What Essential Oils Are Good For Repelling Ants?

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Ants are perhaps the most prevalent and persistent of these pests, but what essential oils are good for repelling ants? Pests and insects have long been a cause of contention not only in Indian families but also in a wide range of other parts of the world, including the United States.

Various methods and solutions have been formed to deal with the constant overflow of ants in the corners and walls of homes, but using essential oils to get rid of them has to be, arguably, one of the most promising ones. Oils are easy to use and do not vaporize easily, thus having a better impact than normal mainstream measures.

Essential Oils: A natural ant repellent

Due to their immediate popularity among environmentalists and people who prefer organic substances for their homes, essential oils have become the new wave of organic insect management.

What essential oils are good for repelling ants

Essential oils are produced by steam distillation, a new and innovative form of traditional distillation, which is dense in phenolics with a very low molecular weight.

Essential oils contain some very handy insecticidal properties. It acts as a repellent and a growth-reducing agent for certain insects while being perfectly organic and safe for the environment. People can use them for various purposes: at home, in gardens, preharvest, postharvest crops, etc.

They attack insects by using neurotoxins, which directly harm the nervous systems of the insects. Thus, the only choices insects are left with are to flee or just be eliminated.

What Essential Oils are Good for Repelling Ants?

Ants are persistent species that never really stop roaming around with their big groups in a line around the corners and walls of the house.

Tea tree essential oil

Ants tend to leave pheromone trails for their subordinates to follow, and that is exactly how they move. The usage of essential oils veils the presence of pheromones and helps repel them.

There are many other options to choose from while opting for essential oils, and each of them has its own perks and characteristics. At the same time, the core idea remains the same: to repel every insect in the immediate vicinity.

Tea Tree Essential Oil:

Tea tree oil is already well known for its versatility and strong scent. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties for bacteria and microbes left by ants, and its scent also acts as a strong repellent.

We can also use it as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent for external use. Its versatile nature makes it a perfect investment and a great commodity in day-to-day life.

It is effective for ants and very effective for mosquitoes, bed bugs, lice, bees, ticks, and spiders.

Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint oil is known for its aromatic fragrance. It is quite commonly used for aromatherapy and is also a great insect repellent. Its inherent presence of menthol is the progenitor of the fragrance.

Peppermint essential oil for repelling ants

People tend to enjoy the smell of peppermint oil, but it is a factor of utter disgust to the bugs. Bugs tend to flee from that scent as they cannot smell their pheromones, which flusters them.

Peppermint oil can be used for various purposes and in various ways, such as mixing with water and spraying around one’s home to keep the bugs away and have a great all-around smell. After dilution, it is also applied to the skin to keep mosquitoes and other bugs away from the body.

It is the most effective on mosquitoes, ants, fleas, moths, stink bugs, cockroaches, and bed bugs.

Lemongrass Essential Oil (Lemon Eucalyptus Oil)

The primary characteristic of lemon grass essential oil is its “lemony” smell. The reason behind the fruity smell is the presence of the natural oil Citronella.

Lemongrass essential oil for repelling ants

It is a natural ant repellent and is used for getting rid of various other insects. Moreover, it also acts as a great mosquito and ant repellant. We can use it in combination with water as an ant repellent spray.

It is great for getting rid of ants, mosquitoes, flies, etc. It is a great essential oil for repelling ants.

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood Oil is arguably the strongest form of essential oil. It is great for any part of the home, be it the bathroom or the kitchen. It is so strong that it repels ants and prevents their infestation in the future.

Cedarwood Essential Oil has a strong scent. Ants and insects starkly dislike this scent. It leaches moisture out of their body, ultimately eliminating them. Cedarwood Oil kills ants by drying them out.

It is highly effective on ants, mosquitoes, bugs, flies, etc. People who want to tread that way should use it carefully.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is a very versatile essential oil. It can heal bug bites and even stop itching due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It has a very sweet smell again. Ants and other insects dislike the smell, acting as a great ant repellent. It keeps the home fragrant and bug-free.

Lavender Essential Oil is highly effective on ants, bugs, flies, lice, and spiders.

Patchouli Essential Oil

Patchouli essential oil is arguably the most versatile oil on this list. It not only repels ants and insects but also helps to relieve pain in body parts and reduces inflammation. It can also treat respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, etc.

It is dense in potent antibacterial properties. It can kill various insects like ants, flies, bugs, etc. It can also be used as an essential oil spray for ants.

How to use essential oils to get rid of ants and other bugs?

We can apply essential oils both on the skin and in various places in the house. The oils, as mentioned earlier, can be blended as per the user’s preference. They can be applied to the skin after dilution in carrier oils.

Essential oils good for repelling ants

When applying to the skin, the user must avoid the area around the eyes. The user should also avoid soft, delicate parts, broken skin, and open cuts. The use of such oils should only be external. The mixture must be re-applied periodically once effective, every 2-3 hours for best results.

Essential Oil Spray for Ants

Ants and bugs are also repelled by spraying the essential oils mixed with water in the various corners of the house.

To successfully make a spray, one must mix the oils with distilled water and a little bit of alcohol. This involvement of alcohol intermingles the oil and acts as a great insect repellent.

Spray this mixture everywhere around the house and even outside to keep ants and insects away. Avoid areas where pets live or stay if someone has one.

Some Natural Ant Repellants for the Home and Kitchen

Below are some natural remedies that you can use to get rid of ants

  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a great ant repellent as ants cannot stand the smell of vinegar. They not only repel them but also kill them. We can mix water and vinegar in equal amounts in a bottle and then use it as a spray.
  • Soap: Use soap and water to clean the corners and parts of the house where ants have traveled.
  • Diatomaceous earth is a white powder toxic to insects and ants but harmless to humans in the form of chalk or a powder that dries out the bodies of insects.

Natural Cinnamon Leaf Spray

To make a natural cinnamon leaf spray, we must take 1/4 of a cup and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon leaf. We have to mix it thoroughly and use it as a spray for different areas where ants are infested.

A swarm of ants on food

It might be harmful to the pets if they are exposed to cinnamon oil or spray. If a user has one, it is advised to use it outdoors rather than indoors.

What type of food attracts ants?

Ants are attracted to various food sources, such as foods dense in sugar, proteins, and carbohydrates. Leftover food, open food, stagnant food, and foods like candies, spilled juice, bananas, dried juice, meat proteins, and even crackers and cookies.etc., attract ants.

To prevent an ant swarm, we must be cautious not to spill or leave such foods stagnant.


To conclude, even if ants are persistent and are always a menace in the kitchen, they can be dealt with. Essential oils are pretty “essential” in this case. Essential oils not only act as an insect repellent but also act as an aromatic agent. Their organic and environmentally friendly nature has made them useful in this field.

The usage of essential oils to solve this problem of ants has opened up a new wave in the insecticide domain. Not just as an insecticide, essential oils have tons of other benefits, starting from skincare to treating bug bites. Moreover, we can use essential oils for application on the skin too. With good measures and precautions, they can be really helpful for the skin.

Ants surely pose a problem, but so do other bugs. But a commodity that solves both of them, including other medical conditions, is surely too valuable to not have.


About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.