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I recently put dahlias in the flower bed and today whilst weeding I noticed after several bites there is an Ants nest under one I have ant powder but was wondering if I put that around the plant would it have any harmful effect on it.


  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,307
    I find killing ants totally over the top. They tend to move fairly quickly and do no harm. Maybe my granny that used to use industrial amounts of ant powder traumatised me for life 😂
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • debra2019debra2019 Posts: 20
    Thanks for your comment but  I’m like your gran, hate them so no amount of industrial ant powder is too much 
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,548
    Many ant powders are indiscriminate killers that will kill beneficial insects as well as ants and have a detrimental effect on your soil health. I can’t imagine its very good for plant roots either. Give the dahlia a really good soaking with a squirt of a garden-friendly soap mixed in in the watering can (not WUL). That should roust them out, but they will just move on somewhere else. I think you just have to accept them as part of the eco-system and be thankful they are not in your house!
  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,214
    OH used something you can dilute and water on to get rid of an ants nest in our lawn but I don't know what it was as I told him not to so he did it when I was out! Nematodes work well to persuade the ants to move away but don't kill them.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,567
    Ants in the lawn are one thing and we leave them alon because we enjoy seeing the hoopoes and green woodpeckers coming to feed on them.

    Ants in the borders are another matter as their tunnels and nests can leave plant roots hanging in mid air and getting thirsty and dessicated and harmig the plants concerned.

    I have used the oil of cloves trick very successfully but, Philippa, maybe you just needed rather more of the solution I recommend.  5 litres of water for one small bottle of essential oil of cloves.  Clearly, for a big pot or a large nest you need to double or triple the quantities.

    It doesn't harm the ants but they move on as they don't like the smell.   Keeping pots and borders moist is also a good deterrent as ants like dry nests.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,327
    keep the dahlia well watered. It will like it and the ants won't. They'll go somewhere else nice and dry though.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
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