Essential Oils for Ants: What Essential Oil Gets Rid of Ants?

Nowadays, there are multiple pest control solutions available commercially to deal with the ant infestation. Unfortunately, most of them contain harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to the health of your kids and pets. If you don’t want to treat the infested areas with insecticides, you have the option of going with all-natural ant control solutions such as plant-based essential oils.

What essential oil gets rid of ants? Essential oils are popular natural solutions due to their ant repellent properties. They are one of the best organic and non-toxic ways to deter or eradicate ant infestation. The best essential oils for getting rid of ants are cedarwood and patchouli essential oil.

In the following section, we have provided a comprehensive guide on how to use essential oils for ant control. If you are looking for a natural way to deal with your ant infestation, this guide will undoubtedly be of interest to you. Let’s begin!

Essential Oils to Repel Ants | Information

If you want a natural solution to repel ants from your indoor or outdoor settings, then essential oils are something worth looking into. This is an inexpensive, eco-friendly, and safe method to deter ants. The essential oils are extracted from specific plants. These oils contain chemicals that release strong scent, which helps to keep the ants away.

Ants use pheromones for coordination and tracking the location of other ants. The intense smell of essential oils disrupts the ant pheromones trails and distracts them, which in return enables us to control the ant invasion. You can also use plants that contain essential oils (instead of essential oils) to create a barrier to deter the entry of ants in your house or yards.


Can Essential Oils Kill Ants?

Can Essential Oils Kill Ants

Several essential oils have amazing ant repellent and insecticidal properties and are in certain conditions able to kill ants better than other ant control solutions. If you want to use essential oils to kill ants then treat the infested area with cedarwood oil, citrus oil, clove oil, or patchouli oil.

These oils contain chemicals that do not only help with getting rid of ants but also facilitate the prevention of ant re-infestation.


Does Peppermint Essential Oil Repel Ants?

Peppermint oil acts as a natural ant repellent. The main active components of the peppermint essential oil are menthol, pulegone, menthone, and others. Out of them all, menthol is a primary active compound that contains excellent biocidal properties. It is effective against ants as well as mosquitoes, bugs, mites, and other pests.

Put a peppermint oil-soaked cotton ball near entry points of ant to keep them away. Or prepare peppermint oil spray and treat the potential nesting sites of ants to control them. You can also create a barrier of peppermint plants around your house for effective ant control.


What Essential Oil Is Good for Ant Bites?

What Essential Oil Is Good for Ant Bites

Essential oils can also help to relieve itching or pain caused by an ant bite. A number of essential oils contain antimicrobial, anti-itching, and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent infections.

Essential oils that are good for ant bites are mint oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil, chamomile oil, basil oil, etc. You can apply essential oil diluted sprays or ointments to treat the ant bites. This way you will relieve the pain or alleviate itching.


What Essential Oils Are Good for Fire Ant Bites?

Fire ants are aggressive and can attack in groups when they feel threatened. Their bite leaves a painful and burning sensation. After a fire ant bite, you may notice redness or lesion on the affected area. Essential oils that can help with the fire ant bite treatment are lavender oil, chamomile oil, wintergreen oil, basil oil, etc. These oils contain anti-inflammatory, anti-itching, and anti-microbial properties.

Their ointments or diluted sprays can relieve pain, irritation, itching, and redness of the bitten area.  In case you are allergic to the fire ant sting, immediately look for medical advice to avoid any serious health risks.


Are Ants Attracted to Essential Oils?

Essential oils release a strong odor which interferes with the pheromone trails that ants use for social signaling. These oils are mostly used to distract ants and to keep them away from the house and yard. This means that ants are not attracted to essential oils but actually repelled by them. Still, this does not mean that some insects are attracted by them.

For instance, lemon oil repel ants but attract mealybugs, thrips, and Japanese beetles. Similarly, cinnamon oil deter ants but attracts thrips and some bugs. Whereas peppermint oil, rosemary oil, sage oil, thyme oil repel all types of common pests.


List of Essential Oils That Repel Ants

In the following section, we have constructed a list of essential oils that can repel an ant invasion.


Peppermint Essential Oil

Sale
Majestic Pure Peppermint Essential Oil, Pure and Natural, Therapeutic Grade Peppermint Oil, 4 fl. oz.
  • Majestic Pure Peppermint Essential Oil - Pure and natural...
  • Peppermint offers multiple household uses; it provides a...
  • SAFETY WARNING: For external use only. Other than aromatherapy,...
  • Delivered with a premium quality glass dropper for ease-of-use

The essential oil of peppermint contains menthol that acts as an ant repellent. It also relieves pain and itching caused by an ant bite. The strong aroma of the peppermint oil keeps the ants away. For indoor protection against ants, apply peppermint oil at access points that ants. Additionally, place peppermint oil-soaked cotton balls inside cabinets that ants like to visit in search of food or water.


