Out, damned ants

Actually I LIKE ants. My friend has a beloved umbrella tree in a huge pot, that has been outside for the summer (zone 7). It has become infested with ants, on the leaves and especially in the soil of the pot. My friend doesn't want ants in the house, as they crawl on him when he's meditating and in general disturb his domestic tranquility :-) I'd like to offer him an alternative to poisoning the little critters.
I want to suggest a brisk spraying of the leaves, then thoroughly soaking the pot in water and leaving it out (on the ground, not on the deck) for a couple of days. Does that sound like it will do the trick?
TIA,
stella
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Trick or treat?
Why not get yourself an anteater?
If not, how about a horned toad?

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Maybe. They might get flooded out, but you can't count on it. It would be best to follow your flooding treatment with repotting the plant. You may find that the ants have carried of a good bit of the potting soil to make room for their colony. You can hose off any remaining ants, trim the roots a bit if it's rootbound, and give it some fresh soil. It's probably due for a repotting anyhow, right?
Sue
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great suggestion Sue! It's not potted so well anyway, with soil up to the very rim of the pot so it's hard to water.
If that doesn't work, I shall consider anteaters, horned toads, and yellow-shafted flickers.
By the way, does anyone know if these umbrella trees take well to pruning? This thing has gotten leggy as all getout, and flops all over the place. Sort of charming because it has a big space indoors, but maybe I can trim it at the same time it's being repotted.
s
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Try good old fashioned cinnamon! It stopped ants coming into the my house, but I don't know if it will work with a potted plant, but it's worth a try and wouldn't hurt the plant. I would just sprinkle it top of the soil, use quite a bit. Let me know if this works!
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