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10 Natural Ant Repellents

Posted on: February 22, 2023 in Pest Control

Did you know there are more than 10,000 species of ants? Some ants are highly destructive to your home, business, or commercial building. For instance, Carpenter ants will chew through wood, creating similar damage to termite infestations.

They’ll burrow into wooden window frames, door frames, and wood beams in your floors and roof frame. Unlike termites that turn the wood into cellulose, Carpenter ants will excavate the material. While Carpenter ants are the most prolific species, others like “crazy” ants, fire ants, and acrobat ants cause massive amounts of property damage, even invading your electricity box outdoors.

Ants enter your home looking for places to build a nest, away from the harsh environmental conditions and looking for food. They can get into your plumbing and wiring, creating fire hazards. Ants can carry bacteria and fungi, contaminating surfaces and food stores.  

This post unpacks strategies to protect your home from ants and how to get rid of these pesky pests if you notice them walking around your residential or commercial property.

Here are 10 natural ant repellents and methods!

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Seal Entrances into Your Home

Sealing the entrances ants use to get inside your property is an excellent preventative strategy to stop these pests from setting up shop in your home, business, or commercial building. Look for cracks in the walls, radiator, and floorboards where they can squeeze through to gain access.

Treat these areas with ant repellant and seal these cracks with a filler product to keep them out. Look for tears in your window screens or perished wood where ants can enter your property. Check that your doors and windows seal correctly, and block or seal any areas where ants can enter.

Don’t Leave Food Out

Don’t give ants an incentive to enter your home searching for food. Ants love starch and sugar, and they’ll go mad for foods like honey and cornmeal. Don’t leave food out after you finish making a meal. Doing the dishes or placing them in the dishwasher immediately after eating is a prudent strategy to keep ants away.

Keep your foods in sealed containers or packets, and don’t leave anything out in the open where ants will find it. Clean up the crumbs around your prepping area in the kitchen after making a meal. Look for crumbs around the toaster and appliances in your kitchen. Ensure the trashcan seals and there’s nothing around the base.

Check around the dining area after you finish a meal, and don’t leave food particles on the table after you finish eating. Ensure the sink and drain are free from food debris, and pick up pet bowls with unfinished food. Please don’t feed your pets old food they don’t finish. Throw it away and rinse out the bowl.

Check Houseplants

Your houseplants could be another source of ant infestations on your property. Ants like to nest underneath the soil and discard any plants that might show signs of infestation. If you pick them up, they’ll start to swarm under the pot or around the drip tray.

Ants are attracted to water, so don’t leave water in the drip trays. It’s also important to keep any water containers sealed. The ants will find their way into the water container, contaminating it. Cut some citrus peels from lemons and oranges and place the rinds in the drip trays to deter ants.

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10 Natural Ant Repellants

Here are ten natural remedies to keep ants away from your residence, business, or commercial property. Some of them are more effective than others. We listed them from most to least effective for this post. If you want the most effective strategy, go to the end of this article.

#1 Neem Oil

Neem oil is our top choice for the most effective natural pest deterrent. This liquid is available online and at nurseries in your area and is easy to find. Neem oil is an extract of the neem tree, which is naïve to India.

Gardeners recommend using neem oil where you see aphids or ants in your yard. We recommend using a full-strength product, not a diluted solution. Add it to a spray bottle and spray it on areas where you notice ants walking.

#2 Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is another potent ant-repellant. Tea tree oil is the extract of the Australian tea tree. It also goes by the name “melaleuca oil.” Don’t use undiluted tea tree oil; it’s incredibly potent and has an overpowering odor.

Add five to ten drops of tea tree essential oil with two cups of water to a clean plastic spray bottle. Keep the oil out of reach of your pets and children. Consuming it can have a toxic effect. Tea tree oil is readily available at health stores and online.

#3 Diatomaceous Earth (Silicon Dioxide)

Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms which are a type of plankton. DE isn’t poisonous or toxic to people or pets. It eradicates ants by pulling the moisture out of their body, drying them out.

However, it’s a severe irritant, so don’t get it on your skin or breath it in. DE comes in food-grade variations you can purchase online that limit its irritating effects. Sprinkle the powder wherever you see ants walking in your home or yard.

#4 Peppermint Extract

Peppermint extract is another essential oil that’s great for eliminating ants from your property. It’s a good deterrent against various insects, including ants, mosquitoes, and fleas. Mix 20 drops of the oil into two cups of water and add it to a spray bottle.

Spray the solution around the window frames and baseboards. Let it dry and repeat as needed. You’ll also benefit from a fresh minty scent in your home. Keep the oil away from pets and children. The concentrated version can have a toxic effect.

#5 Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)

The oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) is a different compound from lemon eucalyptus essential oil. OLE originates from the eucalyptus tree native to Australia. It contains the chemical “p-Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD),” an effective insect repellent.

  • Saturate cotton balls with undiluted OLE.
  • Place the balls in areas around your property where you see ants.
  • Replace weekly with freshly saturated cotton balls.
  • Keep the OLE balls away from children and pets.

#6 Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon leaf essential oil contains the compound “trans-cinnamaldehyde.” It’s a good choice for repelling red ants.

  • Saturate cotton balls with pure cinnamon leaf essential oil.
  • Place the balls in areas around your property where you see ants.
  • Replace weekly with freshly saturated cotton balls.
  • Keep the cinnamon leaf essential oil balls away from children and pets.

#7 White Spirit Vinegar

Ants can’t stand the scent of white spirit vinegar. Mix a solution of one part vinegar with one part water in a clean spray bottle. Spray it around the walkways where you see ants.

You’ll notice a faint smell of vinegar that dissipates over a few hours. Ants are super sensitive to it, even after you can’t detect it.

#8 Borax (Sodium Tetraborate)

Borax is effective at eliminating ants around the home. Ensure you keep borax away from pets and kids, as it can have toxic effects. Follow this process for using it as an ant deterrent.

  • Wear safety gloves.
  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of borax, eight teaspoons of sugar, and one cup of warm water.
  • Stir until dissolved.
  • Saturate cotton balls with the solution and place them around the home where you see ants.
  • After use, wash or discard the containers used to mix the solution.

You can purchase borax from the supermarket or hardware store.

#9 Boric Acid

Boric acid will eradicate worker ants and the queen within three weeks of exposure. This chemical erodes the ant’s exoskeleton and stomach. Keep boric acid away from pets and children as it’s toxic.

Follow these instructions when using boric acid.

  • Wear safety gloves.
  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of boric acid with eight teaspoons of sugar and one cup of warm water.
  • Stir until dissolved.
  • Saturate cotton balls with the solution and place them around the home where you see ants.
  • After use, wash or discard the containers used to mix the solution.

Boric acid also works as a DIY ant trap. Mix the powder with maple or corn syrup. Smear it on a piece of cardboard and place it on ant walkways. You can purchase boric acid from the supermarket or hardware store.

#10 Coffee Grinds

After preparing your morning cup of coffee, spread the grounds on pieces of cardboard and leave them around your home. You can sprinkle the grounds around pet bowls and ant walkways to keep the pests away.

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The Best Strategy for Foiling Ant Infestations – Call the Professionals

While natural remedies are somewhat effective for stopping ants from overrunning your property, they all have limitations. 

Call the experts if you want the best results for your residence, business, or commercial building. Simple Pest Management has years of experience removing all types of ant species from properties around California.

We’ll give you the results you need for an ant-free property year-round. Contact our team and speak with our expert technicians. We can assist you with a one-off eradication or an ongoing preventative strategy to keep ants off your residence, business premises, or commercial property.  

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