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Black ants in plant pots

I have several potted plants outside, shaded: orchids, desert roses, different bonsai plants. The soil in all the pots is infested with black ants. When I water them, the ants come running out and completely cover the plants and tables or surrounding floor the pots sit on. I imagine the ants are nesting around the roots of all these plants, possibly feeding on the roots. I've tried flooding them out with excess water but the come right back. What can I do?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

It's more likely that the ants are feeding on aphids that may be present. Are the leaves of the plants sticky with "honeydew" secreted by aphids? If so, use insecticidal soap on the aphids and that may solve your ant problem. If not, treat the soil itself with carbaryl (Sevin) insecticide.

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