Best Natural Ant Repellents: A Complete Guide

Ants invasions are common during rain or summer season. Their colonies may go unnoticed at the earlier stages of infestation, but the larger colonies of ants can cause serious problems. The problem of ant invasion should be dealt with immediately to minimize the potential economic losses.

There are several different pest control methods for getting rid of the ant infestation in your house or outdoor. One of the best ways to eliminate ants is the application of natural ant repellents. This is an inexpensive, natural, and non-toxic solution that repels ants without the use of hazardous chemicals.

 What repels ants? There are a number of different natural ant repellents that can help get rid of ants in indoor and outdoor settings. Some of them are aromatic plants, plant-derived essential oils, vinegar, bleach, ground coffee, chalk, detergents, etc. You can also buy all-natural eco-friendly insect repellent sprays that are very effective.

Ant Exterminators

In the following section, we have provided a complete guide on how to repel ants in indoor and outdoor infested areas. Besides, we have also made a list of the best natural ant repellents that will help you in your battle against ants. Let’s begin!

Natural Ant Repellents | Information

There are approximately more than 10000 known species of ants. Most of them do not cause structural damage but can be quite troublesome. Due to their great thriving ability, ants multiply rapidly and establish large colonies of up to thousands of workers.

Unlike synthetic ant repellents, natural ant repellents do not contain toxic chemicals that can harm your pets and children. A number of ant repellents do not only help to deter ants invasion but also work as natural insecticides.

Plants That Repel Ants

Many plants act as a natural ant repellent and keep the ants away from your house. As ants communicate through pheromone trails, the strong scent of plants disrupt their pheromone trails and repels them.

Plants That Repel Ants

Some of the ant repellent plants are sage, tansy, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, garlic, yarrow, thyme, pennyroyal, catnip, etc. You can grow these plants on the borders of your garden for outdoor ant control. Or put their pots at the entry points of your house to control indoor ants.

Does Cinnamon Repel Ants?

Cinnamon is a natural insecticide and an ant repellent. According to sone studies, the essential oil of cinnamon leaf contains cinnamaldehyde that repels ant invasions and helps with controlling existing colonies. The strong scent of cinnamon is able to interfere with the communication channels of ants.

How to Use – You can sprinkle ground cinnamon bark at the baseboards, around doors, windows, cracks, and other openings. Prepare the cinnamon insecticide spray by mixing a few drops of cinnamon in the water.

Directly apply this spray on the ant trails, near their access points, and at all the potential nesting sites to eradicate or repel their colonies. You can also put cinnamon essential oil-soaked cotton balls near the entry points that ants use.

Does Mint Repel Ants?

Mint includes mentha family plants such as peppermint, spearmint, orange mint, etc. The perennial herbs of mint plants are natural ant repellents. They contain the active ingredient menthol which deters ants.

Both peppermint and spearmint are well known for their ant repellent properties. However, peppermint has higher menthol content than spearmint and shows better ant deterrence in comparison to other mint plants.

Does Peppermint Oil Repel Ants?

Peppermint essential oil is considered to be one of the best remedies for any ant infestation. Peppermint plant keeps the ants away from your house and its spray acts as a natural insecticide. This plant contains the primary active ingredient menthol which acts as a natural pesticide. Plant peppermint around your garden and house to deter ants.

How to Use – To prepare peppermint insecticide spray, add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to a cup of water. Mix it well and put it in a spray bottle. Now directly apply it to the infested areas, access points, and all over the ant trails. You can also wipe entry points with this essential oil, the smell of peppermint oil will deter ants.

Does Vinegar Repel Ants?

Does Vinegar Repel Ants

White vinegar can also repel ants invasion and works as a natural insecticide. The pungent smell of vinegar will erase ant trails and have an impact on their foraging plans. The direct application of diluted vinegar can help to eradicate ant colonies in just a few hours.

How to Use – In order to make a vinegar spray, add one cup of vinegar to one cup of water (1:1) and pour the solution in a spray bottle. Directly apply this spray at the nesting sites, openings, and access points of ants. It will show effective results in a few hours. This will eliminate existing ants and will prevent their re-establishment in the future.

Does Lavender Repel Ants?

Lavender plant is commonly used as an ornamental plant. Due to the pungent smell, this plant is also used as a pest repellent. It deters ants, flies, moths, mosquitoes, and several other pests.

How to Use – Soak the cotton balls in lavender essential oil and put them on the baseboards, inside the pantry, and at the entry points. To make the lavender oil spray, mix a few drops of lavender essential oil in water and apply the spray at all the windowsills, doors frames, and other entryways.

Does Eucalyptus Repel Ants?

Just like other essential oils, eucalyptus also has a powerful smell that interferes with the navigation system of ants and keeps them away. It is considered to be a non-toxic and eco-friendly bio-pesticide.

