Six Natural Ant Repellents

Say goodbye to those pesky ants, safely and effectively.

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Yes, those durable creatures…they come crawling in their lines and missions dead set to get into your cupboards and climb over your counters. Seeming to come out of the walls from nowhere, suddenly they appear from all directions. And, all you want is to get them out!

Do not worry! There are practical things you can do to keep these marching soldiers out of your home without having to resort to toxic bug killing repellents. You do not have to worry about inhaling dangerous fumes and you will remedy your problem.

Try some of these out and see what a difference a little ingenuity can make!

  • Use Vinegar

    Put some vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray around the areas that these pesky critters show up. Vinegar leaves behind a natural ant repellant.

  • Chalk

    School teachers get your chalk out. Yes, that’s right, for some reason if you draw a line of chalk on the ground, ants will not cross over it. Maybe they know that once you “draw the line” one side is theirs and the other is yours. (pun intended) If only it was that easy with all things in life. Maybe we can all learn something from ants.

  • Black Pepper

    Black Pepper is a natural safe way to send these insects running back to their anthills. Sprinkle some near their entryway and rest assured that they will not visit you while that pepper stands in the way.

  • Cayenne Pepper

    This is another pepper that ants avoid. Lay some down and remedy the problem right away.

  • Mint and Chewing Gum

    Some types of mint and chewing gum keep these segmented bugs away. Place some down and they will find some other place to hang out.

  • Cinnamon

    Cinnamon is also known for its ability to keep those crawling bugs away. Sprinkle some around the areas they frequent the most.

These are just some great ideas especially if you don’t like the idea of killing anything. Ants, while they can be troublesome in your home, are remarkably interesting creatures. It is a wonder to think that even when they are running from the risk of their own life, they will stop to pick up a fellow fallen soldier and try to carry him home.

Joie Schmidt © Copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved.


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RSSComments: 27  |  Post a Comment
  1. Interesting and great tips, thanks!

  2. thanks for the great tips

  3. have already tried the vinegar, mixed it with water, they worked for a while, maybe should try it neat. thanks for the very useful tips, because the ants are ready to carry me and my dog away. will try all of the above, until something works, and can this be applied outside with the same result? will try that too.

  4. I like the idea.

  5. #1 ant killer, besides very cheap.. Powdered washing powered, of any brand? Yes, break up the ant hill with even a stick, then spinkle a little powder over the ant hill. The next day, stir around the ant pile, Yes they are gone Gauranteed.

  6. i likes to take piece toilet paper and squash the ants and flush them down the toilet

  7. Thank you for your advice. I was looking for repellent more than a way to kill them. Being fed up with ants yesterday I sprayed with chlorox cleaner the trail coming into the house. It kills them right away. But then, out of under a little leave came out another insect running away as fast as possible trying to survive the spray. It first went fairly fast, then slowed down. It started contorting and finally straightened to its death. I am not a faint of heart, I delivered my own baby a month ago, love to train my mixed martial art, ride motorbike and walked on a wire 30 feet in the air. But this got me. I want to repell the ants like the people we don’t want to associate with in life. I will use the cinnamon and cayenne and work from there. My father in law was an avid hunter. Once he shot a deer, proud of himself he walked to it to claim his prize. When looking at it he noticed a tear going down the deer’s face. He broke down and never went to hunt again.

  8. Great,jus what i was looking for”.


  9. My daughter in law just rang to ask for a safe repellent, Thanks for your great site, have e-mailed it to many like minded friends


  10. What do I do if I can’t find entry points or nest? I live in a 30-year-old trailer, so entry could be anywhere. Only have an occasional visitor, that may show up anywhere in the house, even across the top of my computer monitor. They don’t seem to have a favorite place to run.They seem to be increasing in the frequency of visits. Right now I dealing individually with them, but would like them to stay outside altogether. Any ideas?

  11. Thanks so much for these tips! Exactly what I was looking for… repel, not kill, and in spray form. One question though… my sunny deck is the ant infested area. Can I safely spray vinegar around without it (+ sun) causing any discoloration to the deck? Thanks again!

  12. Hi, Lisa.

    I live in an old trailer, too, and had/have the same issue with ants. The problem with these old trailers is that they tend to leak into the walls and there is generally one property drainage path that finds its way under the trailer when it rains.

    The following depends upon the type of ant, of course, but should work for most types that would take up residence in a house. My issue is with odorous house ants and the following works great on them.

    If you just want to control them, start with a row or two of spearmint around the perimeter of the trailer. Now, this will keep new ants from joining the party, but won’t do anything about the thousands or millions already living in your walls. To address these, bait is probably your best bet. Diatomaceous earth, borax, and pancake syrup works pretty well. Start with a cup of syrup and a couple tablespoons of the earth and borax. Maybe thinned a little with distilled water (the chlorine in tap water repels them). Just cut up 2 inch squares of cardboard (stiff plastic work best since it doesn’t wick the moisture from the syrup), 8 for a single, 12 for double-wide), and place them just inside the skirting at fairly equal intervals. Check/replenish/replace them every couple days and you will notice a marked reduction in a week or so. The best part is that all are cheap to use. Borax (20 Mule Team)will be on the top shelf @ Wal Mart priced at about 3.00. Diatomaceous earth will be at most Lowe’s stores and should be much less 10.00 depending on the quantity they’re selling, and you may have the syrup around the house.

