How to Get Rid of Ants Around Rose Bushes: A Full Guide

by Jennifer

Ants, while beneficial in many ecosystems, can become unwelcome pests when they invade our gardens, particularly around delicate plants like rose bushes. Not only do they disrupt the aesthetic appeal of the garden, but they can also cause harm to the roses themselves by farming aphids and other pests. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to control and eliminate ants around rose bushes, ranging from natural remedies to chemical treatments. In this article, we will explore these methods in detail to help you maintain a healthy and vibrant rose garden.


Understanding the Relationship Between Ants and Aphids

Before delving into methods for controlling ants around rose bushes, it’s essential to understand the symbiotic relationship between ants and aphids. Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that feed on the tender shoots and leaves of rose bushes. They secrete a sticky substance known as honeydew, which is rich in sugars and attracts ants. In exchange for protection from predators and transportation to new food sources, ants “farm” aphids, tending to them and harvesting their honeydew.

Natural Remedies for Ant Control

1. Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance made from fossilized remains of diatoms. It acts as a desiccant, drying out the exoskeletons of insects upon contact. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the base of rose bushes to create a barrier that ants will avoid.

2. Citrus Peels: Ants are repelled by the scent of citrus. Place citrus peels around the base of rose bushes or create a citrus-infused spray by boiling citrus peels in water and spraying the solution around the affected area.

3. Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil has strong ant-repelling properties. Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water and spray it around the base of rose bushes. Reapply the solution regularly, especially after rainfall.

4. Vinegar Solution: Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar to create a natural ant deterrent. Spray the solution directly onto ant trails and around the base of rose bushes. Take care not to apply vinegar directly to the plants, as it may cause damage.

5. Cinnamon: Ants dislike the smell of cinnamon. Sprinkle ground cinnamon around the base of rose bushes or create a cinnamon-infused spray by boiling cinnamon sticks in water and spraying the solution around the affected area.

See Also: 6 Bugs And Insects That Love Eating Petunias

Cultural Practices to Discourage Ants

1. rune Overhanging Branches: Ants often use overhanging branches as bridges to access rose bushes. Regularly prune back branches that touch or hang over the rose bushes to disrupt their pathways.

2. Remove Aphid Host Plants: Eliminate other plants in the vicinity that may host aphids, such as weeds or overgrown vegetation. By reducing the aphid population, you can discourage ants from colonizing around your rose bushes.

3. Maintain Good Hygiene: Keep the garden clean and tidy to remove potential food sources for ants. Promptly remove fallen leaves, petals, and other organic debris from around rose bushes to minimize hiding spots and breeding grounds for ants.

4. Mulch with Natural Materials: Mulching around rose bushes with natural materials like cedar chips or pine needles can deter ants. These materials have strong scents that ants find unpleasant, helping to discourage them from nesting near the plants.

Chemical Control Options

1. Ant Baits: Ant baits contain insecticides mixed with attractive bait that ants will carry back to their colonies. Place ant baits near ant trails or around the base of rose bushes, ensuring they are inaccessible to children and pets.

2. Insecticidal Soap: Insecticidal soap is a low-toxicity option for controlling ants and other pests on rose bushes. Spray the soap solution directly onto ant trails and affected areas of the plant. Repeat the application as needed, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Boric Acid: Boric acid is a natural insecticide that disrupts the digestive systems of ants, leading to their demise. Mix boric acid with sugar or another attractive bait and place it in areas frequented by ants. Exercise caution when using boric acid, as it can be toxic if ingested by humans or pets.

4. Professional Pest Control Services: If ant infestations persist despite your best efforts, consider hiring a professional pest control service. Experienced pest control professionals can assess the extent of the infestation and recommend appropriate treatment options tailored to your specific needs.


Ants can pose a significant nuisance to rose bushes, but with the right strategies, their presence can be effectively managed. By understanding the relationship between ants and aphids, employing natural remedies, implementing cultural practices, and, when necessary, utilizing chemical control options, you can keep ants at bay and ensure the health and beauty of your rose garden. Remember to always follow safety precautions and use environmentally friendly methods whenever possible to maintain a harmonious balance between pest control and environmental stewardship.


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