insecticidal soap. Buy some ant bait and place it along any trails you see leading away from the plant. Odds are the ants have a larger nest outside. They’ll carry this bait back to the nest, thinking it’s food, and will kill the whole colony. This will reduce your likelihood of ant problems in the future.

Next, take the plant outside and submerge it to just above the surface of the soil in a solution of 1 to 2 tablespoons insecticidal soap to 1 quart water. Let it sit for 20 minutes. This should kill any ants living in the soil. Brush off any ants still on the plant itself. Remove the plant from the solution and let it drain thoroughly.

Getting Rid of Ants in Container Plants Naturally

If you don’t like the idea of putting chemicals on your plant, there are some more natural solutions you can try. Ants don’t like citrus. Squeeze a citrus rind in the direction of your plant so that the juice spritzes out. This should help to repel the ants. To make a more heavy-duty citrus repellent, boil the rinds of half a dozen oranges in water for fifteen minutes. Blend the rinds and water in a food processor and pour the mixture around your plants.

Make your own soap solution with 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in 1 pint of warm water. Spray it on and around your plant. Soaps containing peppermint oil are particularly effective. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, chili powder, coffee grounds, or dried mint tea leaves can be scattered around the base of the plant to deter ants too.

How to Keep Ants Out of Houseplants

It’s important to clean up any spills in your kitchen and make sure food is stored securely. If ants come into your house for another reason, they’re more likely to discover your plants or set up camp inside.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. It’s all about the ants
  2. Ant Pest Control
  3. How to keep Cockroaches out of your Drains

 

The Most Vermin-Infested American Cities

By Patrick Clark | January 17, 2017

The household critters that lurk behind radiators and under shower drains are a nuisance for lay people, and an impossible math problem for public health researchers and pest control companies: How many rats live in New York? Cockroaches in New Orleans? Since the U.S. Census can’t talk to the creatures to get a head count, the government does the next best thing: It asks homeowners and renters.

Every two years, the government statistical agency conducts the American Housing Survey (AHS) to paint a picture of the country’s residential stock. The online survey asks respondents about the homes they live in—how homeowners financed their abodes, the public subsidies renters enjoy, and an array of other information, including whether they think their neighborhood is safe, or whether their home is musty.

Also, whether they have seen evidence of cockroaches, rats, and mice.

Forty-one percent of New Orleans households reported roaches in 2015, according to Bloomberg’s compilation of AHS data, the highest of the 25 metropolitan areas broken out in this year’s survey. Philadelphians had the most rats and mice, with 18 percent of households reporting rodents. New York was the double-fisted king of creepy critters, with 16 percent of households reporting roaches and 15 percent reporting rodents—the only city to reach double-digits for both types of vermin. (To fully appreciate the size of the Big Apple’s pest population, it’s necessary to consider the numbers in aggregate: Some 1.1 million households saw evidence of cockroaches in 2015; 1.1 million saw mice or rats.)

Pest control was one of the early achievements of human civilization, said John Kane, an entomologist at Orkin, an Atlanta-based pest control company, but the long-term success of the project has been mixed. There was that time in the 14th century when the bubonic plague—transmitted by fleas that traveled on the backs of rats—wiped out a third of Europe’s human population. In modern times, Kane said, rodents are responsible for a huge amount of food waste, while the saliva, feces, and shed body parts of common cockroaches can trigger asthma and allergies.

Better data on pest populations can help exterminators launch targeted strikes, said Kane, limiting the amount of poison they release into the environment, and reducing the risk that the vermin build up resistance.

Roaches, as suggested by the charts above, are more common in warmer, wetter climates; rodents seem more likely to darken doors in older cities and colder ones. The data show that Miami was 6 percent more roach-infested in 2015 than in 2013 and that rodent sightings in Washington fell by 20 percent. (In that town, the rats have a way of finding their way back.)

The AHS doesn’t break out data for the same cities every year, but repeated nine cities in 2015. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington showed declining incidences for roaches and rodents; Chicago, Detroit, and Miami reported mixed results. Houston had 11 percent more roaches and 12 percent more mice and rats.