    To rid yourself of the ants completely/permanently, you will have to address any water issues you find. Like I mentioned earlier, old trailers are prone to leakage into the walls and under the trailer itself. This can get expensive to resolve, but will save money in the long run.

    Hope this helps at least a little…. Regards.

  13. Chalk? Really? I’m going to make use of that tip!

  14. I have pine oil. This seems to work very well!

  15. My sister in law owns a natural health store, she said use natural lavender oil in a mist bottle (10 drops of oil for 1 cup of water) mist it around doors and windows…put lavender scented dryer sheet in drawers, anywhere you want to keep bugs out, just put them away from small pets & babies has they will put anything in their mouth…

    As for trailers we had our rv in storage I put cloves(not ground) around doors cupboards drawers shower toilet etc…my RV was the only one without ants !
    My RV is in my driveway right now, so I\’m going to clean it up will see if my sister in laws lavender oil worked better then my cloves…will keep you posted…

  16. death bring death peace out!

  17. joking. well if anyone is on can they tell me why this stuff does what it does i doing a science project for school and i need help i procrastinated a little.

  18. the pepper was a great tip, the ants wont go near it so a line at my door has stopped them coming in all together

  19. so I tried the vinegar. my patio doorway smells, i smell, and it doesn\’t appear to bother the lil buggers.

  20. I recently got my own house and even though I keep it clean the ants are still coming in. I have found their entrance and covered it in black pepper. Now, I did not like the smell of the pepper myself and the ants did not like it either. It worked for about two days and then when the smell of the pepper wore off they came right back in. I must find something else that will deter them or hopefully kill the nest. I have reason to believe that the hill is under my house and it\’s annoying. I wipe them away, clean the counters, mop the floors, sweep often and still they come. I think I will try using more bleach and looking for a bait to kill them. I want something natural though because I do have pets and a child. Their safety comes first.

  21. Recently, there has been a lot of blaack ants creeping around the house and no matter how we keep it clean, it just seems they need something more. Since the baby is still almost 2 months and I think been pissed off of trying to get rid of the ants everyday, I thought of looking for something fast to kick them out of the house. As I was looking around, I stumbled into your article and I will start doing this once I got home later. Keep you posted what will happen.

  22. I have a frame house and after four months I noticed ants entering from every where. No matter what I tried the results where temporary. I called a professional exterminator and he installed small black pipes under the house small clamp nails allowing pipe to have a little play. He injected the spay and also around the house. He also sprayed the inside along the walls. He said just don’t let animals or kids step on it until it dries then it would be fine. He said I would see a few more that where hiding out. A few came out during the next two days. Wow no more ants! He said all you have to is call him every six months. He also said the rain would make what he sprayed outside stronger! Sometimes getting stuff done professionally will slow down the gray hairs ants bring us. Lol good luck to all remedies. I think I had a big nest under my house. That’s why I went with x-treme measures. I just couldn’t stand the thought of ants crawling on my children when they’d in their rooms!

  23. Try the diatomaceous earth bait. It’s in here somewhere. It’s non-toxic to pets and kids, just doesn’t taste good and they should leave it alone. If you find the trail and it’s outside, add a little boric acid into the mix. Just make sure the pets and kid don’t get that. Both will kill the colony if the worker ants take the bait back to the queen.

  24. Try the diatomaceous earth bait. It\’s in here somewhere. It\’s non-toxic to pets and kids, just doesn\’t taste good and they should leave it alone. If you find the trail and it\’s outside, add a little boric acid into the mix. Just make sure the pets and kid don\’t get that. Both will kill the colony if the worker ants take the bait back to the queen.

  25. To “repel but live”- Wow, thank you so much for sharing that comment. It literally brought me to tears, but for a good reason; it’s wonderful to know others in this world “get it” and are realizing the suffering and pain animals and insects endure at the hands of humans. I’m so thrilled your father in law was touched by the fear and suffering the poor deer felt and that he has stopped hunting. One less hunter in this world is a fantastic thing indeed. Thank you again for posting your comment, I hope others will appreciate it as much as I did. :)

  26. I wanted to let some of the people who commented above know that if you do use Pine Oil to repel ants, be cautious. If you own a cat or live in a neighborhood highly populated with cats, using Pine Oil can and will harm them. Pine Oil is incredibly toxic to cats, and moe often than not results in death. Most of the people above want to REPEL ants, because they don’t feel right in actually killing ants. Those of you who recommended Pine Oil, please, for future reference, warn people about the dangers of it to cats. I understand if you weren’t properly educated about the Pros and Cons of Pine Oil, but please, heed some warning to others. On another note, to those who are dog lovers, Pine Oil has no known ill affect to any animals outside of the Feline Kingdom. I hope this imformation was useful to you all!

  27. I have lived in trailers where they were infested with ants. They get in the insulation under the trailer and build nest. I found that only one thing worked for me. I have many different types of animals so I did not wnat to harm them. SO I used baby powder. At the beginning of spring I went to dollar tree and bought large supplt of baby powder. I would spray this around and under the home. In all window sills, under sinks at door ways. They would not cross it. The first times it takes a day or two but the ants will go away. I guess they can’t breathe the fine particles of powder.

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