5 Confirmed Scents That Repel Ants

Let us face it; pests in the house can cause a significant nuisance. Seeing them running around is frustrating and a sign of danger if you have kids or pets in the house.

Whether summer, spring, or fall, insects remain active throughout the year. And “ants” are the most vicious ones. Not only can the tiny creatures build huge mounds in the yard, but they also easily invade your garage, kitchen, and even your car!

So is there any way to exterminate these pesky critters? Are there any scents that repel ants?

Luckily, you can keep these creepy-crawlies away from your house using some simple remedies. These bugs do not like the smell of some natural food items and ingredients, such as peppermint.

They avoid places with traces of herbs, oils, or citrus fruits that have a strong fragrance. These environmentally friendly measures can work as a natural insect repellent as their strong fragrance repels ants and keeps them from entering your home.

What you will learn in this post:

  1. 5 Scents that repel ants
  2. Frequently asked questions

5 Confirmed Scents That Repel Ants

Which Scents Can Repel Ants? How To Use Them

You can use natural scents like coffee, lemon, orange, and pepper to prevent ant invasions in your house. Because they all are natural remedies, they will not add toxins and chemicals to your home environment.

Many people have been using these substances as strong-scented repellents for decades. Using a few drops of natural oils like lavender as an insect repellent near the area of your house where you can see ants frequently can be effective at getting rid of them.

If you are looking for easy ways to remove ants from your home, we have you covered here.

5 Confirmed Scents That Repel Ants

5 Confirmed Scents That Repel Ants Infographic

1. Peppermint

Did you know that peppermint is one of the best natural insect repellents?

It helps you kill ants and keeps other pests like bugs and mosquitoes at bay. It has a strong smell that deters ants. Many people use homemade peppermint sprays, especially in spring, to eliminate ant colonies. Unfortunately, peppermint sprays do not kill these pests. Their strong smell keeps ants from entering as they cannot tolerate it.

Peppermint grows in different geographical locations. That is the reason they have a distinct smell. Most peppermint plants contain methoxyflurane, which is beneficial for human health. However, the same ingredient in peppermint serves as an insect repellent.

At the same time, you must keep peppermint out of your pets’ reach as they may fall sick if exposed.

How To Use

As mentioned above, you can make peppermint spray at home. Take two cups of water and add 15 drops of peppermint oil. Mix it well and spray it all over the windows and corners of doors and baseboards. Let it dry. Repeat the process twice a day.

2. Lemon Eucalyptus

Lemon eucalyptus is another well-known repellent you can use to protect your house from pests like ants. It contains the right quantity of citronella oils from Cymbopogon (lemongrass) leaves and stems. Citronella is a perfumery chemical and is a common substance in candles.

Candles that contain citronella repel ants, mosquitoes, and flying bugs. Because of its strong citrus odor, people use the mixture of lemon eucalyptus oil as an ant repellent. If battling ants in the bathroom or kitchen, try this citronella-scented remedy for quick results.

Remember not to ingest eucalyptus oil directly.

How To Use

You can use cotton balls to apply lemon eucalyptus oil to the affected areas of your home. Saturate the small cotton balls with lemon eucalyptus oil (undiluted). Please place it in all your kitchen and bathroom areas. You can also place these balls inside the cupboards and cabinets.

Don’t forget to change them weekly.

3. Oranges and Lemons

Fruits that contain citrus make the best ants repellents. Whether you squeeze them on the places or wash the areas with a mixture of water and lemon or orange juice, the sharp scent keeps ants away. It is because ants and other pests do not like the smell of citrus fruits.

Know that anything with a bitter and sour taste or smell can help you remove ants. On the other hand, sugary food particles act as a lure for ants. Ensure not to keep sweets or sugary items in cabinets or drawers as they attract ants. Moreover, keep your kitchen counter clean, especially after peeling vegetables and fruit.

How To Use

Make a solution by mixing lemon or orange juice, or prepare a paste using orange peel and warm water. Then, apply the paste around all entry points for ants and wipe it after an hour.

4. Coffee Grounds

Did you know that coffee acts as an excellent ant repellent? No matter how active these pesky critters like to be, they do not like the strong aroma of coffee.

The scent of coffee repels ants, making it fantastic pest control. Moreover, coffee grounds are loaded with minerals like phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, so adding them to the soil in your garden is a great idea to boost nutrition.

How To Use

Sprinkle used coffee grounds on the typical entry points for ants as a simple way to deter ants from coming in.

5. Essential Oils/Spices and Herbs

Garlic cloves, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, mint, and lavender oil are effective against these tiny creatures. All these plants and herbs give off a sharp smell or scent that repels ants and several other pests in the home.

If you have children or pets at home, it is better to use essential oils than pepper to avoid allergies.

How To Use

Sprinkle these natural ingredients or make a paste to spread along the area where you see ants.

Frequently Asked Questions


What essential oils repel ants?

Peppermint, tea tree and citronella are the best essential oils to repel ants. Add these essential oils to a spray bottle, 2 cups of water, and 15-20 drops of the above essential oils. Ensure that you spray your surfaces at least once per day.

Does vinegar keep ants away?

Yes – vinegar does repel ants! White vinegar is the best kind of vinegar for this task. You should apply white vinegar onto surfaces and areas where ants have been. Use a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar.

How do I get rid of Ants permanently?

The only way to permanently eliminate ants is to store food and water in ant-proof containers. You will always get the odd ant in your home because they will be out looking for a supply of food or water. They will not signal to other ants if they cannot find what they are looking for.

What smell do ants hate most?

A few scents seem to send ants running in the other direction. Some of these include:

  • Peppermint: Ants hate the strong scent of peppermint, so try spraying a solution of peppermint oil and water around your home.
  • Cinnamon: Sprinkle cinnamon around areas where you’ve seen ants or in strategic places like doorways and windowsills.
  • Citrus: Ants also detest the smell of citrus, so try using lemon or orange peels to repel them.
  • Vinegar: Create a solution of vinegar and water to spray in areas where ants are a problem. The acidic smell will send them running.

Do ants hate the smell of lemon?

Yes, ants are repelled by the strong scent of lemon. You can use this to your advantage by creating a lemon-scented barrier around your home. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water, and then use a spray bottle to apply it around doorways, windows, and any other potential entry points for ants.

You can also apply lemon-scented oil to a cotton ball and place it near areas where ants are known to congregate. The strong smell of lemon will discourage them from entering your home.


All in all, having pests like ants in the house can be pretty unhygienic, so use these scents that repel ants as much as you can!

Ants like Harvester, Fire, and Carpenter can bite humans and damage walls and other materials.

From transferring bacteria directly to the mouth to contaminating food, ants can do anything to harm your health. Thus, natural remedies are great for keeping your house ant free.

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!

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