Essential Oils To Repel Ants

Insects can be fascinating creatures, but nobody wants them inside their home (unless you have some pet insects, that is).

There’s nothing worse than having your house invaded by bugs. In some cases, they can be quite difficult to get rid of, which just turns into a nightmare!

If you live somewhere where it gets relatively warm during the summer season, you might have a problem with ants.

These insects live in colonies that can be quite big in number, and they’re so tiny that they can get through any sort of crack or hole.

And, once they make a path into your home, they will just keep coming. And trust us, an ant infestation is no joke, they will get in your food, and will be everywhere!

There are things you can do to prevent an ant infestation, such as storing all food (especially sweet things) away properly, and making sure cracks and holes are sealed, so that there is no way in.

But sometimes, ants find a way. Now, to get rid of them, you could use some chemical products, but these aren’t always the healthiest for your home.

Essential Oils To Repel Ants

A solution is to use essential oils. It might sound a bit far-fetched at first. Aren’t essential oils for aromatherapy and that sort of stuff?

Well, yeah. But essential oils have many different uses, and some of them have a scent that repels ants, effectively and safely driving the infestation away! It’s easier, safer, and no ants or humans are harmed in the process.

The ants smell the essential oils, and turn right back because they won’t want to go anywhere near them!

Of course, not just any essential oils will work for this, you have to use the specific essential oils that have a scent that will repel ants away.

So…which ones should you use? We’ve got you covered.

We’re going to give you a list of some of the best essential oils to use for repelling ants, and we will also give you plenty of tips and advice on how to best use these essential oils so that your ant problem goes away forever!

Let’s get right into it!

The Best Essential Oils For Repelling Ants

Essential oils are extracted from plants, and just how some plants in nature can repel certain animals and insects, the essential oils do the same, but often in a far more effective way (as the scent is stronger, and concentrated!)

There are a few different essential oils that can help you get rid of ants within your home, and that will repel these insects away. Some work better than others, and some require higher concentration than others in order to work.

But without further ado, here are the best essential oils to use, for repelling ants away:


Cinnamon is without a doubt the best essential oil you can use when it comes to repelling ants, and it is the most popular essential oil used for solving any issue to do with ants in the home.

It might seem a bit odd, as cinnamon has quite a sweet scent, that to us, is delicious.

But trust us when we say that ants absolutely hate cinnamon, and they don’t want to be anywhere near it! (In fact, it’s a common home remedy to place cinnamon sticks in windows and doorways to keep ants at bay!)

The reason why cinnamon essential oil works so well against ants is that it literally contains ant-repelling properties, and at high concentrations, it even becomes an insecticide able to outright kill the ants.

Plus, the strong scent of cinnamon is able to interrupt the trail of ant pheromone, and this is vital for getting ants to stop coming into the house! (Ants always follow each other, forming a line, so if you interrupt that, they become confused and scatter away!)

All of this being said, it is important to use cinnamon essential oil with the right concentration, so that it is actually effective.

According to the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, you should use a cinnamon essential oil at 20% potency, for it to efficiently repel ants away.

But since cinnamon essential oil is pretty strong, you don’t have to apply it straight onto the areas you want to protect, as it might become a little overwhelming for you and your home.

Instead, we recommend creating an ant spray that contains cinnamon essential oil, so that it is slightly more diluted, and a lot easier to use and apply onto surfaces!


Peppermint is an essential oil often regarded as the holy grail of repelling insects, and that is because it works for quite a few of them.

For example, did you know that peppermint can repel mosquitoes? It can also repel spiders! And as it is on our list, you also know that it is good for repelling ants.

The best thing about using peppermint essential oil to repel ants, is that it is a lot more subtle in its scent compared to cinnamon, so it does not become overwhelming, and also it makes your home smell fresh and clean!

Truly a great way to repel ants, and have your house smell good at the same time.

According to a 2007 study from the Journal of Entomological Science, peppermint essential oil can even be used to repel fire ants, which are notoriously a lot harder to get rid of!

It’s not as good as cinnamon against common ants, but it will usually do the job!


Lemongrass is another one of those plants that are often recommended when it comes to repelling different types of bugs, which is why many people choose to plant some of it in their gardens!

And the essential oil extracted from lemongrass is even more efficient.

