I was trimming off last year's dead pitchers on my Sarracenia and noticed small black ants on the plants. They appear to be living IN the plant pots. Several came out of the peat when the sides of the pots were tapped. These plants are several years old and I plan to upgrade their pots this year.
At this point, they each have several plants in one pot. In the summer, they get 6-8 hours of sun per day. They live in a plastic tray that is filled with rain water - though in the summer I have to add water from the tap. I live in Hillsboro, Oregon.
How do I get rid of the ants without killing the plants? I'm wary of using anything too toxic, as animals drink from the water around the plants.
RESPONSE BY JEFF DALLAS:
In this situation, the simplest solution is also the easiest, least costly and totally non-toxic. Transplant your plants into fresh soil. Cut off all the pitchers, which is a good thing to do this time of year anyway as the new growth begins. Old pitchers just provide places for fungus, and will die by summer anyway. You can also divide them if they have formed tight masses. Dividing Sarracenia is just like dividing any other perennial. So, transplanting will get rid of any ants that have set up nests in the soil. The ants themselves are not harmful to the plants, but they can harbor aphids.
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