Do Ants Like Lavender Scent? Using Lavender as a Natural Ant Repellent

From rosemary to lavender, heres the best plants to deter ants from your home and garden

If you have a problem with ants in your home, you might be tempted to use an ant killer. But did you know that many plants with pleasant smells can keep them away? If you want to get rid of ants in your home or yard, you should think about what smells they don’t like and how you can keep them away without using potentially dangerous ant killers. You could also use baking soda to kill ants.

We know what smells ants don’t like and what the experts say are the best flowers and plants with strong scents to keep them away.

Ants can be a nuisance when they invade your home and workspace. While you may be tempted to reach for the chemical ant spray there are natural ways to deter ants without exposing yourself and your family to harsh toxins. One of the most effective natural ant repellents is lavender.

Why Ants Don’t Like Lavender

Lavender has a strong, fresh floral scent that is highly aromatic. This intense fragrance is unappealing and even repulsive to many insects, including ants. Studies have shown that ants avoid areas smelling of lavender oil and extract. The chemical components in lavender, such linalool and linalyl acetate, are likely irritating or toxic to ants. The potent odor essentially overwhelms their senses and drives them away.

Ants rely heavily on scent trails to navigate back to food sources, their nest, and each other. The lavender fragrance disrupts these trails, confusing and repelling the ants. They lose their way and are deterred from entering your home. Lavender is sometimes added to commercial insect repellents for this reason.

Using Lavender Oil as an Ant Repellent

One of the easiest ways to use lavender for ant control is in the form of pure essential oil. Lavender oil can be purchased affordably at most pharmacies, health food stores, and online. To use it as an ant repellent

  • Place several drops of lavender oil on a cotton ball and set it along ant trail entry points or near potential nesting sites. Refresh every few days.

  • Mix 20-30 drops of lavender oil per cup of water in a spray bottle. Mist along baseboards, window sills, door frames, and other areas prone to ant entry.

  • Add 5-10 drops of lavender oil to your cleaning solutions when mopping or wiping counters. The lingering scent helps fortify defenses.

  • Rub lavender oil directly onto surfaces where you’ve spotted ants, like tiles, walls, and cabinets. The oil will soak in and leave an unappealing odor barrier.

Take care not to ingest lavender oil or get it in your eyes. Only diffuse or spray it in ventilated areas.

Growing Lavender Plants as a Deterrent

In addition to using the oil, you can cultivate lavender plants around your home’s exterior as a defensive perimeter. Ants greatly dislike traversing through the fragrant bushes.

Lavender thrives with full sunlight exposure and well-draining soil. Plant it along foundations, walkways, garden edges, or pathways where ants may enter. The blooming purple flowers look and smell lovely! Trim back plants after peak summer blooming to encourage new growth.

Crush or rub leaves to release more potent aromas. You can also dry bundles inside as a natural air freshener. The dried flowers can be placed in small cloth bags and tucked around ant entry points.

Lavender Candles, Potpourri, and Sachets

Burning lavender candles or potpourri is an excellent repellent tactic. The smoke and aroma permeate the air, masking scents that attract ants while providing an offensive odor. Place lavender candles or potpourri in rooms prone to ant traffic.

For a more concentrated and lasting effect, make sachets filled with dried lavender to tuck away in drawers, closets, cabinets, etc. The aroma continues being released as the lavender dries and cures over several weeks. You can refresh stale sachets by adding several drops of lavender oil.

Lavender Sprays and Powders

If you want an easy commercial product, there are various lavender-based sprays and powders designed specifically for ant and insect control. Sprays can be used similarly to the lavender oil/water mixtures. Sprinkle lavender powders along ant trails, entry points, and other areas they frequent. The ants will carry traces back to the colony, repelling nestmates.

Look for products containing other ant-deterring ingredients like peppermint, eucalyptus, or citrus oils for added effect. This allows you to reap the benefits of lavender along with other natural repellents.

Why Lavender is a Safer Ant Deterrent

Reaching for chemical-laden insecticides is an understandable reaction to ant infestations. However, those toxic chemicals can pose health hazards to your family and pets while contaminating your home. Studies have linked ingredients like pyrethroids and organophosphates to conditions like asthma, cancer, and neurotoxicity.

Conversely, lavender is non-toxic and completely safe for children and pets when used correctly. It provides pest control without compromising air quality and health. The pleasant aroma is a bonus! By relying on natural lavender, you avoid introducing harsh toxins into your living environment.

Tips for Using Lavender Effectively

For optimal results, follow these tips when harnessing lavender’s ant-repelling powers:

  • Use fresh, high quality lavender oil and dried flowers. The fragrance fades over time.

  • Refresh dried bundles, sachets, and potpourri every few weeks as the scent dissipates.

  • During hot weather, plants and oils release more fragrance. Take advantage by increasing usage outdoors.

  • Combine lavender with other pungent herbs like mint, clove, and cedar for amplified impact.

  • Focus heavily on entryways like windows and doors. Stop ants at the perimeter before they enter.

