Ants are social and live in colonies underground, spanning anywhere from a ten-foot radius to twenty-five feet underground. The large ones can house hundreds of thousands of ants. And they can dig tunnels through the dirt time and time again.

So how do you get rid of them? There are many products both on the market and homemade that are effective at killing the ants once you notice them. You can even destroy the colony itself. But how do you keep ants from ever coming into your house or yard in the first place? Sometimes you want to keep them away rather than trying to kill them all.

What Kind of Things Repel Ants?

Repelling something is different than destroying it. Killing ants will get rid of the ones that are already around. Repelling ants will keep them from coming into your house or yard in the first place. Just like ant killers, there are many different types of ant repellents, from store bought chemicals, to homemade solutions, to organic remedies.

  1. Borax: BoraxAlso known as Sodium Borate, is the salt from Boric Acid. It is a white powder that dissolves in water and can be found at the grocery store. When ants ingest Borax, it destroys them from the inside out, as the insects’ digestive system cannot handle it. To get them to ingest it, mix Borax with water and add some sort of sugar to it like white sugar, honey, or corn syrup.

    You can deliver this repellent in different ways:

    • Putting it in a spray bottle and spraying it all around the perimeter of your home and yard, inside your kitchen and pantry.
    • Using small jars, put the Borax mixture inside and set out in areas around your yard and home. Any ants that might come inside will be attracted to the sugar and come eat it along with the Borax. They’ll die before they ever infest your house.
    • Soak cotton balls in the mixture and set out around your yard and home. Any ants will swarm it for the sugar and ingest the Borax.
    Ants hate some of the smells that humans love.
  2. Plants: Something great about nature is that plants not only look beautiful, they can have many different uses as well. Many are used for medicinal purposes, and perhaps a little known fact is that they can be used for pest control.

    • Mint: This plant is a fragrant one and can be planted all around your home in sunny locations. It can ward off ants from coming near the house.
      Mint plant
    • Tansy: Tansy plantThis bush has clusters of yellow flowers that have a pungent smell to them. The oils from these flowers are known to repel insects, including ants. Plant them around the yard, wearing gloves to protect yourself from the toxic oils, and take care to keep them regularly trimmed, as the plant can grow quite quickly.
    • Garlic: Garlic plantThis plant is known for its extremely strong aroma. Its oils can be so pungent that insects don’t want to be anywhere near it. For ants, they’ll avoid crossing paths with it, which includes building colonies near it. The smell also confuses ants so that they can’t smell the food that might be in your house of patio. Plant garlic around your home in sunny locations. You can also make a garlic spray by crushing cloves into a paste and mixing with water. You want to avoid spraying this inside your home, though, as it will make the entire house stink!

Not all ants are alike. Along with house ants, there are red ants and carpenter ants. These winged ants can prove a huge problem to your home and yard. For more information on how to get rid of carpenter ants, go here.

Information
Something interesting is how strong an ant’s sense of smell is. They can smell crumbs in your pantry from across the house and will head directly for it like a tractor beam. Using highly fragrant herbs or oils can overwhelm their senses so that they can’t smell anything but the repellent, keeping them from coming after the food in your house.

The Best Products for Ant Repellent

Along with natural solutions, there are also store bought ones.

Most often, these include pesticides using chemicals as a repellent:

  • Spectracide Ant Shield: Spectracide Ant ShieldThis spray uses a chemical insecticide to not only kill ants and other types of insects, but to keep them from coming back. And not only does it come in a spray, its product line includes garden spikes to plant in your yard, keeping a barrier between it and your home. Keep the containers away from children and pets, as it is poisonous.
  • AMDRO Ant Block: AMDRO Ant BlockThis product is meant to be used around the perimeter of your house to prevent ants from getting inside. They are attracted to the smell of the granules, then carry them back to their colony where other ants will eat them. The poison in the granules then kills the ants and prevents them from coming back.
  • Terro Ant Dust: TERRO Ant DustThis powder won’t wash away in the rain and is meant to be used outside your home as a perimeter barrier. Sprinkle the insecticide-filled dust all around your house and ants will turn right around as soon as they come into contact with it. Most will die afterward.

