How to Use Essential Oil to Get Rid of Ants Naturally

How to use essential oils to kill ants

If you are facing an ant invasion in your house and are looking for a way to get rid of them naturally using essential oils, you're in the right place!

Finding ants in your home is not something anyone looks forward to. Once you notice an ant invasion (even if it is just 5-10 ants that made their way in), it is critical to stop it right away.

Luckily, it shouldn't take very long to take care of if you catch it right away.

Once your home is treated with this natural and non-toxic essential oil remedy, you will keep ants out for a while!

Using essential oils as an ant repellent is an easy way to get rid of ants that you can feel good about since there won't be any traps with poisonous chemicals that can make your kids or pets sick.

Looking for more ways to harness the power of peppermint essential oil?

Get thirteen more recipes and ideas for ways to use peppermint essential oil every day!

Read it now: Thirteen Awesome Uses for Peppermint Essential Oil

What essential oils are good to keep ants away?

My favorite essential oil to keep ants away is peppermint!

I have had excellent luck using peppermint oil and have never seen ants cross a peppermint oil barrier.

Other popular essential oils to repel ants include cinnamon, tea tree oil (AKA melaleuca) and lemon.

Each of these oils is very potent and can strip paint or melt plastic when used straight to do a patch test before using!

Will some scents keep ants away?

Beyond the power of essential oils, some people swear by ground black pepper, cinnamon, dry peppermint leaves, chili peppers, cloves or cayenne pepper to effectively repel ants.

One pest control company even believes in mint so much that it suggests clients plant mint around the outside perimeter of their homes to repel ants. 

With close to 1000 species of ants that live in North America, though, what works to repel one type of ant may not work to repel others. You may need to try multiple natural ant repellents before you find one that works on the kind of ants you have.

Are essential oils good for killing ants?

Anything as potent as an essential oil applied to something as small as an ant is sure to kill it.

Essential oils for ants are usually used as a repellent instead of a killer.

Get my recipes for natural, essential oil based ant repellent below.

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally with Peppermint Oil

How to use peppermint oil to get rid of ants naturally

Supplies to make essential oil ant repellent

Some of the links below may be affiliate links where a purchase made after clicking will support this website without costing you extra!

How to use peppermint essential oil to get rid of ants

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally STEP 1: Identify why ants are coming inside

If ants are in your home, there is usually a reason why. 

Maybe they came in to get out of the rain.

Maybe your kids left their Halloween candy behind the couch.

Maybe your 5 year old ate a cupcake in the doorway and the ants are coming in to eat the crumbs.

Observe the ants for a minute to try and see if they will lead you to a food source.

If you find one, remove it.

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally STEP 2: Remove any traces of food

Vacuum well to remove crumbs or plant material that the ants might be attracted to.

If the ants are in an area with a hard floor (instead of carpet), use a dry mop to pick up any traces left behind by your vacuum.

Feel free to vacuum up any ants you find while this is happening.

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally STEP 3: Do a wipe down

Wipe down any hard surfaces where you saw ants- window frames, door frames, outlet covers, floor vents, countertops, etc. with a wet surface cleaner and a rag.

Some of my favorite non-toxic cleaners that really work are: BioKleen All Purpose Cleaner and Meliora All Purpose Surface Cleaner.

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally STEP 4: Repel

Peppermint essential oil is a powerful ant repellent and I have found that ants will not cross a line of peppermint oil wiped on a surface. 

It also makes your home smell great!

To treat a surface with peppermint oil, place a few drops of undiluted peppermint oil on a cotton ball or the corner of a rag.

Wipe down any entry points where you suspect ants are coming in such as door thresholds, along baseboards, around wall outlets, air vents, etc.

Be sure to re-load your cotton ball or rag with more drops of oil as needed to cover larger surfaces.

Because peppermint oil is so potent, it has the potential to strip paint or otherwise mar your surfaces.

If you are unsure how peppermint oil will react with your surface, try using it in a small, inconspicuous spot first before treating a large area.

I cannot be responsible for damage that happens to your surfaces as a result of using this treatment method. 

That's it!

Where to Buy Peppermint Essential Oil

The place I buy essential oils most often is from Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO). They carry both conventional peppermint oil and organic peppermint oil and always have free shipping with no minimum.

You can also buy peppermint essential oil from several high-quality companies on Amazon:

How to Make Natural Ant Repellent with Essential Oils

Yield: 1 application
Author: Carissa Bonham
Estimated cost: $10
prep time: 5 Mperform time: 5 Mtotal time: 10 M
If you are dealing with ants in your home, you can get rid of them with this natural ant repellent made with essential oils. I'll teach you how to use essential oil for getting rid of ants in your hosue with the power of peppermint.


  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Cotton balls
  • Surface cleaner spray


  • Vacuum
  • Dry mop
  • Rag


  1. Try to identify why ants are coming inside your home. Are they attracted to crumbs in a particular area? Are they eating dog food? Did you kid hide a candy bar under their bed?
  2. One you identify what the ants are attracted to, clean it up! Use the vaccuum and dust mop to pick up as many traces of what is attracting them as possible.
  3. Once you have removed as many crumbs as possible, wipe down any hard surfaces they were walking on with a non-toxic spray cleaner and a rag. This will help disrupt their navigation senses and remove any additional traces of sugar or food.
  4. Perform a patch test by applying a drop or two of peppermint essential oil to a cotton ball and wipe it across a small area. Peppermint oil can sometimes discolor surfaces or interact badly with some kinds of paint, which is why you should do a patch test first.
  5. If you don't notice any problems doing a patch test, apply more peppermint essential oil to a cotton ball and swipe it across any areas the ants were walking on such as counters, hard floors, baseboards, etc.
  6. Monitor the area for the next couple days to see if the ants come back or if they find a way to sneak around the peppermint oil. Is they do, treat the new area where they are entering.
natural ant repellent, essential oils for ants, peppermint essential oil, peppermint oil for ants
Created using Craft Card Maker

If you have an ant problem in your home, skip the ant killer. This easy, non-toxic method to get rid of ants really works using natural essential oils. #ants #pestcontrol #essentialoils #antrepellant

Carissa Bonham the blogger, author and TV personality with purple hair

About the Author:

Carissa is a green lifestyle advocate and mom of two active boys. The owner and lead writer at Creative Green Living, she won the Craftys Award for the "Best Craft Blogger" category in 2016 and the ShiftCon award for "Best DIY Blogger" in 2018.

Her goal is to empower families to make easy projects and healthier choices that are beautiful and delicious! She is also the author of the hardcover cookbook, Beautiful Smoothie Bowls (Skyhorse, 2017) and Proven Techniques for Keeping Healthy Chickens (Skyhorse, 2018). Her projects have been featured in magazines like Kids Crafts 1-2-3, Capper's Farmer and Urban Farm Magazine. Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living Tribe on Facebook.
Do you like this post? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter!
When you subscribe you can download our FREE Recycled Crafts E-book!


  1. In your experience, how long does this last?

    1. 1-4 weeks depending on how much traffic that area gets, how much it is cleaned, etc

  2. Also drives out mice IMMEDIATELY. Just splash a few drops around where mice are coming in or where you've seen droppings, and before the day is out, mice will be gone. The reaction is so quick I suspect it might sting their eyes. Don't want to hurt the little guys, but works so much better than humane traps that catch, but don't deter new mice. Worked for me. Plus your house smells GREAT.


I love comments! I welcome your comments and questions about this article here!