Get Rid of Ants with Peppermint Oil

Does Peppermint Repel Ants? If So, How Does It Work?

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Yes, peppermint oil repels ants effectively by masking their pheromone trails, which prevents them from finding food sources and navigating efficiently.

The peppermint oil ant repellent can be applied through efficient ant sprays, infused cotton balls, or integrated into cleaning routines, making it a safe alternative to chemical pesticides and harmless around pets and humans.

In this text, we'll investigate into the science behind why peppermint oil repels ants and guide you through the steps of creating your own peppermint oil ant repellent. Utilizing this aromatic essential oil, you'll be able to safeguard your home in an eco-friendly manner.

What is Peppermint Oil?

Originating from the peppermint plant, a hybrid between water mint and spearmint, peppermint oil stands out with its distinct aroma.

Sourced naturally from the leaf of the plant and augmented through steam distillation, the oil has found applications in various sectors, including medicine, food, and pest control.

The Effect of Peppermint on Ants

Peppermint oil essentially dictates ants’ behavior. Ants, like many other insects, use chemical trails to navigate and locate food sources. Intriguingly, the strong smell of peppermint oil disrupts these chemical trails, disorienting the ants and preventing them from finding their food sources.

Simultaneously, the smell of the oil also serves as a deterrent, effectively repelling ants from treated areas. This natural repellent method is one of the popular household ant killer methods used to control ant populations.

image of peppermint plants and peppermint oil

Peppermint oil offers maximum effectiveness when strategized in specific ways. Let's investigate three primary applications of peppermint oil that effectively repel ant infestations.

1- Peppermint Oil Sprays

  1. Assemble a spray mix by adding about 15 drops of peppermint oil to approximately 250ml of water.
  2. Place the mixture in a reusable spray bottle.
  3. Spray the solution around windows, doorways, and other possible ant entry points.
  4. Ensure to frequently reapply, at least once a week, to maintain the strong scent and persistently deter ant colonies.

2- Peppermint Cotton Balls

  1. Infuse cotton balls by incorporating few drops of peppermint oil.
  2. Position these balls in areas frequented by ants, including kitchen cabinets, storage areas, under sinks, and other possible nesting sites.
  3. Replace them once the smell starts to fade to ensure a conserved strength of the repellent.

3- Incorporating Peppermint Oil in Cleaning Routines

An addition of peppermint oil into regular cleaning routines magnifies the overall ant repelling strategy. Not only does this practice ensure a clean environment devoid of food particles that attract ants, but it also maintains a sustained aura of peppermint scent.

  1. Prepare a natural cleaning solution by mixing a few drops of peppermint oil with regular cleaning products.
  2. This application is best utilized on kitchen surfaces, floorings, and other spaces where ants find food particles.

4- Potpourri and Diffusers

  1. Add a few drops of peppermint oil in potpourri or diffusers.
  2. Not only does this practice fill the surroundings with a refreshing fragrance, but it also naturally keeps ants at bay. Additionally, some homeowners find using lavender against ants to be effective as well.

Risks and Side Effects of Peppermint Oil Ant Repellent

⚠️ Some individuals might encounter allergic reactions to peppermint oil. Reactions range from skin irritation when applied topically to mucosal irritation if accidentally ingested.

⚠️ Keep peppermint oil out of children's reach. The strong scent may tempt youngsters into tasting it. If ingested, it can cause stomach upsets, sometimes severe.

⚠️ Ensure the pets' safety. Similar to human-based allergic reactions, some pets might show signs of irritation to peppermint oil. The strong smell might become overwhelming for smaller animals, causing distress. Also, this essential oil is toxic to cats; so, limiting its usage around them proves crucial.

When to Seek Professional Help

Special circumstances require the attention and expertise of pest control professionals.

  • Drastic ant infestations surpassing the scope of peppermint oil's strength necessitate professional intervention. A massive ant colony invasion can pose health risks, so rendering DIY methods, including peppermint oil, temporarily futile.
  • Specific ant species such as carpenter ants, which commonly nest within structural components of buildings, necessitate professional help. Although peppermint oil might deter these ants temporarily, it does not eliminate them.


Take control of the ant problem in your home or garden by using a DIY peppermint oil ant repellent. Minimize usage of harmful pesticides by making the environmentally friendly switch to a naturally effective solution.

When applying the peppermint solution, remember to do so with safety in mind.

  • Avoid applying near food areas to prevent ingestion.
  • Do not overuse, as respiratory problems might rise due to the strong scent of peppermint oil.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets, especially cats who are known to be allergic to peppermint oil.
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Frequently asked questions

What is the main benefit of using peppermint oil for ant control?

Peppermint oil is a natural, non-toxic solution that effectively repels ants by disrupting their chemical trails and deterring them with its strong scent. It is safe for use around pets and children when used correctly.

Can peppermint oil be harmful to pets?

Peppermint oil can be irritating to some pets, particularly cats, and may cause distress or allergic reactions. It's important to use it cautiously and keep it out of reach of pets to ensure their safety.

How often should I reapply peppermint oil sprays to keep ants away?

To maintain an effective ant deterrent barrier, reapply the peppermint oil spray at least once a week. Regular application ensures the scent remains strong enough to repel ants continuously.