How Do I Get Rid Of Ants In My Greenhouse?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:51 pm

Ants are able to squeeze through even the narrowest openings. Once you have picked up the scent of a food source, an ant trail will form after a short time and the little insects will take up residence there.

The greenhouse is a true oasis of well-being for ants. There are hardly any natural predators but at the same time some food sources. The ant feeds on voracious larvae and other biomass. Thus, it is not considered exclusively a pest, but definitely performs a useful function in the greenhouse.

How Do I Get Rid Of Ants In My Greenhouse?

However, if you notice that the ant infestation is getting out of hand, you should take countermeasures. Otherwise, the ant will not be limited to the greenhouse, but will also enter the house and kitchen. Learn the best way to combat the ant in the greenhouse.

The symbiosis of the ant and aphid

Ameise und Blattlaus

The ant itself is not so much considered a pest. In most cases, it is even welcome and important for the ecosystem. Nevertheless, the ant rarely remains alone in the greenhouse. It is often joined by aphids, which pose a much greater threat to your plants.

The reason that the ant attracts aphids is that the aphids feed on the sweet sap of the plant. They do not target the sugar, but only the protein parts of the plant sap. The sugar is metabolized and excreted. The resulting product is known as honeydew.

For ants, honeydew is a welcome source of food. It consists almost exclusively of sugar and provides plenty of energy. The ant takes advantage of this fact.

Some ants literally breed aphids in their own nests. There, the pests are safe from predators and are raised in a caring manner. In return, the ants receive the honeydew.

To avoid an infestation of aphids in the greenhouse, it is worthwhile to fight the ants early. Otherwise, sooner or later, the first aphids will certainly arrive and cause much more damage than the ants. Use various home remedies to get rid of the aphid.

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What damage is done in the greenhouse?

The ant in the greenhouse is not directly considered a pest. In fact, it proves useful because it eats other pests, such as larvae and caterpillars. Thus, it has an important place in the ecosystem and at first glance does not appear to pose a threat to the greenhouse.

Indirectly, however, the attraction effect on aphids turns out to be not very pleasant. This is because the aphid is much more feared as a pest. It feeds on the healthy plants and mainly young shoots. Due to the large number of aphids, not all plants survive this infestation and the only option left is disposal.

Thus, the main damage comes from the aphid and not the ant. Nevertheless, the ant can also cause damage in isolated cases.

This is the case, for example, if it is a wood ant. The wood ant eats through the wood and can be a real danger to the greenhouse. Especially if this was built of wood, the statics are in danger. The wood ant should therefore be removed from the greenhouse from the beginning.

The ant could also cause a nuisance in the soil. It likes to burrow through the soil and can cause lifting and instability of the floor slabs there. What leads to a higher risk of tripping on the patio is also a nuisance in the greenhouse that should not be underestimated.

Relocate the ants in the greenhouse

If you do not want to take a risk and remove the ant from the greenhouse, there are several ways to do this. The easiest one is to locate the ants’ nest. You can do this by tracing the ant trail and seeing where the ants prefer to stay.

A particularly animal-friendly method is to relocate the ants. To do this, take an empty flower pot and fill it with some wood wool. This way you have created a nice place in which the ants feel comfortable. Place the flower pot near the nest or in the flight path. After a few days the ants will consider the flowerpot as their new home and will settle the first larvae there. Now you can take the flower pot and relocate it together with its inhabitants. Place the flower pot far away in nature, where the ants will spread and pose no danger to you or your garden.

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Ant bait

If you want to get rid of ants as quickly and effectively as possible, you can use ant traps. These small bait boxes are equipped with an attractant and an ant poison inside. The ants reach the bait and ingest the poison. They carry this to the nest, where it is distributed among all the inhabitants.

The effect of the poison is somewhat delayed. After about 2 to 3 days, the entire colony will have fallen victim to the poison and you will have effectively controlled the ants in the greenhouse.

Using the ant bait proves to be beneficial, as it does not pose any danger to other animals or small children. The poison is well sealed inside and acts only against the ant. The delayed action ensures that the entire nest is controlled and the ants do not spread again.

Plants against the ant

Lavendel - Gewächshaus

If you want to prevent the ant from settling in your greenhouse, you can also rely on the effect of some plants. This is because the ant has a fine sense of smell, which serves as its orientation. If plants emit an intense odor, this is a clear restriction for the ant and it will prefer to keep a greater distance. This applies to the following plants, among others:

  • Chili
  • Cloves
  • Lavender
  • Lemon

The essential oils and other scents are repulsive to the ant. Protect your greenhouse by making odor-intensive plants home, thus not creating a comfortable place for the ant.

Exterminators against ants in the greenhouse

If your own attempts have not been successful and the ant is becoming more and more of a nuisance, you can also call the exterminator for help. The exterminator is better trained in dealing with the ants and other pests. He examines where the ants prefer to stay and applies the agent in a targeted manner. In addition, he achieves a long-term effect that prevents a new infestation.

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The cost of using an exterminator against ants varies. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you should expect costs of at least 150 euros. The actual fight takes only a few hours. If your own methods have not been effective, then call a professional to fight the ants in the greenhouse.

The ants in the greenhouse

The greenhouse represents an optimal place for the ants to take up residence. If you grow vegetables, ants can feed on them and due to the absence of natural predators, the ants spread rapidly. If aphids then join them, your plants are exposed to a high risk.

Even though the ant is sometimes considered a beneficial insect, the damage to the greenhouse is not to be sneezed at. Start fighting the ants early and you will avoid major damage. Place ant baits or relocate the nest independently. Take appropriate preventive measures so that the ants prefer to choose another place to settle.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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