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I think I've found the 'Magic Cure' for ants!

18 years ago

I have been all over the net, using european search engines (I exhausted the domestic ones) to see if I could find out how to control ants in the greenhouse. I think I may have found the magic cure.

Lavender Oil

I just happened to have some cheap lavender oil I bought at a dollar store a year ago and figured what the heck. I got a cotton swab and swabbed all the cracks & crevices on the outside where they like to build their nests, then put some in a spray bottle with water, enough to where I could smell it in the water and saturated the work bench with the solution.

It's been two weeks now and there is at least an 80% reduction of ants inside the greenhouse and absolutely no new nests on the outside. I used to spray them out of the cracks n crevices with the hose every few days so I know they come back and start over again within hours .. Not anymore. I just got finished reswabbing everything and put a fresh coat of lavender water on my work bench.

I'm also going to get more oil and mix up more lavender water and saturate the pea gravel in the greenhouse. I've even swabbed some oil across my door jambs going into the house and the ant's wont cross it! It also seems to repel the mosquitoes as well since I haven't been bitten once since spraying the lavender water .. usually I needed a blood transfusion if I stayed in there longer than 15 minutes.

I'd like a volunteer to repeat my experiment using peppermint oil to see if the same results are achieved. It was mentioned along with the Lavender Oil. Has to be oil based so it won't evaporate. Any volunteers out there?


Comments (5)

  • conifers
    18 years ago

    That's cool.

    I recently read that Lavender buds wrapped with a daylilly leaf and tied with string when put in a fountain will stop the growth of algae. It won't correct any previously formed, but it will stop any more from forming. Of course if you were to do this in the won't get algae at all!

    Thanks for the tip. There's mine!

  • gardner_dragon
    18 years ago

    I will give the peppermint oil a try. I seem to have been invaded by ants coming into my house. I have a bedroom that I have converted into an indoor greenhouse for the winter and seem to have developed ants coming in through the window sills and corners of walls. I have peppermint oil in my pantry and will give it a try. Will post back in a few weeks with the results. Thanks for the idea. If this works it will be a much needed wealth of infor for all gardners.

  • stressbaby
    18 years ago

    I have watched the ants threads with interest. Whenever I see ants in the GH, I follow the trail. Inevitably at the end of the trail I find some scale or mealybugs. It seems to me that the ants are markers that lead me to the real GH nasties. Any thoughts?

  • Xeramatheum
    Original Author
    18 years ago

    The ants I have are pharoh ants. They do not make nests in the ground as far as I know. They tend to nest in cracks and crevices of the greenhouse or actually live in potted plants. In following their trails, I really haven't come across what you described except for occasional aphids.

    In an effort to try and stop them all together, I have taken everything out of the gh and am repotting them in ant free soil. I spray the roots with water til there is none left and inspect for ants .. If i see any I dunk the whole plant into a insecticide/fugicide solution for about 2 minutes, then rinse off and pot.

    Along with the lavender oil treatment, I hope this keeps the populations down considerably this winter. I have a large colony of anoles living in my gh and they seem to take care of all the other nastys.

    I have also found that if you sprinkle some diazinon or dursban underneath pots that are outside, it keeps ants from getting into pots. Wish I had thought of this a lot earlier.


  • sowngrow (8a)
    18 years ago

    I have lavender essential oil I could try. What is the ratio of lavender e.o. to water that you used?

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