Do Ants Like Lemon? 5 Ways You Can Use It To Deter Them

There are many reasons people are now looking to natural remedies to deter pests such as ants, and in answer to the question, do ants like lemon – they really do not!

One reason to use lemon juice as a deterrent is the desire to find a non-toxic natural substance. One that isn’t harmful to children and pets, as well as the rest of the family.

Luckily nature has provided some great solutions. One of these is the use of lemon juice to get rid of ants as they detest the scent.

As well as avoiding the use of harmful insecticides and pesticides, this is also a more humane way to get rid of the problem without resorting to expensive pest control chemicals. In addition, strong chemicals can often irrevocably damage hedges and other vegetation such as lawns, flowers, and trees.

You will have the choice of either deterring ants or killing them naturally by spraying the juice onto them.

Do Ants Like Lemon

5 Ways To Use Lemon To Deter Ants

Do Ants Like Lemon_ 5 Ways You Can Use It To Deter Them

Option 1: Inside Your Home

Buy some fresh lemons, maybe 3 or 4, depending on how big your house is, and cut them in half.

Rub the halves all around the doorway, including thresholds and door jambs.

Ants are often attracted to kitchens if there is are crumbs or other food bits around, so the next time you clean your kitchen, make sure you squeeze lemon juice onto a sponge and rub a thin layer of juice onto all surfaces.

This also works for bathroom surfaces, sinks, and other smooth surfaces. You can try these methods on any similar surfaces in your house that will be resistant to the acidic effects of lemon juice.

However, make sure you do not put the juice on any furniture or surfaces you wish to preserve. Wooded items, including valued tables or other decorative items, might be tarnished if exposed to lemon juice.

Option 2: Outside Your Home

There are many ways to deter ants from using lemon juice before they ever get anywhere near your house, and you may be in a situation where your garden is overrun with pests.

To zap ants that are running amok in your garden, one easy method is to chop up some of the lemons and strip off the peel or grate it.

Sprinkle the lemon peel all around your garden, on hedges, near flowers, and particularly around any ant hills if you know where they are.

Option 3: Track The Ant Trail

Ant trails can be easy to spot. One clue is there are tons of ants marching along with a similar pattern!

When you spot one of these, place pieces of lemon across the trail to disperse it.

The danger is that their route might change and it might include your home! When I am using this method, I will leave the trail alone if it is not very close to my home.

Why risk it!

Option 4: Lemon Juice Ant Spray

If you mix equal amounts of water and lemon juice in a spray bottle and shake thoroughly, you will have an ant solution that will kill ants naturally if sprayed on them due to the acid in the juice.

This may also act to deter other ants or close down the colony if you spray as many as possible with your solution.

It also confuses them and messes up their sense of tracking, which will also disrupt the colony and supply chains.

Option 5: Combine Lemon Juice With Bay Leaf

Some substances can work well with lemon juice to provide a double whammy that ants find really off-putting, and one of these is a bay leaf.

You can experiment with combining lemon juice with bay leaf, too, if this potent mix is even more of a deterrent.

You can combine the lemon juice and bay leaves and mix into a paste that you can smear on the thresholds of doors and at the foundations.

This is a little messier, so this combination may be better for doors and the outside of your house. But, you can experiment with putting it in diverse places to see what works best.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are ants attracted to lemon juice?

No, ants are not attracted to lemon juice. In my experience, ants do not like lemon juice. In fact, lemon juice can be used to deter ants from invading your home.

What smells do ants hate?

Aside from lemon juice, ants do not like peppermint oil, or tea tree oil. You can use these scents to deter ants from your home.

Why do ants suddenly appear?

There are many reasons why ants suddenly appear in your home. The most obvious reason is the weather! Ants appear in the Spring every year, in droves! Another reason why ants suddenly appear is that they have a way to a food source. This can be your trash, your kitchen, or even access to pet food. You need to watch where you place food, especially in the spring.


So, if swarms of ants regularly plague you in the summer months, you will see there are many creative ways to utilize the acidic, natural repellent properties of lemon juice. Do ants like lemon? Definitely not!

Having said that, simply using lemon may not be enough if your home is totally overrun with ants.

Whether you want to deter ants from entering your home or use it to kill them and shut down their colonies, you will have many options at your disposal by using these natural methods.

As I said above, ants tend to invade my yard in the Spring, which also lasts into the Summer. You must store food correctly to ensure they do not find a source. Because when they find a food source, they will be all over it! When they invade your cupboards and pantry, it takes some hard work to get rid of them.

Remember, ants have the ability to carry bacteria into your home, which could cause health issues for you and your family.

Good luck using lemon to get rid of ants!


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!

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