5 Essential Oils For Ants (How to Get Rid Of Ants Naturally)

Do You Have an Ant Infestation?

I’m guessing that you probably want to avoid the chemical sprays that you will find at most convenient locations. Those not-so-natural remedies are usually pretty damaging to humans, specifically, to our brains, and in my personal opinion, they should be avoided.

I also do believe that the natural remedies like essential oils are best for getting rid of ants. They are also potentially the cheapest. You probably already have everything that you need. Let’s go through the options.

You can pick from the list of essential oils to create the desired effect. If you have pets, be careful to not spray them directly. Cats and dogs often have allergic reactions if the oils make direct contact upon their skin. The dilution via the water and vinegar should help to reduce any potential reactions, but you should still do some research into the potential sensitivities of your pet(s).

The Best Essential Oils to Get Rid Of Ants

1. Tea Tree

This is the oil that I was thinking of when I made the warning regarding your pets. Some animals have a common sensitivity to Tea Tree oil, so be careful not to get this oil on them. It is known be an effective ant repellant though, so it’s up to you.

2. Bay Leaf

Whether in oil form or a fine powder, ants will avoid this like the plague. This makes it effective not only for an attack, but also a defense for the foods in your cupboards. Spray this or crumble the leaf anywhere that you see ants, and it should keep them away for a time. Like a spirit supposedly reacts to salt, ants will not cross a line of this stuff. Here is a study regarding the toxicity of Bay Leaves on mosquito larvae and fire ants. Due to the similar structure of one ant species vs another; these remedies are generally applicable across the various ant types.

3. Clove Oil

Clove oil is devastatingly effective against ants. In this study, a small application of clove oil upon fire ants had a 100% mortality rate within 6 hours, and successfully repelled the ants within 3 hours. Spraying this around the house should shut them down.

4. Lemon and/or Orange

Both of these oils have the same benefit, and the D-Limonene is it. It’s cheap and smells great. They are extremely effective against fire ants according to this study. Remember, the effectiveness of one citrus fruit indicates the effectiveness of the others. The reason for this is that citrus fruit contains D-Limonene’s. This will be discussed further in a few paragraphs.

5. Peppermint

This is a more effective repellent than it is as a final blow. Ants’ don’t like it…It’s just a guess, but I imagine it is due to making it difficult to communicate since they speak with smells. Imagine trying to hear a friend while in a crowded and noisy room. If you want to talk, you will probably move to a quieter location. Good Deterrent.

Essential Oils aren’t the only way to fight the invading horde of ants. There are lots of other very effective natural products that can take them out. Here is a compendium of the best ones that I have been scouring the internet to collect.

Essential Oil Recipes for Ants

Recipe 1

  • 2oz Orange Oil
  • 2oz Castile Soap
  • One gallon of water

Recipe 2

  • Clean Spray Bottle
  • ½ cup of Vinegar
  • ½ Water
  • 20 – 40 drops of essential oils (Choose from the above list of essential oils)

More Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Ants

Lemon Juice

No, really, that’s it. Sometimes the simple solutions are best. Ants despise citrus products, and if you clean with this the ants will have a very difficult time navigating your house. Citrus fruits contain an ingredient called D-Limonene which destroys ants’ ability to breathe. Ants have a waxy coating that D-Limonene dissolves. It honestly sounds like a dreadful way to die, but it will do the job. If you don’t have any lemon juice, I’d recommend that you go pick up an unnecessarily large duo of lemon juice at your local Costco.

Borax and Sugar – Extremely Effective to House Ants

Depending on the species of ant, I think that this should be your first choice. The common house ant will deliver the mixture back to the nest, and it unintentionally poisons it. If you are dealing with carpenter ants then you will want to choose a different method. Borax is a poison to house ants, but it does nothing to carpenter ants. Both ants mostly look the same. To tell the difference, find the different points of entry around your house. If you see sawdust, then you are probably dealing with carpenter ants. There are two main methods of delivery

Soaked Cotton Balls

Mix the sugar, borax, and water together in a container. When the borax and sugar dissolves, soak the cotton balls with the mixture. Now, place the cotton balls at the various locations where you have spotted the ants. The ants will take it from there and take themselves out.

  • ½ Cup of sugar
  • 1 ½ – 3 Tablespoons of Borax
  • 1 ½ Cups of Water
  • Cotton Balls

Sugar and Borax Paste

If you don’t have any cotton balls on hand, you can always make a paste that you can apply to those same areas of infestation. Cats can be poisoned by borax, so consider that if you are going to use this method…To make this paste, mix the borax and sugar before adding just enough water before things start to get runny.

  • ½ Cup of sugar
  • 1 ½ – 3 Tablespoons of Borax
  • Water

Baking Soda and Sugar

You can mix up another poisonous treat for the ants by combining equal parts of sugar and baking soda. Place the piles of powder near the ants, and let them do the rest

Diatomaceous Earth

Every living body has its own ecosystem. It is an environment that must maintain certain conditions to continue living. It those conditions change to drastically, than the creature dies. Diatomaceous earth compromises those conditions by cutting the carapace of tiny insects and soaking in the moisture contained inside…This works on fleas too, so remember that you your pet has any issues. The food grade diatomaceous earth isn’t harmful to mammals, so a lot of people actually eat this stuff as a parasite cleanse.

Plug entrances with Caulking

You will often find little holes in the walls and baseboards near the sources of the ants. Plug them with caulking. It might be enough to end your ant problem, or at the least, limit it.. It is a cheap solution and should have a noticeable effect immediately.

Bait for house ants

Powdered sugar attracts them. Mix borax with 3 parts powdered sugar.


Mix 1 cup of water, ½ cup of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of borax

Vinegar can clean up the trails that ants use to navigate.

Different Types of Ants

Carpenter and House ants can look similar, so I find that the easiest way to tell the difference is to look at the surroundings. Carpenter ants will chew through wood and leave little piles of sawdust. House ants don’t have the ability to chew through wood, so they will not make those piles.

If that doesn’t help, there are some physical characteristics that will help you discern which ant is being a pest.

Carpenter Ant
Color: Black carapace with red legs

Size: ⅝”

Wings: Sometimes

Behaviour: These ants, as the name suggests, build their homes in wood. They have the capability of biting through your skin.

House Ants

Color: Black or Brown

Size: 1/16” to ⅛”

Wings: No

Behaviour: Build ant hills, and they do not have the ability to bite.