Clove Essential Oil

Majestic Pure Clove Essential Oil- Pure and Natural, Therapeutic Grade Clove Oil - 4 Ounces
  • Pure and Natural Clove Leaf Essential Oil; non-toxic; no...
  • Clove essential oil is derived from the tree Syzgium aromaticum...
  • SAFETY WARNING: For external use only. Other than aromatherapy,...
  • Clove oil blends well with citronella, grapefruit, lemon, orange,...
  • Delivered with a premium quality glass dropper for ease-of-use

Clove bud essential oil is a natural ant repellent. It contains the active component Eugenol which not only repels ants but also helps to get rid of them. The clove bud oil is also effective against fleas, wasps, bugs, flies, cockroaches, and other insects. This oil has a powerful smell, you can use a diluted solution of this essential oil to an effective spray for ant control.


Cinnamon Essential Oil

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Cliganic USDA Organic Cinnamon CASSIA Essential Oil, 100% Pure Natural Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade for Aromatherapy (10ml) | Premium Certified Organic | Cliganic 90 Days Warranty
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC CINNAMON OIL by USDA - the strict oversight of...
  • 100% PURE, ONLY ONE INGREDIENT - Our Premium Cinnamon Oil Organic...
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  • MULTIPURPOSE OIL, BEST BENEFITS
  • PREMIUM BRAND, BOTTLED IN THE USA – Cliganic Organic Cinnamon...

The essential oil of cinnamon comprised of an active ingredient called cinnamaldehyde helps to control ants. You can prepare cinnamon oil ant repellent spray or directly apply cinnamon oil at the entry points to keep the ants away.


Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli Essential Oil - 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Patchouli Oil - 30ml
  • The most UNIQUE and AMAZING SMELLING Patchouli on the market, in...
  • SUPERIOR EXPERIENCE: If you are just trying our Patchouli for the...
  • PURE + RIGOROUS QUALITY TESTING & CONTROLS: Distillation facility...
  • Healing Solutions is SUPERIOR because it offers over 170...

Patchouli essential oil can be used to eliminate ant infestations in your house or yard. Its strong scent prevents the entry or re-infestation of ants. You can apply patchouli essential oil at the doors, windows, and other access points.


Cedarwood Essential Oil

Healing Solutions Cedarwood Essential Oil - 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Cedarwood Oil - 30ml
  • The most UNIQUE and AMAZING SMELLING Cedarwood on the market, in...
  • SUPERIOR EXPERIENCE: If you are just trying our Cedarwood for the...
  • PURE + RIGOROUS QUALITY TESTING & CONTROLS: Distillation facility...
  • Healing Solutions is SUPERIOR because it offers over 170...

Few drops of cedarwood oil can do wonders when it comes to pest control. To prevent the entry of ants in your house apply cedarwood oil-soaked cotton balls at the entry points of your house. You can also diffuse cedarwood essential oil (with help of a diffuser) to treat the infested area.


Citrus Essential Oil

Sale
Artizen Lemon Essential Oil (100% Pure & Natural - UNDILUTED) Therapeutic Grade - Huge 1oz Bottle - Perfect for Aromatherapy, Relaxation, Skin Therapy & More!
  • GUARANTEED HIGHEST QUALITY, MOST POTENT LEMON OIL - What sets...
  • DON'T FALL VICTIM TO CHEAP DILUTED LEMON OIL - Most of the...
  • MOST 4 OUNCE LEMON OILS CONTAIN LESS THAN 1/3 OF NATURAL OIL -...
  • HIGH QUALITY BOTTLES - We use high quality bottles infused with a...
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE - The manufacturer, Artizen...

Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons contain the active compound d-limonene, which is toxic to ants. The strong smell of citrus oil keeps the ants away. Apply citrus oil on the access points that ants use to prevent them from invading.


Tea Tree Essential Oil

Artizen Tea Tree Essential Oil (100% Pure & Natural - UNDILUTED) Therapeutic Grade - Huge 1oz Bottle - Perfect for Aromatherapy, Relaxation, Skin Therapy & More!
  • GUARANTEED HIGHEST QUALITY, MOST POTENT TEA TREE OIL - What sets...
  • DON'T FALL VICTIM TO CHEAP DILUTED TEA TREE OIL - Most of the...
  • MOST 4 OUNCE TEA TREE OILS CONTAIN LESS THAN 1/3 OF NATURAL OIL -...
  • HIGH QUALITY BOTTLES - We use high quality bottles infused with a...
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY AND GUARANTEE - The manufacturer, Artizen...