How to Use – Wipe the access point of ants with eucalyptus essential oil to deter ants from entering your house. For making the eucalyptus oil ant repellent spray, add 1/4 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil in a cup of water and shake it well. You can also add liquid soap (1/2 teaspoon) into the mixture for better results. Apply it directly all over the potential nesting sites and entry points.

Do Coffee Grounds Repel Ants?

Do Coffee Grounds Repel Ants

Brewed coffee grounds are a natural ant repellent. The strong smell of coffee grounds is able to confuse ants and keeps them away from your house. This solution is safe to use near cats or dogs. You can also use it in your garden as it is a natural source of minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous.

How to Use – Sprinkle brewed coffee grounds at the entry points or around the walls of your house.

Do Cucumber Peels Repel Ants?

Cucumber peels can also help to deter an attack from ants. Ants do not like the bitter smell of cucumber peels, therefore, we can use them as an ant repellent. Moreover, they are toxic to the fungi that ants consume.

How to Use – Simply put the cucumber peels around the access points of ants.

Does Citronella Repel Ants?

Citronella plant or its essential oil can be used as an insecticide and a natural ant repellent. According to studies, citronella oil can kill around 50% of the ant’s population in the colony in about 30 minutes and 100% of the ant population in about 24 hours.

How to Use – Saturate cotton balls with citronella essential oil and put them at baseboards, counters, and near access points of ants. Replace the cotton balls when they get dry.

If you want to make a spray, add 20 drops of citronella oil in 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil and mix them. Apply this spray around the ant hills and at the potential nesting sites of ants.

Does Ginger Repel Ants?

Does Ginger Repel Ants

Ants detest the strong flavor and aroma of ginger, also direct contact with ginger can be fatal for ants.

How to Use – Apply ginger on the ant trails. This will make them lose their direction and will keep the ant away from your house.

Does Bleach Repel Ants?

Bleach is one of the best natural solutions for repelling and eradicating ants. This insecticide is effective for all types of ants and kills them instantly on contact.

How to Use – Add bleach to a bucket of water and wipe the floor and kitchen counter to erase any ant trails. Bleach repels ants and kills microorganisms. To eradicate ant colonies, directly apply bleach and water solution all over the anthills or nests.

Does Neem Oil Repel Ants?

Neem oil or powder can be used to eradicate or repel ants and several other pests such as aphids, mites, moths, flies, mosquitoes, etc. It is an organic and non-toxic way to control pests. Neem does not cause any harm to pets and other mammals.

How to Use – To make the neem spray, mix 1 tablespoon of neem oil and 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent in one cup of water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Apply it directly at all the infested areas and at the entry points.

Do Marigolds Repel Ants?

Marigold plant is known for its ant repellent properties. You can grow marigold in your garden or around your house walls to repel any ant invasion—the roots of marigold release toxic chemicals that kill nematodes and repel some insects.

Does Basil Repel Ants?

Basil is an aromatic herb that has excellent ant repellent properties. Other than ants, it also repels flies, beetles, and mosquitoes. Simply grow basil plant in your garden and you will repel ants. You can also put basil leaves on the kitchen counters, near ant trails or cracks.

Do Bay Leaves Repel Ants?

Do Bay Leaves Repel Ants

Bay leaves are also a natural ant repellent. They contain aromatic chemicals that help to keep the ants away from your house. Put the bay leaves inside your cupboards, containers, or nearby ant trails. They will repel ants as well as other pests including fleas, cockroaches, weevils, moths, etc.

Do Cloves Repel Ants?

Cloves also have the ability to repel ants. Due to strong aroma, they can be used as a natural ant repellent. The essential oil of cloves contains the active ingredient eugenol that is detrimental for ants and other insects.

How to Use – You can sprinkle ground clove leaves at the infested area to repel ants. In order to prepare clove bud spray based on its essential oil mix a few drops of clove bud oil in water. This spray will eradicate ant colonies and prevent their re-infestation.

Do Onions Repel Ants?

Onions are also an eco-friendly option for repelling ants out of your house or garden. The strong smell of onion will confuse ants, disturbs their pheromone trails, and as a result, prevent them from invading your house.

How to Use – Put a few slices of raw onion near ant trails or at their potential nesting sites.

Do Orange Peels Repel Ants?

Orange and other citrus fruits contain essential oils and act as natural ant repellents.

How to Use – Put orange peels on the kitchen counter or near the entry points of ants. To prepare an orange peel insecticide, blend peels from one orange in one cup of water until they are finely mixed. Pour the solution directly on the ant hills or at the entry points of ants. This spray also helps in preventing ant invasions.

List of Best Natural Ant Repellents

Here is the list of some of the best and highly effective natural ant repellents.

