Sunday, July 15, 2012

Planting Ant Repellent Flowering Plants

Ants are among the most irritating pests to have around; plus some species deliver stings that itch and blister. So, it's no wonder that people want to get rid of them and keep these insects away from homes and gardens. One way to prevent ants from making a home inside your property is by growing plants that repel ants. But for those who also want to add cheer to their garden, flowering plants are wonderful options. Here are some nice options.

Lavender is certainly a fantastic choice. It's a plant that produces beautiful flowers that add a splash of elegance to any garden. But more than that, the scent that the plant creates, which is very appealing to people, is very repulsive to ants. Planting lavender in a garden or having a pot indoors will help keep away ants. In addition to this, lavender leaves and flowers can be dried. Once these are dried, these can then be crushed and sprinkled near or on areas where ants are usually found. Lavender oil, which can be bought in aroma therapy stores, can also be used. Cotton balls soaked with the oil can be placed in crevices or holes that ants use to get inside a house. The oil can be wiped onto ant trails to confuse and keep the insects away.

Another effective ant repeller is the herbaceous flowering plant, tansy. Tansy has fern-like leaves and lively yellow flowers. It is often planted with other fruit or flowering plants that attract ants or aphids to reduce infestations on such plants. This is called companion planting. Apart from ants, tansy also fends off flies. The dried and powdered flower heads of tansies have been used as insect repellents for many years. Flowers can also be dried and chained together, making a wreath-like decoration that also wards off various kinds of pesky insects. Leaves and branches can also be placed near windowsills and doors to prevent ants from entering. Tansy also has other beneficial characteristics. For instance, it has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ants do not like the pungent odor that marigolds produce. Marigolds are often used as companion plants for eggplants, tomatoes, as well as root crops or legumes. The roots of the marigold plant releases a chemical that wards off a number of bacteria and insects found underneath the soil. To deter ants and other insects, such as mosquitoes, use marigolds as border or put in pots to place indoors. Unlike tansy, marigolds aren't very invasive. But they have to be replaced each year as these are annual plants.

Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family, and it is well-known that ants hate mint, particularly peppermint. These are low maintenance plants that can survive the sun and the shade. These can be used as border plants to barricade a property from ants. Creeping or low-growing varieties can be planted at the base of plants that attract aphids and ants, such as roses. These can also be used as pretty hanging plants. Pennyroyals create charming lavender flowers that repel not only ants, but also mice, fleas and many other pests.

All in all, ants can either be repelled by or attracted to the scents that flower petals produce. So, if you don't want them around, go for flowering plants or foliage that ants do not like.

The article is by Claire Brent, who writes for several pest control companies. She regularly contributes articles about natural pest control methods to .

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