Tea tree essential oil is an eco-friendly and non-toxic way to prevent ants. This oil is effective against ants, fleas, ticks, and several other pests. You can use tea tree oil diffusion or directly apply it at the entry points to create a barrier against common pests such as ants.


Lemongrass Essential Oil

Handcraft Lemongrass Essential Oil - 100% Pure and Natural - Premium Therapeutic Grade with Premium Glass Dropper - Huge 4 fl. oz
  • 100% PURE & NATURAL LEMONGRASS OIL- Handcraft Blends oils are...
  • PREMIUM THERAPEUTIC GRADE & PREMIUM QUALITY – All Handcraft...
  • HIGH QUALITY GLASS BOTTLE W/ PREMIUM GLASS DROPPER - Our...
  • LEMONGRASS OIL BLENDS WELL WITH - Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clove,...
  • BOTTLED IN THE USA – Handcraft Blends sources their oils from...

Lemongrass essential oil has unique ant-repellent properties. It contains a high quantity of citronella, which masks their pheromone trails and keeps them away from your house. Apply lemongrass oil on the kitchen counters, cabinets, and access points of ants to prevent them from coming inside your home.


Essential Oils for Ants Safe for Dogs, Cats and Pets in General

Although essential oils are natural plant-based products not all of them are safe for cats, dogs, and other pets.

Essential oils that are safe for humans may not be safe for cats and dogs because animals compared to humans usually have heightened and more sensitive smell organs. The scent of essential oils can affect their respiratory tract or even lead to skin reactions or allergies if the pet comes into direct contact with the substance.

Some of the essential oils that are considered to be safe to use near pets are:

  • Chamomile
  • Sage
  • Ginger
  • Cedarwood

Whereas the list of unsafe essential oils includes:

  • Basil
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Citronella
  • Garlic
  • Citrus
  • Lavender
  • Clove bud
  • Tea tree
  • Rosemary
  • Wintergreen
  • Thyme
  • Eucalyptus

Avoid diffusing essential oils that have a hot, cooling, and spicy scent such as peppermint and cinnamon. Keep the room well-ventilated to ensure the safety of pets while using light essential oils.


Essential Oils for Flying Ants: Which Ones Are the Best?

Flying ants appear during the mating season of ants. Several types of essential oils can be used to treat flying ants, some of them are peppermint oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, and citrus oil.

Apply these essential oils at the windows and other access points of ants. They will deter ants from entering your house. You can also use an essential oil diffuser.


How to Get Rid of Ants with Essential Oils | Instructions

One of the most effective natural methods to get rid of ant invasion is the direct application of essential oils or in form of sprays. Essential oils are mostly in-expensive and non-toxic in nature.

To treat the ant infestation at your house or yards, monitor the infested area, and devise a plan where you will apply essential oils. In case you want to eliminate ant infestation, then you should use cedarwood oil, clove bud oil, or patchouli oil. These essential oils will help to eradicate ant colonies and provide protection against re-infestation of ants.

In the following section, we have given a step by step guide on how to get rid of ants using essential oils.


Step 1: Inspection of Access Points

The first step is the inspection of access points that ants use to enter your home. Monitor all the entry points such as doors, windows, and other openings that allow ants to enter your house. Follow the ant trails and look for the potential nesting sites of ants.


Step 2: Application of Essential Oil

After inspection of the entry points, apply ant repellent essential oils at the entry points and near ant trails. Put a few drops of essential oil on the cotton balls and place them in baseboards, kitchen counters, and at the potential nesting sites of ants. Do not let them dry, replace the cotton balls, and re-apply essential oil several times during a day.


Essential Oil Ant Spray, Diffusion Mixture and Plant Based Killers

Essential Oil Ant Spray

You can also prepare insecticide spray based on essential oil to get rid of the ant infestation. Some of the more effective ant repellent sprays are peppermint spray, citrus oil spray, tea tree spray, cinnamon oil spray, and patchouli oil spray. Put the ant repellent solution in a spray bottle and treat all the entry points, ant trails, and potential nesting sites of ants.

To make create a diffusion mixture, prepare a blend of 2 drops of peppermint essential oil, 2 drops of lavender oil, 1 drop of patchouli oil, and 1 drop of orange oil. Diffuse the mixture of these essential oils in the infested room in order to get rid of ants.

Also, if the above mixture is too intensive, try diffusing tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil around the room to eliminate ant colonies.

You can also purchase all-natural plant-based ant killer sprays. Some of the best natural ant killer sprays that we recommend are HARRIS Plant-Based Quick Ant Killer, and All Natural Ant Repellent Spray.

