If you’re interested in keeping your home bug free, then preventing ants from entering your house is extremely important. While most people know that leaving food out on the counter has a potential to attract ants, few people realize that the plants outside of your home may also be leading ants into your property.

There are a variety of different plants that can attract ants, and if you have these plants in your yard, you may be increasing your chances of an ant infestation. Read about a few plants that can attract ants, and learn how you can get rid of these pests with professional help.

1. Peonies

Image via Flickr by Fernando.Kokubun

Peonies are a popular choice for homeowners that want gorgeous, sweet-smelling flowers in their yard. However, as you may know, there is a strong link between peonies and ants, as the small insects can’t seem to resist these flowers.

The reason ants love peonies is because this plant has a gland that is called a nectary, which produces a mixture of amino acids, sugar and water that’s irresistible to ants. Generally, you will see black ants on a peony, but any type of ant that feeds on sugar may be attracted to this flower.

2. Wild Parsnip

Wild parsnip is a truly aggravating weed that can be found in wet climates. These plants are extremely large, often topping out at 5 feet, and their sap can cause painful burns wherever it’s exposed to sunlight on your skin.

While humans find wild parsnip annoying, ants love this common weed. Like many of the plants that attract ants, wild parsnips possess nectaries, a valuable food source for ants and other insects. Virtually every type of ant can be found feeding on the nectar of wild parsnip, including larger species like the Formica ant.

3. Desert Willow

If you live in the Southwest region of the United States, then you are probably familiar with a flower known as the desert willow. Because of its attractive coloring, the desert willow is an extremely popular choice in Southwest landscaping, and can be found at a variety of homes. However, while this flower can make your yard look great, it may also be bringing ants to your property.

The bulbs of the desert willow contain nectar, and in addition to attracting hummingbirds, ants also love this sweet flower. In particular, the red Forelius ant, which is found in desert climates, loves the nectar of the desert willow. Before planting this flower at your home, make sure you’re ready to deal with a potential ant infestation.

Stop Ants From Entering Your Home

Although plants can add to the beauty of your property, they also have the potential to attract pests, especially ants. If you suspect your home is experiencing an ant infestation due to the plants in your yard, then your best bet is to consult with a pest control professional.

The right pest control company can examine your home inside and out, and can tell you what might be attracting ants to your home. By working with a pest expert, you can keep all sorts of insects out of your home.