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Plants That Repel Ants: Guide on Their Types and Usefulness

If you are interested in plants that repel ants, this guide can help you. I will tell you in detail about those plants that keep ants away, as well as explain the reason why these insects are so afraid of them. You will also learn about how to choose the right plant species to repel ants.

I will share with you the information about how difficult it is to grow such plants and whether they require special care. Read this guide and find out how you can use these plants to control ants.

Ant Repellent Plant Variations: Brief List
To get rid of ants, you can use a variety of plants and herbs with a pungent odor so that ants will bypass your place:

  • Lavender;
  • Mint;
  • Tansy;
  • Garlic;
  • Thyme;
  • Peppermint.

Plant Repellent for Ants: How to Scare Them

I’ve compiled this guide to help you find out what plant repels ants and which herbs repel them. Some of them can prevent their appearance and make them settle somewhere else. You can also force the pests to leave your home for good.

An ant stands on a plant leaf

Step 1: Use plants to deter ants

  1. Lavender has a great fragrance and is suitable for growing indoors. It is fairly easy to take care of, and with its pleasant scent and appearance, it can add freshness to your home. Unfortunately for ants, this plant’s smell will not let them get into your house and will scare them away as soon as they smell it. Still, you have to take care of lavender properly and find out some nuances before you grow it. It is among the best flowers that repel ants.
  2. Geranium is great at killing ants, and its smell repels them. You can also use it in a dry form, which is available in specialized stores, by scattering the leaves in the place where you saw ants. Once the pests smell the geranium, they won’t want to sneak into your territory. Geranium is usually not demanding, and it can last for a long time, so this plant is very popular in the household.
  3. Chrysanthemums are great plants for both your garden and home. These flowers come in an incredible number of varieties and do an excellent job of killing ants. People often grow them as an alternative to pesticide sprays to repel ants.
  4. Marigold’s coloring is a spectacular mix of yellow and gold, but it’s not the only advantage it has. The plant is often used to repel ants as it is toxic to them. The flowers are rarely attacked by insects.

These plants that repel carpenter ants are common in the US, so you can easily get them in greenhouses and flower stores. This is a great solution for anyone wondering which plant repels ants.

Geranium is great at killing ants

Step 2: Use herbs that repel ants

To make ants leave your territory, you can place the following herbs in the spot where they have settled:

  1. Though garlic might seem like a rather strange houseplant, it does a great job of scaring away ants and other insects. You don’t even require soil to grow it: All you need is a light bulb. It is enough to crush garlic so that it emits a strong smell and put it in the place where you have seen ants. This odor will make the insects leave their place of residence for a while.
  2. Catnip also repels ants, and you don’t need to grow it to take advantage of its repelling potential. It is easy to get and take care of. You can also dry out the herb to scare away ants: It will help you store it for a long period. Place catnip in the place where you suspect the pests to settle down, be it a crack in the house or a window sill. You can easily remove it afterward, and its smell doesn’t bother the majority of people. Some types of mint can even repel mice.
  3. Mint can also help you keep ants away from your home. A regular peppermint is also a good option if you like its scent more. Due to its beneficial features, you will also get the possibility to make delicious herb tea with a pleasant aroma from the mint. It is easy to buy seeds for growing mint, and you can also prepare soil mix to grow the plant at home. For it, you need drained soil. Choose the spot with indirect lighting. Mint is a great option because it isn’t whimsical to growing conditions, and you only need to water it when the soil starts to dry out.
  4. Peppermint is another natural insect repellent with a potent essential oil. To use the latter, you should mix 10-15 drops of peppermint oil with water in a 1-liter bottle. Then, using a sprayer, spray the liquid in the place where you have noticed ants. If you don’t want to bother with growing peppermint, this option might be convenient for you.
  5. Rosemary has a strong odor with a repelling effect. If you are interested in “Do ants like rosemary?” — you might be glad to know that these pests find it disgusting. Therefore, they will omit places with such a smell.
  6. Tansy can also help you keep ants away, so it is also a popular solution for many homeowners. You should take care that its soil is not too damp: In this case, flowers can wither. For the best repelling effect, the plant needs not just leaves but also flowers.
  7. Thyme is very similar to mint as it does not require direct sunlight. It thrives in moderately-lit rooms. You do not have to water it frequently, just pay attention when the soil dries out. This plant has a pleasant aroma to humans, but ants find it repulsive. To properly grow thyme, you have to ensure it is not too, since it will not tolerate minus temperatures.

