What Smell Does Ants Hate? 5 Natural Ant Repellents

If you’re looking for a way to keep ants out of your home, then you may be asking yourself “what smell does ants hate?” Well, it turns out that many common scents are not only distasteful to ants but can also help you get rid of them.

Ants have an olfactory sense, which is how they distinguish their nest mates from invaders. As we’re all aware, ants aren’t really noses but they do have a sophisticated pair of antennae that are used to pick up a range of scents and chemicals.

One of the most annoying things about ants is that they can be difficult to get rid of, especially when they have built up a nest on your property. However, there are many natural repellents that will deter them from your property without the need for chemical sprays.

1. Pepper

This spicy and strong-smelling spice drives the scent receptors of ants crazy and makes them shy away from it. You can use either cayenne or black pepper (it is best to try different types of pepper in order to find the ones that work for you), and sprinkle it in areas where ants are known to congregate around.

2. Garlic

Ants hate the smell of garlic, so putting a few cloves around entry points, such as window sills or doors, is a good deterrent for them. You can also add a few drops of garlic oil to cotton balls and place them in the same areas.

3. Lavender

While lavender can be a lovely plant in your garden, it is also an effective natural insect repellent. You can make a spray using lavender essential oil and water, and wipe down surfaces with it to destroy ant pheromone trails.

4. Borax

Another classic ant deterrent, borax can be found in most hardware stores. To make this ant repellent, mix equal parts sugar and borax with water. Saturate cotton balls with the mixture and place them in strategic locations where you see ants regularly, such as doorways, windowsills or baseboards.

5. Essential oils

A few drops of lavender, tea tree and peppermint oil can be mixed together in a bottle and then sprayed or wiped on problem areas where ants are known to congregate. These essential oils are strong enough to deter ants from entering your home but mild enough to not harm you or pets.

6. Lemon juice

Like vinegar, lemon juice can also be a natural deterrent for ants because it interferes with their pheromone trails. It “erases the invisible path” ants are following, so they can’t find their way back to their colony.

7. Citronella

While citronella is not as pleasant to have around your house, it is an effective ant deterrent because it has a citrusy fragrance that they don’t like. Save your orange, lemon and grapefruit peels to scatter around entry points as a natural deterrent.

8. Peppermint

It is one of the most popular ant repellents out there because it contains a strong and powerful scent that drives ants’ scent receptors crazy. You can also spray a mixture of peppermint essential oil and water around your home to prevent ants from invading.