Thompson & Morgan

Important delivery notice
The products on this site are only delivered to UK addresses. If you require delivery to another country please visit one of our other sites below.


Ants - Pests


Commonly asked question(s):

- How can I get rid of ants destroying my acers in my garden?
- How can I stop ants on my garden vegetables?
- How do you get rid of ants in compost bins?
- Why are there lots of ants on my peonies?
- Why have I got ants all over the trunks of my apple trees? Will this be a problem for the fruit?


How can I get rid of ants destroying my acers in my garden?

Ants can be a bit of a nuisance in the garden but it is unlikely that they were the cause of your Acers death. They are generally quite beneficial in the garden as they feed on sap sucking aphids and the honeydew that they produce. You could try applications of ant deterrent and watch to see where they move to. If you keep applying it wherever they move, then sooner or later they will find somewhere to live which will be less of an inconvenience to you.

Applying broad greasebands or gluebands around base of your containers may help to discourage them from setting up home in your patio pots. It is also well worth encouraging insectivorous birds to your garden who will help to keep the ant population down. You should try to keep aphid infestations under control in your garden too, as aphids provide an excellent food source for ants - ants will even ‘farm’ aphids in order to harvest the sugar rich honeydew that they produce!

Alternatively there are chemical ant killers on the market that can be used to good effect. If you are determined to kill them then you may want to use chemical bait that is taken back to the nest and shared among all of the ants, thereby ensuring that the nest is completely destroyed. You can pick this type of ant control up at most garden centres.



How can I stop ants on my garden vegetables?

Ants are generally quite beneficial in the garden as they feed on sap sucking aphids and the honeydew that they produce. You could try applications of ant deterrent and watch to see where they move to. If you keep applying it wherever they move, then sooner or later they will find somewhere to live which will be less of an inconvenience to you. Applying broad greasebands or gluebands around the base of any containers you have may help to discourage them from setting up home in your plant pots.

It is also well worth encouraging insectivorous birds to your garden who will help to keep the ant population down. You should try to keep aphid infestations under control in your garden too, as aphids provide an excellent food source for ants - ants will even ‘farm’ aphids in order to harvest the sugar rich honeydew that they produce!

Alternatively there are chemical ant killers on the market that can be used to good effect. You may want to use chemical bait that is taken back to the nest and shared among all of the ants, thereby ensuring that the nest is completely destroyed. You can pick this type of ant control up at most garden centres.



How do you get rid of ants in compost bins?

There are a few options available to try and solve this problem! Firstly you could try regularly disturbing the compost bin contents, either by making use of a compost aerator or pushing a garden fork in and twisting. Ants will not live in regularly disturbed soil.

You could also try parasitic nematodes which are a microscopic worm (Natural Pest Control - Just Ants Treatment). These kill ants and deter them from forming nests in treated areas. The nematodes are simply watered directly into the compost from late spring and are perfectly safe for children, pets, plants and wildlife. Chemical ant powder is an option although I would be careful about using the compost after it has been treated - make sure you wear gloves and check the label for advice.



Why are there lots of ants on my peonies?

Ants do like peony flowers buds and flowers due to the sweet nectar found in and around these parts - they’re a common sight at this time of year (June). The ants shouldn’t do any harm and will disappear once the flowers have finished.



Why have I got ants all over the trunks of my apple trees? Will this be a problem for the fruit?

Ants are a usually an early warning signal for the presence of aphids. Ants are attracted to aphids, who excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which comes from the sap of the plants that they feed on. Ants themselves will do no harm to your tree, but they feed on the honeydew and so they farm colonies of aphids in order to ensure a steady supply of their favourite treat. If you inspect your tree it is likely that you will find evidence of aphids - just follow the trail of ants! These may be damaging to the tree if it is still quite young, but you can spray them with soapy water to get rid of them. Once the aphids have gone, then the ants will leave of their own accord.