Related: Best Natural Ant Sprays | Kids and Pet-Friendly Sprays


Step 3: Prevent Re-infestation

Prevent re-infestation of ants by sealing all the openings and access points of ants. Take care of cleanliness and regularly dispose of trash. Tightly seal all food items that can lure ant in your house.

Apply ant repellent essential oils at all the entry points of ants or apply ant repellent plants (peppermint, lavender, thyme, etc) around your house to prevent ant invasions.


Essential Oil Recipes for Ants


Peppermint Essential Oil Spray  

To make peppermint essential oil spray, mix about 20 drops of peppermint essential oil in a quarter cup of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and treat all the access points, trails, and potential nesting sites of ants to prevent the ant infestation. To increase the effectiveness of the spray, add about ten drops of tea tree oil or clove bud essential oil in the solution as well.


Lemongrass Essential Oil Spray

You can prepare DIY lemongrass essential oil spray at home easily. Mix together lemongrass essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil (15 drops each), 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water. Put the solution in a bottle and spray it on the infested areas thrice a day. Repeat the process for several days and you will get rid of ants.


Cinnamon Essential Oil Spray

Cinnamon essential oil spray is one of the best natural ant repellents. To prepare DIY cinnamon spray, add 15 drops of cinnamon bark essential oil and sage essential oil in a cup of water and vinegar solution (1:1). Mix them together and put the solution in a spray bottle. Treat the infested area and re-apply it thrice a day.


Clove Bud Essential Oil Spray

To make DIY homemade clove bud essential oil spray, add 30 drops of clove essential oil and 30 drops of peppermint oil in half a cup of water. Mix them well and put the solution in a bottle to spray all the entry points and nesting sites of ants.


Essential Oil Diffuser to Get Rid of Ants: Effectiveness and Products


Patio Egg: Insect Deterrent and Diffuser

Skeeter Screen Patio Egg: Mosquito & Insect Deterrent & Diffuser: Includes Essential Oils
  • Comes with one patio egg one 4 oz. Bottle of scents of nature oil...
  • Deet-Free/Safe for the entire family
  • Effective in semi-enclosed areas such as patios, garages,...

The patio egg insect repellent comes with one 4 oz bottle of essential oils, a measuring cup, and a fiber net. The ceramic egg kit can be used in semi-closed areas such as gardening sheds and garages. No assembly is required before application.


Portable SpaRoom Diffuser for Essential Oil

Portable SpaRoom Diffuser for Essential oil is best for personal use or when you are traveling. The wireless diffuser is operated by batteries or USB. You can add essential oil in the diffuser and repel ants.


Seeker Screen 90600 Patio Egg Diffuser

Skeeter Screen 90600 Patio Egg Diffuser, 1
  • Comes With One Patio Egg One 4 Oz; Bottle Of Scents Of Nature Oil...
  • Deet-Free/Safe For The Entire Family
  • Effective In Semi-Enclosed Areas Such As Patios, Garages,...
  • No Assembly Required

Seeker Screen Patio Egg Diffuser comes with one 4 oz patio egg, one plant fiber netting, and essential oil. It is ready to use, works effectively (up to 200 sq ft.) in semi-closed spaces such as greenhouses, garages, workshops, patios, etc.


BAIESHIJI Essential Oil Diffuser

BAIESHIJI Essential Oil Diffuser, Metal Vintage Essential Oil Diffusers 100ML, Aromatherapy Diffuser with Waterless Auto Shut-Off Protection, Cool Mist Humidifier for bedroom home and Office
  • Unique Design and Ultrasonic Diffuser : Adopted ultrasonic...
  • Whisper-Quiet Design with waterless auto shut off system:...
  • ALSO AN ESSENTIAL OIL HUMIDIFIERS: Essential Oil Compatible, you...
  • Made To Serve Your Needs- 3 in 1 essential oil diffuser that...
  • 100 ML Capacity and Customer Support: With such a large capacity,...

BAIESHIJI Essential Oil Diffuser is one of the best essential oil diffusers. The adopted ultrasonic advanced technology of diffuser plus humidifier helps the essential oils to diffuse more effectively. Directly add some drops of essential oil in the water tank to make it work. You can customize the running time according to your desire.


Weljoy Grain Portable Diffuser For Essential Oil

Weljoy Wood Grain Portable Diffuser for Essential Oils – Car or Travel, Mini Size, Quiet, Waterless, Re-chargeable Battery or USB (wood grain)
  • WATERLESS - Convenient operation! No need to add the water,...
  • OPERATED BY RE-CHARGABLE BATTERY OR USB - Runs using an included...
  • QUIET – Operation at the standard Level 1 diffuser runs...
  • DIFFUSER – Diffuses essential oils very effectively. Only a...
  • QUALITY - Made of high-quality material including medical grade...

