Getting Rid of Ants on Roses?

March 9, 2010

Two garden ants on red roseThe ants are eating my roses and it's leaves. I sprayed the leaves, but the spray is harmful to the leaves, too. A friend told me to wrap a plastic bag around the base of the plant, but the ants just crawl over that, too. Any suggestions?


Hardiness Zone: 10a

By mexicojerry from Chapala, Mexico


March 12, 20103 found this helpful
Best Answer

Are you sure the ants are eating the roses? Or are the ants eating the sweet sap that aphids secrete. Aphids do eventually kill roses because they literally suck the life from plants, and secrete so-called "honeydew" which ants lap up and take back to their nest to feed their larva and their queen, so I have read.

To remedy the problem, whether it is ants or aphids, I have had excellent results using "BAYER" brand "Complete Garden Care". It works two ways. It feeds your plants while it protects your plants from parasites. They also make "Complete Rose Care" which works the same way but contains food specifically for Roses. And they also make concentrated sprays for gardens that are 100% safe for kids, pets and wildlife once dry. I highly recommend the Bayer garden products. Pat T in Ocala

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March 12, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

As somebody already said, I don't think ants eat roses. Where you have ants on plants, there are always aphids on the leaves or on the buds.


The easiest way to deal with aphids in an organic manner is to spray the leaves and buds in the mornings with a strong stream of cold water from a hose. This will knock the aphids to the ground. Try and direct the water to the undersides of the leaves where you will see aphid eggs and young aphid hatchlings. Do this every third day or so. Do it in the early morning, as you do not want wet leaves for the night.

Examine the rose leaves closely. You will most easily spot them on the undersides of leaves. Aphids can be black, red, yellow, green, or white, and they can very destructive to a plant. Good luck.

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March 22, 20100 found this helpful
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Being in Mexico they could be leaf cutting ants, that would be "eating" the plant. There is a bait that you apply around their nest that can kill out the colony, otherwise you would need to keep applying insecticide on the plants.


If they are leaf cutting ants, a very large ant, there is no mistake that they are doing the damage rather than some other unseen pest.

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June 11, 2018

Ants are eating my rose buds, they are literally eating into them with no other damage to rose bush. What do you suggest I do?


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June 11, 20180 found this helpful

Sprinkle with black pepper. Reapply after it rains.

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June 11, 20180 found this helpful

Wow! That is unusual but not unheard of. This site has natural solutions that are safe for the plant.


In the house, we use regular cinnamon to keep ants away. You could try sprinkling the spice on the buds and ground around the plants.

Be sure to keep small children and pets away from treated plants.

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June 12, 20180 found this helpful

I'll try the pepper tonight & hope this works

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June 12, 20180 found this helpful

Insecticidal soap is good for killing lots of bugs/fungus on plants but I'm not sure how effective it will be on ants. But since it will not harm your plants then trying it would not endanger your rose bush.


  • Here is a DIY recipe for insecticidal soap that seems to work as well as the purchased product.
  • It will work if you use tap water but it works best with soft/distilled water.
  • Have you checked around the bush to make sure there are no ants? Usually there will be a large colony making a home in the soil (if you see them on a bush).
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