Ants on Pumpkin Plant? (Explained For Beginners)

Are you seeing ants around your pumpkin plants and wondering what they are doing with them? Are they harmful or beneficial to your plants? The following facts will tell you how to deal with ants.

Unfortunately, pumpkins are a target for a wide variety of plant pests. These pests include ants, aphids, snails, beetles, slugs, vine borers, and squash bugs. Pumpkins, whether displayed indoors or outdoors, serve as an ant magnets. So it’s only natural to find ants on your pumpkin plant every now and then.

Ants can act as a friend and a foe for your pumpkin plant. A few helpful ants can go a long way, but an army can quickly overwhelm a scene. So if you are worried about seeing a string of ant trail over your pumpkin plant, let’s find out if they are actually that harmful or not!

Why Are There Ants On My Pumpkin Plant?

Wildlife will not fail to take notice when you set your pumpkin plant outside. But unfortunately, especially when pumpkin flowers bloom, they will become more accessible to animals like squirrels, rats, and mice nibbling away at your precious pumpkin plant.

On the other hand, ants, fruit flies, and other common pests can also move in to feast on your pumpkin.

Ants are annoying but won’t hurt your plants in a pot. Even so, having a lot of ants near your pumpkin plants can be bad news.

Aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, and others are all nuisance insects that produce honeydew, which ants find delicious. These insects might be the primary reason your pumpkin plant is now home to a nest of ants.

In the fall and winter, ants will “herd” aphids. This means ants will protect these insects from predators to get their honeydew.

This honeydew is the sweet feces that the aphids produce. So if you find groups of soft-bodied aphids in the soil, ants will most likely crawl all over the plant’s stems and leaves.

Can Ants Hurt Your Pumpkin Plants?

In most cases, a small number of ants in your yard won’t give you any significant problems.

The following, however, should be taken into account if you happen to come across a large group of them:

1. Pest Populations Can Rise Due to Ants

Most of us are well aware of this, but ants are super fond of sugar. However, do you know what aphids and other sap-sucking insects naturally produce, such as scale, whiteflies, and mealybugs?

It’s honeydew, a sticky liquid excretion that contains sugar. And here’s where things get interesting: just as humans farm cows to get milk, ants cultivate aphids to get honeydew.

Back in the nest, they’ll distribute the honeydew among the workers and the queen. Also, ants sometimes transport aphids to their colony or healthier plants.

If you’re curious, the technical word for this partnership is “mutualistic symbiosis.” So having too many ants in your garden can significantly boost pest infestation in your pumpkins.

2. Ants May Damage Property and Cause Pain

Some of the issues that ants might bring are more about how you interact with your garden than the garden itself. There are two species of ants in particular that are a nuisance.

Fire ants are among the most feared ant species because they tend to sting if provoked. Moreover, their venom causes a stinging welt that can linger for days.

You can imagine the difficulty of harvesting if fire ants have invaded your plants. Unlike fire ants, carpenter ants can’t sting but may bite with their powerful jaws.

Then they spray formic acid into the wound, which causes a burning sensation. A bite from a carpenter ant is not a pleasant experience either.

How Do Ants Help Your Pumpkin Garden?

If you’ve ever wondered if ants in your garden are good or bad, the truth is both.

Ants may be helpful and destructive, so keep that in mind while you tend your garden. So how can ants exactly help your pumpkin garden? Let’s take a look.

1. Naturally, Ants Are Effective Pest Controllers

Ants, like ladybugs and green lacewings, are considered helpful insects because they prey on pest eggs and larvae or disrupt pests while feeding.

Some farmers intentionally release ants as part of their Integrated Pest Management plan because they are so good at reducing pest populations.

Plus, this isn’t a brand-new concept. There are records of farmers utilizing ants to combat pests as long back as 300 A.D.

2. Ants Can Improve Pollination Rates

Since pollinators have been declining, it has become increasingly difficult for many gardeners to consistently produce large quantities of fruit. However, ants can help out.

As they systematically move from blossom to flower in quest of nectar, ants frequently serve as accidental pollinators. So surprisingly, having ants can actually help you produce more pumpkins!

3. Ants are Essential to a Balanced Ecosystem

Ants play an important role in traditional gardening by aerating the soil by tunnelling below the surface to bring oxygen, water, and other nutrients to the plant’s roots. Additionally, they aid in the breakdown of plant-nourishing organic matter like leaves and insect carcasses.

There is no dirt involved in a Tower Garden. However, ants still have the potential to improve crop conditions.

In addition, ants are a tasty meal for larger species like lizards, frogs, and birds. Thus these animals indirectly assist control pest populations by eating the pests that threaten human habitation.

How Do You Get Rid of Ants From Your Pumpkin Plant?

Ants are among the oldest living species on Earth, which may change your mind about letting them into your garden. Yes, these creatures shared the Earth with dinosaurs.

However, this suggests that they avoided extinction during the last one and are adept at adjusting to new environments.

So, ants may be challenging to manage in your pumpkin garden, but not impossible. Here are a few ways you can get rid of ants from causing harm to your pumpkin plants –

1. Place Ant-repellent Scents Around the Pumpkin Plant’s Base

Ants have a strong sense of smell. However, there are some scents they avoid. Mint and cinnamon are among these ingredients.

Lay some gum with a mint or cinnamon flavor around the damaged plant’s base. Alternatively, you might use cinnamon and scatter it over the plant’s foundation.

2. Arrange Ant-repelling Food Around the Pumpkin Plant’s Foundation

You may do this with a variety of different recipes. One option is to surround a plant’s foundation with borax and sugar. Any ants who eat the concoction will perish.

Another winning combination is cornmeal and sugar. The ants will die when the cornmeal expands in their stomachs.

3. Build an Ant Trap Near Your Plant.

Create a paper collar to use as a collar to catch ants. For this, you’ll need to make a circle with a diameter of at least 8 inches or 20.5 cm. Make the hole in the middle of the circle just big enough to wrap around the plant’s stem and roots.

Spread Vaseline on the paper, but only one side. Wrap the collar around the potted plant’s bottom, lubricated side up. Vaseline will prevent the ants from moving.

4. Place Ant-deterrent Plants Around Your Pumpkin Plants

Several plants, including geranium, garlic, henbit, aster, chrysanthemum, calendula, and mint, have a reputation for keeping ants and other pests out of gardens. The ants should stay away if you plant one of these around your sick plant.


Little black ants marching in unison across your beautiful pumpkin plants will destroy their aesthetic value faster than anything else. You might be frustrated when you first see the ants on the pumpkin plants! So here, I tackle the topic in great detail.

Now you can understand why they are roaming about your pumpkin plants to take the necessary actions. Thanks for reading till now!