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Natural Ant Repellent: How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally

natural ant repellent
Photo: CC0/ Pixabay/ Hans

In the summer, ants often find their way indoors, attracted by what’s in our kitchen cabinets. We’ll show you how to get rid of ants with natural ant repellents so you don’t have to resort to harmful chemicals.

Ants are useful insects, performing the role of nature’s sanitation police. As long as they limit their beat to forests or fields, no one has a problem with them.

The tune quickly changes when they start to make themselves comfortable in our homes and gardens – that’s when you might start looking for a (natural) ant repellent. In our personal spaces, ants can quickly become a plague. Some types will even climb up an entire six-floor walk-up!

Why You Should Choose Natural Ant Repellents

You can find a variety of products to fight ants in stores, most of which contain poisonous chemicals. These might get rid of the ants efficiently but also harm other useful insects or plants or even your own health.

It’s really not that hard to get rid of ants naturally. There are quite a few natural ant repellents and simple tricks you can use instead of chemical products – things that are at least as successful at beating back the ants and simultaneously more environmentally friendly.

Here we present some of the best home remedies to get rid of ants in your home and garden.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Ants

natural ant repellent: remove food sources
Ants are attracted to food, especially in the summer. (Photo: CC0/ Pixabay/ makamuki0)

You might have heard that baking powder is the classic natural ant repellent. Most people don’t know, however, that it causes the ants to suffer gruesome deaths. The baking powder expands in their stomachs until they explode – effective yet brutal.

Instead, it’s better to interrupt the trail of ants or to relocate the ant colony altogether. Here’s how you can get rid of ants naturally:

  • Tape: Tape over part of the ant trail with scotch tape. This causes the ants to lose the scent trail left by their comrades and they cannot make their way to the food source.
  • Chalk: Works using the same principle as tape. Simply use lines of chalk to interrupt the ant trail.
  • Strongly scented substances are another effective home remedy to get rid of ants: Place garlic, cinnamon, lavender, lemon, vinegar, or essential oils (online, e.g. on Amazon**) along the ant trail – this confuses the insects and soon sends them packing.
  • Flood their nest: Ants who’ve made their home in flower pots and window boxes can be forced out through regular overwatering with a watering can. (Try not to drown your plants though.)
  • Remove their food source: Ants are often attracted to balconies by the sweet secretions of aphids on plants. Get rid of the aphids, and you will soon find yourself ant-free, too.
  • The same rule applies to any sweet food source stored indoors. Always cover sweet foods and close open packages tightly!

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally: Relocation and Ant Barriers

ants are useful but you might still need natural ant repellents
Though useful in nature, ants can be a pain to have in the house. (Photo: CC0/ Pixabay/ Pexels)

If all other natural ant repellents fails, you can try to remove the ants by relocating them or blocking their way to your home.


If you can’t get rid of ants naturally, relocating the colony might be your best option:

  1. The easiest method is to fill a flower pot with wood shavings or excelsior and place it top down on the ant trail or ant colony.
  2. Soon the ants will bring their pupae into their new home and abandon their old colony.
  3. Once the move is complete, find a better location for this colony – as far away as possible (at least 100 feet) from their old home – and place them there.

Ant barriers:

To prevent them from coming back, use a simple home remedy to get of the ants: Scented natural ant repellents can do the trick. Create a scent barrier comprised of essential oils like lavender, cloves, or thyme, or even vinegar or lemon peels, placed around entrance ways or terraces.

Caution: If it appears as though the pest has gotten out of hand and no natural home remedies can get rid of the ants, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance – especially when it comes to pharaoh or carpenter ants, which can cause serious damage in a very short amount of time.

This article was translated from German into English by Hilary. You can view the original here: Ameisen bekämpfen: Natürliche Hausmittel für Garten und Wohnung.

** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

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