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Combat Ants Naturally: Ant-Repellent Aromatherapy Surface Spray

Aromatherapy Ant Repellent
Peppermint Essential Oil is the active ingredient in this homemade Ant-Repellent Aromatherapy Surface Spray. The spray is shown resting against a garden of peppermint.  
I have a thing for fresh, home grown, tomatoes. I prefer them at room temperature. Yum. Mine are just starting ripen on the vine, and I had several tomatoes sitting in a bowl on my kitchen counter. I've never had a problem with ants before, but a week ago, I found a few lurking about in my kitchen. I'm no expert on ants, but they seem to be the bigger, carpenter ant variety. Ick. Aside from the tomatoes as a potential temptation to the ants, I'm not finding an entry point for them or other evidence of what might be attracting them into my home. Into my fridge went my beautiful fresh tomatoes.

I was noticing less ants, but was still finding an ant every few hours. I put on my thinking cap for a natural solution, and one quickly came to me:

It occurred to me that usually after doing dishes and working around my kitchen, I usually use an aromatherapy surface spray on my countertops. It's a simply spray that I make and keep on hand, but I haven't been using over the past couple weeks as I haven't been spending as much time in my kitchen lately. Peppermint essential oil is a natural deterrent to ants, and my homemade surface spray contains peppermint.

Aromatherapy to the rescue. After resuming use of my surface spray, I stopped finding any more ants within the day and they aren't showing up anywhere else in my house.

If you are experiencing a similar dilemma, consider trying the following surface spray recipe. It's certainly not going to combat a serious ant problem, but it should help with minor issues like the one I had.

It's that time of the year where warmer weather and sweeter garden produce like tomatoes, watermelon rinds and corn cobs can attract ants into the home.


Ant Fighting Surface Spray:

  • 4 oz. clean spray bottle with a fine mist setting (do not use a bottle that previously contained cleaning products or hair products such as hair spray).
  • 15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (Avoid if you have cats)
  • 5 drops of Grapefruit Essential Oil (to soften the aroma a bit). Lavender Essential Oil can be used in place of the Grapefruit, if desired.
  • 1.5 ounces of distilled water and 1.5 ounces of high-proof alcohol (vodka is suitable, isopropyl or rubbing alcohol is not). Alternatively, you may omit the alcohol and increase the amount of distilled water to 3 ounces. The alcohol helps kills germs and disperse the essential oils. Alternatively, you can use an alcohol-based homemade peppermint tincture in place of the alcohol. View AromaWeb's Herbal Tincture Recipe to learn how to make your own.


Directions:
Fill the spray bottle with the choice of either 1.5 ounces of distilled water and 1.5 ounces of alcohol or 3 ounces of distilled water. (Even though a 4 oz. bottle is suggested, leave about 1 oz. unfilled so you can shake the bottle well between uses.) Then, add the essential oil. Peppermint essential oil is especially strong in aroma. You may want to start by using only 7-10 drops of peppermint at first especially if you live in a household with someone who is sensitive to strong aromas. Shake the bottle prior to each use.


To Use:
Be sure to first test a small, hidden section of each surface you plan to use this spray on to make sure that the spray does not harm the surface. It's unlikely in these dilutions, but alcohol and essential oils can potentially damage some surfaces.

Mist your kitchen counters lightly. Be especially careful not to allow the mist fall onto food or into open beverages. Spray into your sinks as well to ensure that no tiny food particles attract ants. You can also periodically squirt a few sprays into your garbage pails to help combat ants. For garbage pails, however, I recommend adding a couple drops of peppermint oil every so often and keeping rotting garbage out of your kitchen.

Comments

Miika Niemitalo

It is important to kill or repel those few ants that are wondering in any room in your house.

Those few ants are scouts... they are searching food source... if those ants are not repelled they go right in to ant nest and "report" their findings..... and soon you have army of ants in your room...

-miika, Finland-

Wendy Robbins

Thank you for your comment, Miika! I am glad to know very little about ant infestations. In my situation, the essential oil spray took care of my problem. -Wendy

Deanna Vazquez

Hi Wendy,

Liked this article about ants! A few years ago I had a trail of ants that appeared to come in from our side door, trialing across and into a large indoor plant. Every couple of days I put drops of need Lavender oil at what I thought was the entrance hole and then followed the trail to the plant with a few drops. It seemed to help, but they kept coming back. I then noticed they were crawling in and out of one of the drainage holes of the plant, so I placed a few drops right there at the hole. Well! You wouldn't have believed it unless you were there. One by one they came out of the plant (seemed really annoyed too). Until suddenly, out came the queen! They all followed her out of the plant, along the trail and out the door and I never saw them again. So funny. What I love about this, is that we had no need for seriously toxic ant powders. Just a few drops of lavender and woala! I guess Lavender isn't fit for every Queen, hey? ;)

Wendy Robbins

Hi Deanna! What an interesting story, and I love the lively and humorous spin of how you share it. I couldn't agree more about how wonderful it is to be able to use more gentle, natural ingredients like lavender essential oil instead of toxic ones. I'll take lavender essential oil anyday over the harsh, toxic aroma of chemical-based insecticides. Thanks so much for sharing your story and experiences!

-Wendy

Glass Bottles

Very interesting article, thanks for sharing. Just another effective use of essential oils and aromatherapy.

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