Many people grow tomatoes in the garden, as these are flavorful and versatile fruits, but they can attract ants due to their juicy texture.
How To Get Rid Of Ants In Tomato Plants? You can get rid of ants in tomato plants by sprinkling cinnamon powder, spreading cucumber peels, applying copper tape, and spraying a soapy solution. Moreover, make toxic barriers for these ants, drench their mounds, and use coffee grounds, boiling water, and insecticidal sprays to remove them. Grow basil or marigold plants, or a water blast can also temporarily remove them.
Removing chewing pests from plants becomes essential because they can cause massive damage to a plant’s stability and integrity by feeding on the roots and leaves.
How do you get rid of ants in tomato plants?
You can use DIY methods to deter ants by making effective barriers for the climbing insects and killing them by spraying toxic chemicals.
Sprinkle cinnamon powder
Cinnamon is a natural deterrent for ants as its strong scent irritates their olfactory receptors and makes them feel disturbed due to the dominating smell.
You can grind cinnamon sticks to make powder and sprinkle it around the tomato plant. The boundary line should be 2 to 3 inches thick to keep insects away.
Inhalation of powdered cinnamon can lead to suffocation or severe problems in breathing, leading to the death of insects. It can deter insects for many days until its scent disappears completely.
Make toxic barriers
You can also make some toxic barrier for ants if they are attacking a plant, as this barrier repels and kills these insects by targeting the internal nervous system or digestive system.
Diatomaceous earth powder is considered toxic for these insects as it contains tiny particles that can penetrate deeper into their skeleton and break the outer layer.
It results in dehydration of their bodies and survival problems, so you can spread diatomaceous earth powder around plants that can help deal with a small population of colonies.
Spread cucumber peels
Cucumber peels have a mild repelling effect on ants due to specific chemical content that can help deter insects by irritating their receptors.
You can spread peels around the base of the tomato plant without worrying about its harmful impact on its growth. These peels cannot kill damaging insects but repel them for a certain time.
Moreover, you have to replace the peels frequently as they can get dry over time, so it is only a temporary solution to remove the attacking pests.
Apply tape on the stem
Copper has insecticidal properties and helps deter ants from plants. You have to wrap the stem with copper tape and wait some time to see the results.
In addition, you can also use duct or double-sided tape to remove insects because its sticky surface can trap crawling insects when they try to climb a stem.
They cannot escape a tape until its stickiness reduces as their tiny feet do not support escape. They cannot pull out their tiny bodies due to the adhesive properties of the tape and die after a few days.
Grow basil or marigold plants
One of the suitable and chemical-free methods to get rid of insects is to grow a basil plant close to the tomato plant. The basil leaves have a deterring scent that can help keep insects away for a long.
It can be a great addition to the garden because the aromatic scent of this herb can deter damaging pests from attacking the plants and destroying their leaves.
Moreover, you can also grow marigolds to protect tomatoes because these tiny ants avoid entering a force field of strong scents and stay away from peripheral areas.
Spray soapy solution
Commonly, ants have less interest in tomato fruit and reach plants if aphids are present as they consume sweet honeydew secretions.
You have to deal with the actual problem to get rid of these insects because there will be little or no infestation in the absence of aphids.
Accordingly, prepare a soapy solution by mixing dishwashing liquid in water and spraying it directly on the plant to collectively remove sap-sucking pests and ants.
Drench ant mounds
You can remove ant mounds from the garden by drenching internal tunnels after pouring a solution with insect-killing properties.
Mix compost tea, orange oil, and molasses in equal quantities to prepare a drenching solution. It is better to use hot boiling water because it does not cause harm to roots.
These ingredients are deadly for ants but provide unique benefits to the plant. So, pour it directly on the mounds if they are present close to the base of the tomato plant.
Compost tea has deterring effects on insects, while the insecticidal properties of orange oil can efficiently kill insects after direct contact with their bodies.
Blast of water
You can remove a small number of ants by water blast that can make them lose grip on the stems and leaves.
Moreover, they cannot resist high-pressure water and fall on the garden floor when you target these smaller creatures with a hosepipe.
It is essential to adjust the water pressure as high pressure can be damaging to the plant’s stability. So, I found this method helpful whenever I have ant infestations on my tomato plants.
Spread coffee ground
Coffee is a natural repellent for ants as its strong smell can confuse them about the direction of movement. It cannot kill insects but keeps them away from a specific area due to its scent.
Spread the coffee powder and make a thick boundary of a few inches around the base of the plant. Its odor creates a force field and pushes insects away when they try to cross it.
One of my friends used coffee powder to remove pavement ants from plants in the garden and found satisfactory results in a few days.
Use insecticidal sprays
Insecticidal sprays are pretty effective against insects because they are mainly designed to target these nuisance pests.
You can spray these toxic chemicals by yourself if you find yourself expert enough to deal with the chemicals without any safety risk.
However, call professional exterminators and ask for their help to deal with the large population of insects if you do not find ways to deal with them.
Pour boiling water on nests
You can kill ants by pouring hot boiling water on nests as they cannot tolerate high temperatures and die quickly when their exoskeleton burns.
Moreover, you have to be careful because boiling water can cause significant damage to the roots when you pour it on the soil.
It is good to use this method when their nests are present at some distance from the plant to protect it from damage. Look for suitable ways if you want to remove insects from it.
Why do ants attack tomato plants?
Commonly, ants attack tomato plants for aphids because they love to eat the sweet secretions of these sap-sucking pests. They can easily consume and obtain nutrients from honeydew excreta.
Some species build relationships with these pests and help them grow into adults without any risk of predators because they protect aphids against predators.
Accordingly, they keep coming until aphids are present, so you have to deal with them primarily, as their absence can reduce the risk of infestation.
Moreover, they can also reach a plant for extrafloral nectaries because these insects consume nectar or sticky secretions of flowers.
Furthermore, other smaller insects and food sources can draw ants on a plant, so you have to stop them from damaging it directly or indirectly.
What type of ants are attracted to tomato plants?
A variety of ant species can attack tomato plants, but mainly, the sugar-loving insects can reach there to enjoy the sweet secretions of aphids and flowers.
You can see pavement and argentine ants crawling on the stems to reach flowers during spring when the flower buds open. They can easily access extrafloral nectaries for food and eat nectar.
In addition, the leafcutter ants can access the garden area and reach plants to cut leaves and build a platform for fungal growth.
The presence of tiny holes in leaves indicates an attack by these leaf-cutting ants.
Some species of carpenter and red imported fire ants can also reach there for food or shelter, making tunnels close to the roots and living there.