Natural Ways to Keep Ants Away

Amber glass bottles surrounded by flowers.
What You'll Need
Lemon juice
Cinnamon oil
Coffee grounds
Herbs (sage, peppermint, lavender or fennel)

Ants have an integral place in the grand scheme of things, and they're a part of nature. But it's natural to not want them in your home or garden areas. Use natural methods, like plants and odors, to keep ants away from your property.

Spray Them Away

Ants eat plants, they build little dirt hills all over the place, and they’re generally unsightly. It’s harder to enjoy outdoor areas if you have an ant infestation, and it’s extremely uncomfortable to have them inside your home. Make your own natural ant-repelling sprays to keep these unattractive little insects away.

Fill a spray bottle with plain water. This is the base for your ant-repelling formula. Smells that will deter these pests won't stink up your home, but should make it smell good instead. Add 5-6 drops of lemon juice to your water, and you’ve got an acidic solution that drives ants away. Alternatively, you can add 5-6 drops of essential cinnamon oil instead. Cinnamon smells sweet and pleasant to many human begins, but it has a bitter and very off-putting smell to ants.

Apply the solution to areas where you’ve noticed high ant traffic. Spray across doorways and around windows to keep ants out of the home. You can also pray the solution around the edges of your garden. You can even spray the solution directly on ant hills and other areas where you’ve noticed the ants.

Draw the Line

Draw a line that ants can’t cross with natural and easy-to-obtain materials.

Chalk - Draw a line around a window or piece of pavement with chalk. Ants won’t cross a line of chalk because it gets on their legs and interferes with the lines of scent they use to mark their paths.

Coffee - Unlike many humans, ants don’t like the smell of coffee. Save your old coffee grounds and strew them about your garden and outdoor areas. Place some around plant and flower beds and in sidewalk cracks. The grounds won’t harm your plants; in fact, coffee grounds make a good natural fertilizer. This may not be the best option if you have pets as it can be toxic to the,.

Cucumber - Save cucumber peels and small slices. Place them around areas of high ant activity. The smellier the cucumber, the more effective it will be at repelling ants.

Grow Natural Ant Repellents

Add plants that naturally give off odors ants can’t stand, and keep them away from all your outdoor areas. Used as houseplants, the same herbs can be used to repel ants indoors.

Herbs - Growing peppermint, lavender, and fennel will keep ants out of your garden areas. Plant one or more of these herbs near your doors, and ants won’t want to go inside your home.

Fresh Smells - Cut fresh sprigs of sage from your garden, and place them inside cupboards and closets. The sage has a pleasant smell to humans, and a terrible smell to ants.

Garlic water - Use a clove of garlic and water to create a strong-smelling solution of garlic water. Spray this in any outdoor areas that are strongly affected by ants. This solution smells strong even to humans, so you may wish to use this only as a last resort.

It’s natural to hate ants, but it’s not natural to use man-made chemicals to keep them away. Make your own natural ant repellents instead, and keep them out of the areas that matter to you.