Keep Ants Out of Your Home with Natural Repellents

One of the new must-get-used-to differences between the city and the country for me is the reality of insects. I never really noticed how bug-free my life was in Chicago until I had bugs in my life in West Virginia. I’m pretty cool with them though, most tiny spiders get to go about their business in/outside my home…


… and any stinkbugs (thankfully not many) are taken outside by my sweetie. But the ants, they are not welcome. Outside, fine. I get it. Inside, not so much.

My new home is a Civil War era house—very charming, unique and quirky—but it’s mostly older construction.

Lots of built-ins, crooked wood floors, a staircase that made getting beds and sofas upstairs a character-building experience, and lots of old…


… (yet beautiful) windows.


The ants love(d) to hang out in these windows, and use them as an entryway to see what is going on inside (they no doubt see lots of ant-like dedication and work ethic in action like painting, building, carrying, arranging, prepping and decorating by me and my sweetie).

Civil War Era Construction

Similar to my experience with the birds eating my berries, I went to work quickly to figure out a natural way to keep ants away.

It was so much easier than I ever imagined, and there were no chemicals or “murdering” involved.

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I used all three of the following solutions and in three weeks, I haven’t seen one ant in my home since:

• Spray this homemade natural spider repellent where you see the ants. It may take 2 or three days (applying once or twice a day), but after that, not a single one in sight. Hence the name, this obviously works for spiders, too.

• Place sliced cloves of garlic where you see ants. You can remove garlic cloves once dried out. Not as aromatic as the cinnamon below, but works great.

• Finally, keep cinnamon sticks and/or whole cloves (dried flower buds) where you saw ants. Note that is using cloves, it can stain and even “eat” paint/plastic/metal, so use a cloth underneath.

Other natural repellent ideas to try:
• Sprinkle pepper where you saw the ants.

• Make a spray out of vinegar and lavendar (and/or mint) oil and treat the area you see ants—vinegar erases their trails so they can’t find their way back in.

• Mint! Plant mint in the yard where you think ants are entering (note that mint plants are aggressive and they will dominate, so keep them in a planter if you don’t want them to overrun a particular area). You can also place fresh mint leaves (and mint oil, just soak a cotton swab) where you think ants are partying.


• Keep tempting food off of counters, and sealed in your pantry.

When treating an area, watch where the ants scatter/exit—this is an area you definitely want to target with your natural repellents.

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Do you have any natural repellent for keeping ants out of your pantry/home? Tell us with a comment below. 

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