Repelling Ants the Organic Way

What if you don’t want to use a harsh chemical or anything unnatural to repel ants? Luckily for you, there are many options available that are completely organic.

An herbal solution

Herbs have been used for thousands of years for various purposes. Even the ancient Egyptians used them regularly. When it comes to pest control, they are quite useful.

One repellent plant can keep hundreds of ants away.
  • Peppermint: PeppermintThis herb is extremely fragrant. Its pure oils can also be irritating to organic tissue. When ants smell peppermint, they naturally want to turn right around and escape the odor. You can plant peppermint in your yard, use peppermint oil and water in a spray, or sprinkle dried peppermint leaves all around your house and yard.
  • Lavender: LavenderJust like Peppermint, lavender carries a strong odor that pests hate. Fortunately for us as humans, we enjoy the smell! You can plant lavender outside, make a spray of lavender oil diluted with water, or sprinkle dried and crushed lavender around your home, including cupboards, the pantry, and closets. One more added benefit to this herb is that its smell has soothing properties.
  • Sage: Sage plantThe smell of sage is a natural ant repellent. Grow it in your garden or yard, make a spray out of sage oil and water, or keep an herb garden on your counter. Just the smell of sage from a pot on your counter is enough to keep the ants turning around in the other direction.

Something great about organic products is that most are safe for your beloved pets to be around. More details on pet safe ant killer can be found here.

Top Organic Products

Let’s take a closer look at products made specifically for ants that are known to be organic as well.

  • Tree Tanglefoot Insect Barrier: Tree Care Kit TanglefootThis product uses an incredibly sticky compound to keep insects from being able to cross it. It comes with a roll of banding that you apply the compound to. For example, if you’d like to keep ants away from a tree, wrap the band around the tree trunk, then apply the sticky compound onto the band. Ants won’t be able to cross, getting stuck instead, keeping your tree free of ants. To keep ants away from the outside of your home, roll out the band along the base of your house and apply the compound to it.
  • Orange Guard: Orange Ant GuardAn all-natural solution, Orange Guard uses orange peel oil as its main ingredient. The strong smell of the liquid is unappealing to ants and will keep them away for weeks. This product comes in a spray that you apply to all areas of your home and yard. Although the smell of Orange Guard is a repellent to ants, its citrus smell is pleasant to us!
  • Diatomaceous Earth: Using Diatomaceous Earth for ants removalThis white powder is actually the crushed up remains of marine phytoplankton. To humans and pets, it’s completely non-toxic. But to insects, it’s a death sentence. Sprinkle the powder around your home and yard and let the natural ingredient do its part. Once the ants come into contact with it, the substance destroys them from the inside out. You can use DE as a powder, or mixed with water as a paste.
Warning
Using essential oils for pest control is a great and organic way to go about it. Yet be careful, as many oils can be harmful if you don’t use them the right way. For example, Clove oil is highly fragrant and can also burn the skin if the pure oil comes into contact with it. If essential oils get into your eyes, make sure to rinse thoroughly with water.

The Most Effective Methods Possible

Ants on chipsYou don’t just want something that kind of works, you want an ant repellent that really does the job. To ensure the most effective ant control, make sure you use a product that is extremely deterring to ants. You can combine methods, using a scent-based repellent along with a granulated barrier, or perhaps growing ant-repelling plants and also using a perimeter spray.

Ants don’t just stay in your yard. If they find a way into your home, they’ll love to invade anywhere with a food source, most often the kitchen and pantry areas. To discover how to get rid of ants in your house, click here.

Keeping ants out of your house

In order to keep ants out of your home, you need to start at the outside. Choose a repellent method and apply it to the perimeter of your yard, repeating the process directly around your house itself. If ants try and cross into your house, they’ll reach the repellent first and turn around before they can get in.

Things to think about before choosing a method of any repellent:

  • Safety: Make sure that if you’re using a toxic product, you keep it away from children and pets.
  • Location: Are the ants in your house already? If so, you’ll need to both kill the ants already inside your home and also apply a repellent to keep new ones away.

For those of you who suffer from ant problems, look no further for a solution. Getting ants to stay away from your home and yard is possible now with all the many options available. Don’t just kill the annoying insects — repel them, and keep them from ever entering your home again.

You can find further details of Ants Control here.