  • Cut off ant pathways and clean up food spills immediately to remove scent trails.

  • Track down and destroy any nearby nests to limit foraging ants.

Other Natural Ant Repellents

While lavender is remarkably effective, you can mix it up with other natural ant deterrents. Here are a few to use in conjunction with lavender:

  • Peppermint oil – Has a strong minty aroma that confuses ants. Use similarly to lavender oil.

  • Cinnamon – A powder or oil that ants avoid. Sprinkle along pathways or mix with water to spray.

  • Coffee grounds – Used grounds sprinkled near entries create an unwelcoming bitter aroma.

  • Cayenne pepper – Ants dislike the spicy capsaicin compounds.Mix powder into problem areas.

  • Lemon juice – The acidic citrus juices disrupt ant scent trails. Wipe or sprinkle along trails.

  • Vinegar – White vinegar wipes and sprays help mask attractant odors.

When to Call an Exterminator

If you have a serious ant infestation, lavender and other home remedies may not be enough. Ants that have already nestled inside walls or basements can be difficult to fully eradicate without professional help. Inspect carefully for signs like large trails, wings, or excessive groupings.

Contact a pest control company if:

  • Home remedies have not reduced ant populations after 2-3 weeks.

  • You find more than one large nest or colony.

  • Ants have invaded the interior frame and walls.

  • You are uncomfortable with self-treatment methods.

Professionals have industrial-strength insecticides and gel baits that effectively wipe out ant colonies at the source. They can also discover nesting sites that may be hard to detect yourself.

Lavender Offers Natural, Non-Toxic Ant Relief

Before resorting to harsh chemicals, give nature’s ant repellent a try. The pleasant floral aroma of lavender is deeply offensive to ants, driving them away from your home. With various methods like oils, plants, candles, and sachets, you can harness lavender’s repelling power safely and easily. Implement it along with other natural deterrents for an effective, non-toxic way to prevent ant infestations.

Chrysanthemum  (Image credit: GettyImages)

Chrysanthemum to deter ants is another popular option for your backyard. This hard-working multi-tasker will deal with multiple bugs at home. The common flower contains pyrethrum, which is frequently used in natural insect repellents to kill ants.

Basil (Image credit: Markus Spiske / Unsplash)

It is well worth your time to learn how to grow basil because this popular herb can be used in a lot of different ways to make food taste better and keep ants away.

Basil contains an aromatic oil which ants hate. You can even make a homemade bug spray which is also effective against aphids, mites and thrips. It’s not about getting rid of all the bugs in your garden, says Leigh Clapp, a garden expert. “Aim for a healthy ecosystem.”

Rosemary is an important herb for any cook, and it also attracts bees and other important pollinators, so you should plant it if you want to do that instead.

Which of these NATURAL INGREDIENTS Keeps Ants Out of Your Home? (Experiment)


Does lavender actually repel ants?

Lavender isn’t your average garden greenery. This plant that repels ants emits a scent that sends insects packing, making it a versatile and practical choice. Ants aren’t the only pests that lavender can keep at bay. Its sweet, floral scent also acts as a deterrent for mosquitoes, those notorious summertime nuisances.

What smell do ants hate the most?

Essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, and thyme work well to repel ants. You can use a diffuser, set out dishes of essential oils, or leave out cotton balls soaked in essential oils to deter pesky ants.

What essential oils do ants hate?

Peppermint, Spearmint, Pennyroyal, Garlic and Citronella are effective essential oils ants hate. You can also put the essential oil on a cotton-wool ball and place them by the doors. Spray the essential oil along shelves and floors where the ants are seen, and on their nests. Or, grow plants ants hate.

How to make lavender spray for ants?

Instructions: In a 2 ounce bottle, add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of distilled water, 1 teaspoon of carrier oil, 1 teaspoon of vodka or witch hazel, and 15-25 drops of lavender essential oil.

Does lavender repel ants?

Lavender Lavender may smell pleasant to humans but it’s not so popular with ants, flies, moths, fleas and mosquitoes. A pot near your door can keep ants away; lavender in boiled water is thought to repel ants; and the oil can help to keep skin bite-free.

What smells do ants hate?

Here are some scents that ants hate: 1.**Vinegar**: Ants generally don’t like the smell of vinegar.You can create a vinegar solution and spray it around entry points or areas where ants are active to

Does lavender oil kill ants?

The study tested the effectiveness of lavender oil on different types of ants, and the results showed that the oil was effective in deterring ants. However, the study only tested the effects of the oil on the ants, and not on the entire ant colony, so it is unclear if the oil actually killed the ants or just deterred them from entering the area.

Can ants eat lemon scented candles?

Citrus scents like lemon and orange can be your secret weapon against ants! These refreshing smells tend to irritate the ants’ olfactory senses. You can easily create citrus-scented candles using essential oils like lemon eucalyptus oil or lemongrass oil. Or, try out Lulu Candles Wild Lemongrass for a premade candle!

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