Which Essential Oils Repel Ants? A Guide to Natural Ant Repellents

Do you have a problem with ants invading your home?

If so, you’re not alone. Ants are one of the most common household pests in the United States and the rest of the world. And while there are many commercial ant repellents available on the market, they can be expensive and contain harsh chemicals.

This blog pose will explore the use of essential oils as ant repellents. We’ll discuss which essential oils repel ants (instead of killing them), how to use them, and some safety tips to keep in mind.

Which Essential Oils Repel Ants A Guide to Natural Ant Repellents

Ant repellent essential oils – do they work?

The short answer is yes, within reason. But there are a few things you need to know before using essential oils as ant repellents.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • Which essential oils repel ants
  • How to use essential oils as ant repellents
  • Safety precautions to take when using essential oils around children and pets

Which essential oils repel ants?

essential oils (1)

There are the best essential oils that are used to repel ants. These include:

  • Peppermint oil: This refreshing oil not only repels ants but also has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
  • Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is another potent ant repellent. It’s so effective that some pest control professionals use it in their ant baits. In terms of ant repellent essential oils, tea tree oil is probably the most effective.
  • Cinnamon oil: This sweet-smelling oil is pleasant for humans and a somewhat powerful ant repellent.
  • Citronella oil: This oil is best known as a mosquito repellent but is also effective at repelling ants.
  • Clove oil: Clove essential oil has antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. It’s also an effective ant repellent.
  • Lemongrass oil: This oil has a citrusy scent that is pleasant for humans but offensive to ants.
  • Lavender oil: This oil has a calming scent for humans, but ants do not seem to like it.

I must admit, I have tried to use essential oils in the past to repel ants. While I have had some success, I’ve generally reverted to using more robust methods like ant traps, bleach, or boiling water (outside only).

Essential oils can be used but do not rely on them to prevent or eliminate many ants. It will make your home smell amazing, though! It is also better than using harmful chemicals.

How to use essential oils as ant repellents

There are a few different ways to use essential oils as ant repellents. If you are facing an ant invasion, you should look at other ways to get rid of them.

However, using essential oils can also deter a smaller number of ants.

Apply to ant trails

ant trail

One way to get rid of ants naturally is to apply the oil directly to areas where ants are present.

For example, you could use a cotton swab or your fingers to apply the oil to ant trails, doorways, windowsills, and other places where ants enter your home. I’ve had a bit of success using this method in the past.

A spray solution

spray bottle (1)

Another way to use essential oils as ant repellents is to create a spray solution by adding a few drops of the essential oil.

For example, you can create an essential oil ant spray with water in a spray bottle and then spray the solution in areas where ants are present. This method also works well if you spray directly onto the ants!

Apply to ants traps

ant trap (1)

You can also add essential oils to DIY ant traps. Add a few drops of the oil to the bait in the trap, and then place the trap in an area where ants are present.

Cotton balls

cotton balls (1)

Another method is using cotton balls with a few drops of essential oil. Please place them in small dishes in the areas where you have seen ant activity.

Safety precautions when using essential oils

As with any natural product, you should take certain safety precautions when using essential oils.

Although natural, they are still potent and can cause skin irritation or other adverse reactions if not used properly.

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when using essential oils:

  • Avoid using peppermint oil if you have kids. However, some studies have shown peppermint essential oil can affect infant breathing.
  • Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles, away from direct sunlight or heat, as they can degrade quickly.
  • Do not apply them to your skin without performing a patch test first. However, none of the strategies on this page ask you to apply oil to your skin, but it is still an important message.

What other natural products can I use to deter ants?

Alongside essential oils, there are other household things you can use to deter ants, such as:

These are all ant repellents that you likely have in your home already!

The best thing you can do is find out where the ants are coming from and seal up the entry point! Remove the things that ants are attracted to (food, water, etc) and the chances of an ant infestation reduce.

However, it may be time to call an exterminator if you have a severe ant problem. But for the most part, these natural solutions should do the trick.

Is it time to call a pest control professional?

pest control

If you are struggling with an ant infestation in your home, it may be time to call the professionals.

Pest control professionals can help you identify the source of your ant problem and develop a plan to get rid of them.

Sometimes, you have to pay the money if you want success!


If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of ants, you could try using essential oils.

Although my success has been mixed, several different oils have shown some effect in repelling ants, especially when using a spray solution.

Mix and match until you find the right combination for your needs.

Finally, for bigger ant infestations, you should use a different method.

Good luck!


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

Leave a Comment