I have a terrarium in my room containing a mixture of carnivorous plants. Recently the ants invaded the house and a few found my Nepenthes, now the pitchers are full of ants! When there was only a few I didn't mind, however their numbers are increasing. The pitchers are regularly surrounded by 10+ ants and I'm afraid they might be trying to make a nest in the pot... While my plant loves it, I can't have this many ants in my room, they're getting into everything.
Does anyone know of a something safe to use to kill the ants that won't harm my plants? Or a way to stop the ants from reaching the plants? I'm unable to move the plants outside or anywhere else in the house.
I have had this problem with orchids and nepenthes (most recent was about a month ago). It's entertaining at first to have them come in and fill up your pitchers, but when one day you come home and there is a stream of them infesting the pots, excavating the media, with multiple queens laying eggs it loses its charm. I have found spinosad as a drench very effectively (Captain Jacks Dead bug brew, Monterey Garden Insect Spray, etc.) with no harm to the plants. It's actually listed for fire ant control...
An easy solution pour round your terrarium some inches broad baking soda. It takes away the scent road, the ants need to find their way.
Another solution is get some amazon ants (Polyergus or other species)and let them free insde the terrarium. Their alarm pheromon frightens the other species away.
Or If there is this species in your country Lasius fuliginosus catch some hundred workers put them into the tank. No other species likes these ants.
Formica ants with great anthills and many hundred thousand workers are reportet to leave their home when about a thousand of these Lasius f. ants are put on top of their hill. They have a scent which smells to us like pyroligneous acid. No other species likes their chemical weapon.
They wont stay so its not dangerous for you. They fight with their smell.
Workers feed on the sweet juice of aphids in trees and you often see many thousand workers running up and down some trees in thin lines.
When I used to keep ants some 50ty years ago I used to line the rim of the terrarium with talcum powder or paraffin oil. It works well.
Even better was a tecnical aproach the father of a friend buildt for me. To lines of copper band with a small gap in between an some low current in between. But I cant remember how he did construct it and he is dead now so I cant ask.
The ants tried to cross this road and got stunned. They recovered after some seconds. It should work with a battery I think and no great fuzz.
They learned fast and stayed inside. It should work the other way round.
Last edited by axel; 12-20-2015 at 03:54 AM.