These are effective options for dealing with ants if you don’t want to keep indoor plants and give them a lot of attention. All you have to do is buy these herbs and just use them.

Use Thyme that repel ants

Step 3: Try other methods

To keep ants from getting into your house or garden, you need to keep them clean. While these insects can help you get rid of some other pests in the garden, they can also hurt your plants. If you find out they have made their way inside, you should not leave any food on a table and regularly dispose of garbage.

If an ant sees that your house is a favorable environment, most likely, a whole colony will come to you in a few minutes. Therefore, it is crucial to keep it clean to prevent pests from appearing on your territory.

There are also other means you can use to get rid of these insects:

  • Ammonia can help you scare away a small group of ants. It can kill individuals on contact and often scares a large colony away for a while. Ammonia has a short-term effect, so use it if there are not many ants on your territory. All you have to do is mix it with water and spray it directly on the insects. This method will kill them in no time.
  • I also recommend salt to quickly cope with ants. It dries out their exoskeletons, which causes their death. You can mix salt with water to make a coarse saline solution and spray it on ants. After this treatment absorbs all the moisture, ants will not endure long.
  • You can also use soap the same way as ammonia. The advantage of this method is that you can always find it in your bathroom. Use it for small groups of ants. All you have to do is mix water and soap in a 50/50 ratio and spray it on ants to make them leave the inhabited area.
  • Use bait to eliminate ants. Leave it in the place where you have noticed the pests. You might need to use several types of bait to understand which one is effective in your case. The bait kills not only ants but also their larvae. However, you need to be careful and be aware that it can cause harm to a pet if you have any.

bait to eliminate ants

Plants or herbs?

What to choose to fight ants, herbs or plants? I will explain in detail what their advantages and disadvantages are, as well as how to use them.

To decide on the herbs or plants you need, you need to consider the place where you have found ants. If you want to prevent their appearance in your house, you can use the plants that I have mentioned in the above guide.

You can grow those options, the appearance, and smell of which are appealing to you. However, you should also be ready to take care of them, as ants can get to you without any problems otherwise.

Herbs are also effective for this purpose, but they also require a lot of time to care for. With their help, you can easily deal with ants anywhere in the garden, house, or greenhouse.

two ants on a green leaf

All you need to do is prepare the place where you can grow such herbs as geranium and lavender. You can also use the herbal mixtures I have mentioned above since they are easy to make, and you can easily get rid of dead ants without applying a lot of effort.

Overall, it is up to you to decide which plants or herbs you want to use. If you want your garden or room to look cozy and neat, you can plant ant-repelling flowers like rosemary or lavender. If you need to get rid of the pests in the shortest time possible or do not want to apply a lot of effort to scare them away, you can buy herbs in any nearby place.

Use them to quickly force the insects to leave your household or simply kill them. This method is perfect if you find ants in a hard-to-reach place: The pungent odor of herbs will make them look for another place to live.

FAQ on Plants That Repel Ants

At this point, you have learned about how you can scare away ants. Here I will answer some questions about what ants do not like that concern many homeowners.

Which smell do ants hate?

Ants do not like strong odors, especially strong citrus fruits. The most effective way to scare away ants so as not to harm them is to use the peel of a lemon or an orange. All you need to do is just scatter peels around the ant habitats.

Which herb gets rid of ants?

There are many herbs that can help you get rid of ants or prevent them. I’ve mentioned above that you can use mint or thyme. Scattering their leaves in places with ants can scare them away and make them leave as soon as possible.

What are plants that repel ants and mosquitoes?

All of the above plants can help you get rid not only of ants, but also mosquitoes, fleas, and flies. Some of them can help you scare mice in the same way, for instance, lavender, basil, mint, etc.

Natural Way to Get Rid of Ants

I hope this guide will help you in case you have ants and don’t know how to get them to leave. I have told you about how you can scare ants using herbs and plants. I have discussed many different methods that you can use in any place where you have come across ants.

They will help you get rid of the pests as soon as possible and prevent their appearance. Now you know that such plants and herbs as geranium, chrysanthemum, catnip, and rosemary can help you a lot in preventing ants from appearing on your site.

Which herbs mentioned in the guide seem the most effective to you? Which other plants can you recommend to scare ants? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

Also read:


  • Lavender:
  • Anhydrous Ammonia: Managing The Risks (John Nowatzki):
  • Hesperidiums Of The Rutaceae:


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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