Liquid Soap

Liquid Soap

Liquid soap is one of the most effective natural ant repellents. Soap and water solutions can also help to eradicated ants. Mix 1/3 cup of liquid detergent in 2/3 cup of water (1:3) and pour the solution into a spray bottle.

You can use this solution to remove pheromones trails of ants. Apply the insecticide directly on the ant mounds and trails. The solution will immediately suffocate the ants to death upon contact and will prevent their re-establishment.

Chalk or Talcum Powder

Chalk or talcum powder can also help to repel ants. It an inexpensive and non-toxic way to keep the ants away. Create a barrier of chalk or talcum powder across the ants’ access points, and you will prevent them from entering your house.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is a natural ant repellent. It contains PMD (para-methane-3,8-diol), this compound which acts as an active ingredient with repels ants. This oil is extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. It is different from commonly known eucalyptus essential oil. As the primary active ingredient in OLE is PMD, whereas citronella is the major component of the other one.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Ants detest cayenne peppers. Simply just sprinkle it all over the entry points and ant trails. You can also make cayenne pepper spray by adding pepper and liquid soap in the water. The solution can be used as an insecticide as well as a natural ant repellent.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice also works like vinegar. It interferes with pheromone trails of ants and prevents them from invading. If you want to make a lemon juice ant repellent spray, mix 1/4 cup of lemon juice in 3/4 cup (1:3) of water.

How to Repel Ants: Instructions and Tips for Indoor and Outdoor Use

Step 1: Eliminate Ant Attractants

Multiple methods can be used to repel ants from indoor or outdoor settings. Ants will enter your house by following the scent of food and leave their pheromone trails behind so that the other ants can follow them.

Remove the ant trails and wipe excess water from your kitchen and bathrooms to minimize the reasons why ants are attracted to your house. Additionally, seal all the cracks or holes in your walls.

Step 2: Locate Potential Nesting Sites

Locate Potential Nesting Sites

Follow the ant trails and monitor the access points of ants. This will allow you to discover all the potential nesting sites of ants and you will be able to determine the required quantity of the ant repellent.

Step 3: Application of Natural Ant Repellents

You can do many things to repel ants, for example, planting insect repellent plants around the perimeter of the house or garden. This will certainly prevent them from entering your house, but what about ants that are already inside your house?

For indoor ant control, apply natural ant repellent sprays at the entry points of your house. Wipe the kitchen counter, cupboards, and other areas with the insect repellent mixture (such as essential oil spray, soapy spray, or bleach spray).

Other than ant repellent sprays, you can also use ant repellent powders (like black or cayenne pepper, chalk, or talcum powder) to create a barrier across the entryways of your house.

Related: How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally: A Complete Guide

Commercial All Natural Ant Repellents

You can also purchase all-natural ant repellents commercially. Some of the best natural insecticides and repellents are the following:

Orange Guard 101

Orange Guard 101 Home Pest Control Gallon
  • Rtu gal orange guard
  • Water-based formula
  • Kills on contact
  • May be used around food, humans, and pets
  • All ingredients generally recognized as safe by the FDA

Orange Guard is a natural pest killer. It kills ants and several other pests and prevents their re-establishment. The active ingredient is called d-Limonene (extracted from the orange peel). It does not contain toxic or harmful chemicals and can be used for both indoor and outdoor ant control.

All-Natural Ant Repellent

All Natural Ant Repellent - DEET FREE Ant Spray, 100% Guaranteed to Repel Ants - Children Adults Pets Friendly, Indoor/Outdoor Repeller - 12oz Made in USA
  • DEET FREE ANT REPELLER – Our customers are our number one...
  • SAFE FOR USE WITH CHILDREN & ADULTS – We understand that the...
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL USAGE: All natural ant spray can be used at home,...

All-Natural Ant Repellent is a DEET free eco-friendly spray. You can use it to treat both indoor and outdoor ant infestation. It contains essential oils of cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, and geranium. This ant repellent is safe to use around children.

HARRIS New Ant Spray

HARRIS Ant Killer Spray, 20 oz for Indoor and Outdoor Use
  • Eco Friendly - Uses clove and cottonseed natural plant oils as...
  • Quick Kill - Proven to kill ants in 30 minutes or less
  • Non Staining - Formula will not stain when used according to...
  • Indoor & Outdoor Use - Can be used as an outdoor perimeter...
  • Pleasant Scent - Essential oils emit a pleasant, light odor...

HARRIS New Ant Spray is an eco-friendly plant oil-based spray. It has a non-toxic formula and uses active ingredients such as cottonseed oil, and clove oil. This plant-derived spray can kill ants in 30 minutes.

