When it comes to pests, ants are one of the unwanted guests. These small, but resilient insects can quickly settle in your home and multiply in a matter of days. If you find one, it must be dealt with immediately. It’s not hygienic to have ants crawling around your house, and they can quickly wreak havoc if given the chance.
Ants are attracted to any type of food source as well as moisture, which makes them prime candidates for your kitchen. They’re also attracted to certain types of flowers, but did you know that certain plants will actually repel ants?
You read that right, some plants will not only repel ants, but keep them out of your home. This means that you will not have to worry anymore How to get rid of ants. With ants always on guard, they will do the work for you. If you need to know which plants will keep ants away rather than attract them, we’ve listed several options here.
If flies are also a problem, check that out 9 fly repellent plants that will keep your home free of insects. If your pest contains rodents, there are too 7 plants that prevent mice and rats from infesting your home.
Chrysanthemums, or mums, are a common bouquet addition. They come in all kinds of colors and can look like a frilled explosion of flower petals or like a simple bunch of petals surrounding the center, like a large daisy. In addition to looking pretty on display, these flowers will keep ants away. This is because they contain pyrethrum, which is a common insecticide ingredient.
This means that chrysanthemums are a natural and effective ant repellent. It can be grown outdoors or planted in containers indoors. Easy to care for, they thrive in fertile soil with access to regular water. In terms of light, this plant does best in full sun, so a kitchen window sill can be a good spot.
A word of warning though. Chrysanthemums are toxic to both cats and dogs, so don’t display any where furry family members can be found.
Peppermint may smell great to us, so much so that we use it to decorate our meals as well as brush our teeth, but it is not very friendly to ants. The strong, strong fragrance will make the ants turn their tails and run. Peppermint and spearmint in particular are very effective because of their strong scent; They can even deter rodents!
Mint is very easy to grow, thriving in either full sun or partial shade with plain water. In fact, it can quickly become invasive, so it’s best to keep this plant in a container so you can control its growth and cut it back when needed with a pair of the best pruning shears. You can then use the leaves as part of your meals or place them around your home for an added ant-repelling effect.
Peppermint oil can work the same way if you don’t want to grow mint indoors. Simply mix two teaspoons with a cup of water and sprinkle around your home as necessary.
You’ll want to keep peppermint away from your pets, too, as it’s toxic to both cats and dogs.
Rosemary can make a delicious garnish, especially on a plate of stir-fries. It is used to add an herbal scent to all kinds of meals and can even be found in soaps, perfumes, and makeup. While we may love the faint scent of rosemary, ants don’t. It smells so bad that they will avoid it at all costs. In fact, it will keep away flies, gnats, and gnats too, so you’re technically repelling multiple bugs with a single plant.
Rosemary prefers a warm climate (50 degrees Fahrenheit and above), but it can be grown outside as well as indoors. As long as it gets direct sunlight and regular water, although the soil prefers to be on the dry side, it will be happy. A humid environment is often welcome as well. This plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs which is a bonus.
Lavender is an easily recognizable plant thanks to its long, vibrant purple flowers. Its delicate, floral scent is used frequently, and is found in sweets and cakes as well as soaps. Lavender oil also has all kinds of uses, and is known for relieving stress and helping you sleep. If you love the smell of lavender, but hate the sight of ants, you’re in luck. Ants cannot stand its scent, and will actively scavenge any bouquets that are strategically placed around the house. This means if you know where the ants enter, whether it’s a window or a back door – this could be a good place for lavender.
Lavender is hardy, enjoys full sun and lasts well in dry conditions. Be careful not to overwater it and make sure the soil can drain freely. It can be grown outside or indoors, and will require pruning again in late summer. Keep in mind that these substances are toxic to both cats and dogs.
Lavender oil can also be used for the same effect. It can be combined with cleaning products or laundry detergent to benefit from the ant-repelling scent.
While garlic is not known for its beauty, it is still a beneficial vegetable in more ways than one. Not only does it provide a delicious ingredient that can help flavor some of your favorite dishes, it will also keep ants away from your kitchen for good. This is because the strong smell that garlic is known for works its magic on insects as well. These vegetables emit sulfur compounds when the skin is cut, so pests will naturally give it some distance to avoid this. It can negatively affect mosquitoes, flies, rodents, as well as ants, so it’s a good addition to the kitchen.
Garlic sprays are often used as an effective insect repellent. If you don’t mind the smell of fresh garlic, this is a handy method. All you have to do is mix five cloves of garlic with half a liter of water, mashing the garlic beforehand. Then spray around your house or yard as needed. Alternatively, a few cloves of garlic placed well around the house can also have an effect. If you want to try growing garlic, check out our guide How does garlic grow?. Again, this plant is unfortunately toxic to both cats and dogs – so avoid it if you have pets.
Basil is another useful herb to grow in the kitchen. It goes well with olive oil as well as tomatoes and can garnish any number of dishes, from the typical pizza to ice cream. It is also an effective ant exterminator thanks to its strong and distinctive smell. The oil it contains is also particularly effective, as it repels flies and mosquitoes in addition to ants. So it is worth trying to extract this from the excess leaves by boiling them and then blending them in one of the best food processors. Then you can make your own insect repellent.
Basil is a little trickier to grow than others on this list, but it can be done in the right conditions. It needs a warm environment, at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and soil that is moist, but not waterlogged. Keep it in partial shade, out of direct sunlight. It can be grown indoors with enough care and attention. This plant is nontoxic to cats and dogs, which means it is safe to grow it around furry family members.
Finally, tansy is another perennial plant that can help with an ant problem. This is a strong and hardy plant, often thought of as a weed, that can easily become an invasive. For this reason, most will not risk planting it around their homes. But, it can be administered in a container, and given its effectiveness against ants, it’s worth your consideration. The scent is sharp and spicy, and repels all kinds of pests, including but not limited to fleas, mosquitoes, moths, mice, and ants.
Your tansy won’t require much attention to thrive. It will grow well in full or partial sun, and will tolerate drought conditions as well, so you don’t have to worry if you forget to water it. However, it will require regular pruning to keep it neat. It is also toxic if consumed, naturally this extends to pets as well.
If you’re interested in indoor plants, check out our guide on how to care for succulents.