Weljoy Grain Portable Diffuser For Essential Oil is the best diffuser to carry during traveling. It is a wireless, quiet, and small rechargeable device. The diffuser does not require water, simply remove the cover and put some drops of essential oil in it. It comes with a 3-speed option, and it is made out of high-quality essential oil friendly material.


ASAKUKI Essential Oil Diffuser

ASAKUKI 500ml Premium, Essential Oil Diffuser, 5 in 1 Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Fragrant Oil Humidifier Vaporizer, Timer and Auto-Off Safety Switch
  • 5-IN-1 AROMATHERAPY DEVICE: This ultrasonic essential oil...
  • GREATLY IMPROVES AIR QUALITY: Besides its uses in aromatherapy,...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY MATERIALS: When it comes to our premium essential...
  • A GREAT GIFT IDEA FOR EVERYONE: If you're in the market for a...
  • 100% RISK FREE PURCHASE: At ASAKUKI, we have great faith in our...

ASAKUKI Essential Oil Diffuser comes with an advanced multifunction ultrasonic technology, it works as a diffuser as well as a humidifier. It features a larger 500 ml water tank and several mist diffuser modes. The safety switch prevents the diffuser from overheating. The diffuser is made of safe, high-grade eco-friendly PP material.


URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser

URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-Off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home (White)
  • URPOWER New Version: The URPOWER Ultrasonic Aroma Essential Oil...
  • Please use 100% pure essential oils with no corrosivity,...
  • Outlet shouldn’t be inserted cord that exceeds the maxim...
  • Features include 7 color changing lamps for your choice,...
  • Content: 100ml, Material: PP Hard plastic, Working time: Up to 6...

URPOWER Ultrasonic Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser is a 2nd generation or an upgraded version of the original URPOWER diffuser. It uses 100% pure essential oil with no corrosive compounds in the diffuser. It features 7 color changing lamps,100 ml tank, PP hard material and works up to 6 hours. You can customize settings for a continuous or intermittent mode.


InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser

InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser, Upgraded Diffusers for Essential Oils Aromatherapy Diffuser Cool Mist Humidifier with 7 Colors Lights 2 Mist Mode Waterless Auto off for Home Office Room, Basic White
  • COMPACT SIZE FOR SPACE-SAVING: Without occupying much space, you...
  • 2 MISTING MODES: You can set it to intermittent mist (6-8 hrs...
  • PP MATERIAL AND COOL MIST: Using PP material, this diffuser...
  • COLORFUL MOOD LIGHT: InnoGear essential oil diffuser has 8...
  • WATERLESS AUTO-OFF: You can enjoy a restful sleep and keep this...

InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser comes in a compact size, and you can easily place it on the kitchen counter or desks. This is a user-friendly version and contains eight soothing colors that are helpful in meditation.


Summary

Essential oils are one of the best natural and non-toxic alternatives for repelling ants. They act as ant repellent as well as a natural insecticide. The plant-derived essential oils release a strong scent which disrupts the ant pheromone trails and help with creating a barrier against ants and several other pests. 

Essential oils can be used directly, in diffusers, or in form of sprays. The most commonly used ant repellent essential oils are peppermint oil, lavender oil, citrus oil, tea tree oil, cedarwood oil, clove bud oil, patchouli oil, etc. The ointments peppermint oil, lavender oil, and basil oil can also be used to treat ant bites.

If you are having a severe ant infestation, it might be better to use some of the more traditional methods for ant control or simply contact a professional ant exterminator. In case you are interested in a pest control service, click on the following link to get free quotes from the best ant exterminators in your area.


List of Sources

Brian P. Baker, Jennifer A. Grant, and Raksha Malakar-Kuenen. (2019). Peppermint as an Active Ingredient Eligible for Minimum Risk Pesticide Use. Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Drees, B.M. (2002). Medical problems and treatment considerations for the red imported fire ant. Fire Ant Plan Fact Sheet, 23.

Huang, M.Y., Liao, M.H., Wang, Y.K., Huang, Y.S. and Wen, H.C. (2012). Effect of lavender essential oil on LPS-stimulated inflammation. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 40(04), pp.845-859.

Charousaei, F., Dabirian, A. and Mojab, F. (2011). Using chamomile solution or a 1% topical hydrocortisone ointment in the management of peristomal skin lesions in colostomy patients: results of a controlled clinical study. Ostomy-Wound Management, 57(5), p.28.