Synthetic ant poisons and repellents are full of toxic chemicals and covered with health warnings, so it’s no wonder that many people opt for a natural ant repellent instead. A natural ant repellent is gentle on the environment and doesn’t pose risks for the people or pets living in the house.
Natural Ant Repellents
Here are some of the most popular and effective natural ant repellents:
Cinnamon: Although it won’t harm them, ants won’t walk through cinnamon if they can help it. Sprinkle it around any known entry points, such as by the door or cracks in the foundation. Also, if you have an infestation, you can sprinkle it on the area to disperse the ants immediately. Once they leave, you can take more permanent measures. Added bonus: your house will smell great!
- Citrus peels: Ants are repelled by d-limonene, a component of citrus rind. Various methods of applying the deterrent exist. You can use dried citrus peels, or create a citrus peel drench, or simply leave peels in the affected area. Alternatively, if you’d rather not go to the effort of peeling and setting out the fruits, you can try Orange Guard, a non-toxic d-limonene spray that is a very effective natural ant repellent. You will need to re-apply this from time to time, but it smells great and is non-toxic, so there isn’t much downside.
Chalk: Ants won’t cross a chalk line, so use a simple piece of sidewalk or blackboard chalk to draw lines near any vulnerable entry points. The downside? Chalk rubs off, obviously, so this natural ant repellent won’t be a permanent or even long-term solution.
- Diatomaceous earth: Made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, this is a crumbly white powder that you can spread near ant entry points (Note: if they do walk through it, it will kill them, making this as much a natural ant killer as a natural ant repellent. However, over time, they will avoid the area and stop coming back). Unlike some of the previous repellents, diatomaceous earth continues to be effective for a while after application. You will only need to put it out once a month or so.
- A wide variety of food products are used as natural ant repellents, so experiment and find what works for you. Some suggestions? Garlic, black pepper, vinegar, mint, coffee grounds, cucumber, and cayenne pepper. All of these are non-toxic to humans and pets, so see which ones you find easy to apply (and which smells you can tolerate!)
Lest us know in the comments: what do you find to be the best natural ant repellent?