The reason why lemongrass works so well for repelling insects is that it is very rich in citral and citronella, both compounds being extremely efficient at repelling insects (some of which include mosquitoes, house flies, and of course, ants!)

Oh, and the best bit?

Lemongrass has a fresh and lemony fragrance that will create an energizing and uplifting environment within your home, and it works especially well within the kitchen, which is where most ants tend to invade!



Cedarwood essential oil is very well-known for its uses as an insect repellent, and it can be incredibly efficient at getting rid of an ant infestation within your home.

The reason for this is that cedarwood essential oil is extracted from cedar trees, and cedar trees have developed anti-insect properties in order to keep themselves healthy.

It is no surprise that these trees, therefore, grow to be so tall out in the wild, they keep themselves safe from infestations!

And by using the essential oil these trees provide, you can also keep your home free from those same infestations.

For example, this essential oil is great at repelling moths (perfect for keeping clothes within closets safe), as well as being great at repelling cockroaches.

Plus, this essential oil can even keep insects away from your pet’s droppings, if you have litter within the house! And of course, it can be used to repel ants, which is why it is on this list!

It is worth noting that there are different types of essential oils that come from cedar trees, so make sure you are using a cedarwood oil that combines the properties of the trees native to China, the US, Nepal, and Morocco, as this is the blend that works the best!


The Patchouli essential oil isn’t as well known in the world of repelling insects, but it can actually be quite useful for keeping ants at bay, and for getting rid of an infestation.

It can also be used in a blend with some of the other essential oils that we have already mentioned on this list, for a more powerful solution!

Patchouli is especially good at repelling black ants, so if they’re your problem, this is the solution to go for!

There are a few other essential oils that can prove to be useful in the battle against ants, to keep your home safe from any infestation.

But the ones we have listed are by far the most effective, and also the most common, so you shouldn’t have much trouble sourcing them from a local store!

How To Use Essential Oils When Repelling Ants

Now that we have gone through the list of the best essential oils to use in order to repel ants, it is worth giving you some basic information on how to use them, so that you are actually putting them to use and repelling the ants away!

After all, simply having a bottle of essential oils isn’t going to do the trick!

There are three main ways in which you can use the essential oils to repel ants: you can apply the essential oil onto a surface directly, you can create an ant spray solution with the essential oil, or you can use the essential oil in a diffuser to have the entire house smell like it.

The diffuser is easy and convenient, especially because it will make your home smell amazing, but it isn’t the most efficient for repelling insects, as they will be low down on the floor, and might not get a strong enough concentration.

Instead, we recommend applying the essential oil directly onto the surfaces you want to protect or creating a spray solution.

When it comes to applying it directly onto a surface, a few drops should be enough, as you have to remember that essential oils are usually high in concentration and are therefore quite potent.

If you can smell it, the ants most definitely can smell it too, so it will be working.

You have to make sure to apply it to the right places, so take some time to analyze exactly how the ants are getting in, and what their path is. (Luckily, ants always follow the same paths, so once you find out where they are, you can block them with the essential oils!)

Use some cotton or a handkerchief, and dab some drops of the essential oil onto the right surfaces and open cracks and holes. You can also place some on windows and doorways!

When it comes to creating an ant spray with the essential oil, what you are doing is slightly diluting the essential oil, so that it is easier to spread along with bigger areas and surfaces.

So this method works really well when there are large openings through which the ants are invading. For the spray, take a clear bottle and add a mixture of distilled white vinegar, distilled water, and the essential oil.

For a more potent solution, we recommend using a blend of various essential oils from our list!

So, for example, a quarter of a cup of distilled white vinegar, a cup and three-quarters of distilled water, and 10 drops of each essential oil that you want to use.

Final Thoughts

Essential oils can be a great way of repelling ants and getting rid of an ant infestation, because they are completely safe to use, free of any chemicals, and they will make your house smell good in the process. (Plus the ants won’t be harmed, they’ll simply be driven away by a scent they don’t like).

The best essential oils for repelling ants are cinnamon, peppermint, lemongrass, cedarwood, and patchouli.

You can add some drops of the essential oils onto the cracks or openings through which ants are coming into your home, or you can create a spray solution with distilled white vinegar, water, and the essential oils, to cover larger areas and surfaces.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to fill your home with the scent of the essential oils with the help of a diffuser!

Hannah Shiftle
Latest posts by Hannah Shiftle (see all)