Eco-Raider Ant Killer

EcoVenger by EcoRaider Ant Killer & Crawling Insect Killer (Citrus Scent) 16oz, Kills Fast, Also Kills Spiders, Centipedes & More, Repels with Residual, Natural & Non-Toxic, Children & Pets Safe
  • Dual-Function Kills & Repels: EcoVenger (Formerly as EcoRaider)...
  • One Spray to Rid of Ants : Spray on active ants to kill...
  • Proven by Published University Studies : EcoVenger (Formerly...
  • Plant-Based & Non-Toxic but Highly Efficacious : Contains no...
  • Your Safety is Our Priority : Tested by an EPA authorized lab to...

Eco-Raider Ant Killer is a natural, non-toxic, bio-insecticide. It kills ants in around one minute and removes the ant trails. This product is able to prevent re-infestation for up to 4 weeks or longer. It is safe to use around kids and pets.

mdxconcepts Organic Home Pest Control

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mdxconcepts Organic Home Pest Control is one of the best natural ways to repel and eradicate ants. This spray does not contain toxic chemicals and it is a 100% risk-free peppermint oil-based spray. You can use it for both indoor and outdoor ant control.

Raid & Roach Killer

Raid and Roach Killer is safe to use around children and pets. This is an all-natural ant killer, but mostly for indoor use. This spray is effective against more than 20 different household pests. The active ingredients used in the spray are lemongrass and pine tree extract.

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

Safety Comes First

Remember to wear gloves when dealing with any type of insecticide sprays to ensure safety and avoid any problems. Keep your pets and children in mind before using ant repellents. Some repellents like peppermint oil spray can also harm pets through direct contact.

The excessive use of some ant repellents can also damage your plants or some beneficial insects in your garden.

Related: How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally Without Harming Pets

Are Electronic Ultrasonic Ant Repellents Effective?

Electronic ultrasonic pest repellent devices claim that certain high-frequency sounds have a disruptive effect on ants and other pests. However, according to recent studies, these products may have an effect on ants or other insects for a short time period of time, but they are not an effective way to control ants and other pests.

Additionally, the electronic ultrasonic ant repellent manufacturing companies do not provide any scientific evidence for their products’ effectiveness.

Essential Oils to Repel Ants

There are several plants that contain essential oils that have the ability to repel ants. This is one of the most effective natural solutions for getting rid of ants in your house or garden. These oils contain aromatic compounds that disrupt the pheromone trails of ants and prevent them from infesting your house.

Some of the highly effective ant repellent essential oils are:

  • Peppermint
  • Clove bud
  • Citrus
  • Tea tree
  • Citronella

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

When Is the Time to Call Professional Ant Exterminator?

The smaller ant colonies can be dealt with easily by using natural ant killers or insecticide sprays. However, if the ant infestation goes unchecked during the earlier stages, it can lead to multiple ant colonies, which results in serious problems.

If you do not have the experience to deal with an ant infestation, it would be best to call a professional pest control service. Click on the following link if you are interested, and you will get free quotes from the best ant exterminators in your area. Best of luck!


Natural ant repellents are inexpensive, non-toxic, and eco-friendly way to keep the ants away. Several plants and plant-derived essential oils work as a natural ant repellent as well as a natural insecticide. They contain aromatic compounds that can erase the pheromone trails of ants and prevent their entry into your house or garden.

Plant-derived essential oils can also be used to prepare natural ant deterrent sprays. The direct application of these spray at the entry point of ants and their trails can help to get rid of ant attack.

Other than plant-derived ingredients, chalk, talcum powder, or detergent can also be used to prepare ant repellents for indoor or outdoor infested areas. For more pest control content, keep following our site. Best of luck!

List of Sources

Cheng, S.S., Liu, J.Y., Lin, C.Y., Hsui, Y.R., Lu, M.C., Wu, W.J. and Chang, S.T., (2008). Terminating red imported fire ants using Cinnamomum osmophloeum leaf essential oil. Bioresource Technology, 99(4), pp.889-893.

Baker B. P., Grant J. A., and Raksha Malakar-Kuenen., (2018). Peppermint & Peppermint Oil Profile Active Ingredient Eligible for Minimum Risk Pesticide Use. Cornell Cooperative Extension. New York State Integrated Pest Management, Cornell University, Geneva NY.

Baker B. P., Grant J. A., and Raksha Malakar-Kuenen., (2018). Citronella & Citronella Oil Profile Active Ingredient Eligible for Minimum Risk Pesticide Use. Cornell Cooperative Extension. New York State Integrated Pest Management, Cornell University, Geneva NY.

S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. p-Menthane-3,8-diol (011550) Fact Sheet. Environmental Protection Agency.

Aflitto N. and DeGomez T., (2015). Sonic Pest Repellents. College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University Arizona Cooperative Extension.