How to use essential oils for ant control

Ants are persistent uninvited guests that invade our homes and bring discomfort to us. Most often, we are unable to successfully get rid of them or even control them. These critters are clever and work together in colonies. Natural methods are safer for controlling ants. This post will give various methods on how to use essential oils for ant control. 

Essential oils are known natural solutions for ant control. This is because they can repel ants.

Very often people wonder if untidiness is what makes ants invade their homes. However, this is not always the case. Ants infest homes due to their nature. They are pretty persistent creatures that always find a way into your home to scavenge for food for their survival.

To properly use essential oils to control them, you must first know the types of essential oils and how effective it is with getting rid of ants. 

Two Clear Glass Bottles With Liquids

Does essential oil kill ants?

Chemicals used for killing pests are fast becoming ineffective.

Not only are they not able to get rid of these insects properly, but they also pose a threat to your pets and kids. Using natural methods to get rid of pests is preferably a safe choice. Essential oils are one such natural solutions that have a repelling effect on ants and can help you get rid of them.

They are organic, non-toxic, and harmless and can easily eradicate these critters. Essential oils are cost-efficient and pocket-friendly.

You can use them at home and on your farm. Most essential oils repel ants but a few of them also kill ants.

What essential oil does to ants

Essential oils are extracts from specific plants containing chemicals.

These chemicals release a strong scent that keeps ants away, disrupting the pheromones they use as GPS trackers. Usually, ants produce pheromones that help them trail each other when they scavenge for food. The scent in the oil distracts and destabilizes them.

Some essential oils do not only repel ants, they also contain insecticidal chemicals capable of killing them. 


Essential oils that keep ants away

While some essential oils only repel ants, others can kill them effectively and in the process prevent another infestation. Essential oils are a better solution compared to other ant-killer sprays. They are harmless to humans. Some essential oils include cedarwood oil, citrus oil, clove oil, peppermint essential oil, cinnamon essential oil, tea tree essential oil, lemongrass essential oil. 

1) Peppermint essential oil

This essential oil is a natural repellent that contains menthol, pulegone, menthone, amongst others. Peppermint essential oil is the fifth most produced essential oil in the world. It functions as an insect repellant, insecticide, bactericide, and fungicide. The menthol present in this oil is the most active of all components. It contains biocidal properties effective against ants, mosquitos, mites, and bugs. 

What does it do?

When peppermint oil is applied to an infested area, the scent from the oil repels ants. The menthol in this oil is very active and would stop ant infestation in no time. It also relieves pain and stops itching from an insect bite. 

How to mix

To make a peppermint oil spray mix, take the following steps

  • Pour a quarter cup of water into a bowl
  • Add about 20 drops of peppermint essential oil into it and mix 
  • Pour into a spray container 

When you have successfully achieved this, your peppermint essential oil spray is ready for use. You can also add clove bud essential oil for a better result. Just add ten drops of this essential oil and watch the magic happen.

2) Clove essential oil

Clove bud essential oil is another natural ant repellant. It contains a strong smell capable of repelling not just ants but other insects like bugs, wasps, flies, cockroaches, and flies. It is very effective. Clove essential oil contains a component called eugenol. It is the eugenol in this oil that repels ants and also eradicates them.

What does it do? 

The main function of clove oil is to get rid of ants. This essential oil when applied, repels ants, destroying their pheromones, and their ability to smell food from a distance. 

How to mix

  • Pour half a glass of water into a bowl
  • Add 30 drops of clove essential oil 
  • 30 drops of peppermint into the water
  • Mix properly, then pour in a spray bottle.

With this, your homemade essential oil spray is ready to use. Just apply at entry points of the infested area, the rest will be history.

How to use essential oils to control ants

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The following methods can be used to control ant infestation

  • Observe and monitor

When you notice an infestation of ants, take note of infested areas, observe entry points of these insects. Where do they come from? What are they after? Take note of the places they mostly infest in your home. Ants are more likely to infest your kitchen to scavenge for food for their colony. When you have succeeded in doing so, take the next step.

  • Apply essential oil on infested areas

There are different essential oils to pick from. If you have a pet or kid in your home, be sure to use essential oils that are of no health risk to them.

You can also dilute this essential oil by making essential oil sprays. They are as effective as the oil itself. Apply oil on infested areas, mostly entry points, as well as on the doors and windows of your home. Don’t forget to apply on cracked walls.

The smell from the oil would repel these critters. You can use cinnamon essential oil for a more lasting effect. You can also use cotton balls soaked in essential oil to place at entry points. Do this several times during the day. Make sure you reapply before the oil dries up. 

  • Cleaning and follow up

After successfully eradicating ants, proceed to clean your home. You can vacuum clean, clear up areas where you applied the oil, also remember to seal off cracks and keep your home clean at all times. Pack food properly in sealed containers, dispose of leftovers properly and do your dishes regularly. You can place peppermint or cinnamon leaves at the entrance of your home, windows to prevent another infestation.

Essential oils used for ant bites

Essential oils are not only used to control ants, they are also used to get rid of insect bites. When applied, they stop itching, pain and also stop swelling.

These oils are very efficient for ant bites because they also help to simmer down bite marks.

For ants like fire ants who have painful stings, essential oils can help lessen the pain from these bites, and reduce the swelling as well. Oils like basil oil, lavender, mint oil, wintergreen, and chamomile oils can be used to that effect. In the case of inflammation on the bruised area, some essential oils which are purely organic can be used to reduce inflammation. 

Do essential oils attract ants?

Essential oils do not attract ants. Instead, it repels them since it contains a strong smell that is repugnant to them. 

Does lavender oil kill ants?

Lavender essential oil is produced from lavender flowers. Its fragrance is powerful and effective for getting rid of insects. It has a repugnant odor that is unattractive to ants. When sprayed on invading ants, it would kill them instantly.

Does eucalyptus oil kill ants?

Like lavender oil, the eucalyptus oil not only repels ants, it also kills them. It is even more effective when used with rubbing alcohol. It would prevent ants from invading your home.

Are essential oils safe for pets?

Though essential oils are natural, organic, and safe for humans, not all of them are good for your pets. Some contain strong smells that can be harmful to your dog. It can affect the respiratory tract of your pets and can lead to skin reactions, and allergies. Here is a list of essential oils that may or may not be safe for pets. 

The essential oils that are harmful to pets include; peppermint, cinnamon, basil, garlic, citrus, lavender, and tea tree essential oils. 

The essential oils not harmful to pets include; sage, cedarwood, ginger, and chamomile.


Ant control is a cause for concern for many people considering that these critters always find a way to cause a nuisance to people. It is important to know natural and less toxic ways to control these insects. You can also try out other natural ant controlling methods. 


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