That leaves plenty of work for the pest control industry, which supported 24,000 U.S. pest control businesses and generated $12.3 billion in revenue last year, according to the research firm IBISWorld. (Two publicly traded companies—Rollins, which owns Orkin, and the ServiceMaster Company, based in Memphis, Tenn.—combine for 22 percent of sales.)

Vermin, meanwhile, appear to be the great economic equalizer. In Atlanta and New Orleans, households earning more than $120,000 a year were more likely to report cockroaches than less affluent households were. And in nine out of 25 cities included in the survey, those wealthier houses were more likely to report rats and mice.

“It’s not just the neighborhoods with broken windows,” said Kane. “I’ve been in mansions that were filled with rodent droppings in the attic.”

Design: Steph Davidson and James Singleton
Editor: Francesca Levy
Photo: Getty Images
RELATED ARTICLES:

 

Some people think that winter pests don’t exist in NW Arkansas but they most certainly do, and infestations are no joking matter! It is much easier to prevent a pest problem than to face one head on. Wintertime attracts termites, stink bugs, roaches and other crawling critters into your home through the cracks and crevices in your walls, chimneys and other entryways unless you take proper preventive precautions.

Common Winter Pests & Their Destructive Qualities

Pests target the warmth in your home as a safe and appealing place to survive the winter. Here’s a list of destructive qualities of pests that you can avoid altogether this winter through prevention:

Physical damage to the structure of your home and personal belongings
Contamination of walls and surfaces
Infestation of food products
Adverse effects to your health by spreading germs and irritating allergies
Disruption to your comfort and sense of well-being
Spiders, mice, roaches, termites and more are some examples of the critters you could find in your family room, garage and basement so best practice is to take action and prevent the problem before it starts.

What to Do for Winter Pest Issues

To safeguard your home from pests this winter, here are some pest control and prevention tips:

  1. Seal up cracks in the walls, ceilings and flooring when first cold hits
  2. Block entryways, fix window screens and chimney screens
  3. Maintain a clean yard free of debris
  4. Avoid leaving standing water or damp spots
  5. Clean up potential nesting areas and remove cobwebs

If you find unwanted critters like ants, roaches or mice have already entered your home to escape the cold, call a pest management company like NWA Ladybug Pest Control who can end the infestation promptly and manage further prevention. Don’t let anything bug you this winter, call an expert at NWA Ladybug Pest Control to handle all your pest control needs.

RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. Where do bugs go in the Winter?
  2. What does “EcoFriendly” really mean?
  3. Pest Control: A Guide for Homeowners

As the most venomous spider found in North America, the black widow (Latrodectus variolus) is primarily found throughout the southern and southwestern United States. As the weather cools down and these cold-blooded arachnids look to find a place to warm up, they often enter a house or garage, which could mean trouble for an unsuspecting homeowner.

Normally, black widow spiders like to hide in dark, dry protected areas like under patio furniture, in meter boxes and firewood piles. However, they can enter homes through small holes in doors and windows and live in undisturbed places such as basements and crawl spaces. In addition, they are often found in the back of mailboxes as well as cardboard/storage boxes in garages or a home’s storage area.

“Black widows are not generally aggressive; however, they will attack in self-defense or when defending an egg sac,” says Truly Nolen entomologist Scott Svenheim. “As an example, many people are bit while sitting on their patio furniture because the spider has established a web underneath where it cannot be seen and believes it is under attack. In addition, people should always look first before putting their hand in a box or dark place just to be safe.”

Although most black widow bites do not cause serious damage, their venom, which is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s venom, can cause symptoms such as nausea and muscle cramps. In addition, bites are more dangerous for small children and elderly.

“If you are ever bitten by a black widow spider, seek medical attention or contact Poison Control for assistance with any question you may have,” Svenheim suggests.

Pest-proofing for black widows includes:

  • removing woodpiles and lumber piles
  • checking your shoes and boxes for hitchhiking spiders
  • cleaning and vacuuming houses, garages and sheds regularly
  • Be careful not to attempt to kill a black widow by simply hitting it because it can become aggressive if threatened.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:

  1. Fun Spider Facts
  2. How to control spiders in your home
  3. Why Pest Management Matters