Will lavender deter ants? Yes. Most ant species hate its strong scents.
Over the years, essential oils have come to be known for a wide range of benefits including pest control. Not only have these oils been found to be useful, but their plants also offer the same benefits.
When used for pest control, the oils, as well as the plants they’re derived from, have no adverse environmental impacts.
Does Lavender Repel Carpenter Ants?
Here, we’ll be focusing on one of such plants; lavender. Does it have any repellent effect? Will it kill these creatures? Safe, natural pest control methods have been embraced by many.
With a steady decline in the use of chemical-based pesticide products, it’s only logical to want to know if lavender works as an ant repellent.
Lavender For Ants
This says it all! Lavender is known for its strong and pleasant scent.
It’s used for aromatherapy with lots of benefits such as improvement of sleep, combating fungal growth, and promoting hair growth among many others.
Plants Hate the Scent of Lavender
While the smell of lavender is pleasant to humans, the opposite plays out for ants.
Does this mean ants can perceive smells?
Absolutely they do. Out of the many scents considered either attractive or tolerable to ants, lavender is ranked among the most disliked.
To know how this natural product works, we’ll need to take a look at ant behavior.
Ants Attraction to Your Home
Whenever you find ants within your home, they are there because they’re attracted by several factors. This mostly consists of food and moisture in addition to other ants.
Such food includes sugar, grease, crumbs, pet food, and rubbish bins.
The navigational skills of ants to a food source and back to their nest are aided by their sense of smell. This is seen in action when scout or worker ants release or map out a food source.
This is done through the release of pheromones which are chemical trails left behind for other members of their colony to follow.
Such scents when released provide the needed guide for other ants to locate the food source. This is where lavender comes into play. How so, because it has a strong scent.
Plus, one of the constituent compounds in lavender known as linalool is an insect repellent.
How Lavender Repels Ants
Due to its strong scent and its constituent chemical compound, ants are repelled from wherever lavender is applied. First off, the strong smell helps mask the pheromone scent trail followed by ants to a food source.
This is similar to a situation where an explorer loses his/her compass and maps.
Ants become disoriented and retreat from such areas. Another way lavender serves to repel ants is from its constituent chemical compound linalool.
This isn’t only found in lavender but also in other plants like mint, basil, oregano, and thyme.
So, technically, it can be said that mint, basil, oregano, and thyme plants in addition to lavender have ant repellent properties. With the repellent properties of lavender confirmed, what remains is the method of application.
How to Use Lavender as an Ant Repellent
When it comes to the use of lavender, there’s no specific method of application.
You can have it mixed with water, use in its pure form, or mixed with a carrier oil. Also, dried lavender flowers can be placed along with entry points.
So, how do you go about this? Let’s have a look.
Mixing Lavender to Water
Making potent ant repellent using lavender is a no-brainer.
All you need is a spray bottle, some water, and of course your lavender. Add about a few drops (10 to 20) drops of lavender to a cup of water and stir. This should be emptied into the spray bottle and shaken.
Now spray around ant-infested locations. If ants are still moving in a line toward a food source, that’s the perfect time to spray them with this repellent.
Before long, these creatures should be gone. Of course, some of them may end up dying.
However, it must be said that lavender spray isn’t effective in killing ants.
Using Lavender in its Pure Form
Lavender can be used in its undiluted form for ant control. You’ll need several cotton balls for this. Soak cotton balls in water and have them placed at strategic locations such as entry points.
Cabinets and pantry areas or wherever you may find these ants will serve as ideal spots.
You can also use lavender-soaked cotton balls to wipe off surfaces or paths used by ants. This eliminates any pheromone scents left behind by ant scouts, thus leading to disruption in ant activity.
Mixing with a Carrier Oil
Another mixture of lavender you can apply on ants is that mixed with carrier oils.
Any carrier oil will serve this purpose. Common carrier oils include black seed oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, grape seed oil, and avocado oil.
Others include sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, and apricot kernel oil. Have any of these mixed with lavender oil and clean ant trails. This solution can also be used to soak cotton balls.
Soaked cotton balls should be placed at strategic points. Can this be sprayed too? It can.
Using Dried Lavender Plants
Dried lavender plants never lose their effect against ants and other pests. These dried plants can either be placed along paths most frequented by ants or in sachets and placed at strategic points. It achieves the same effect as lavender oil.
Getting Rid of Ants Using Lavender isn’t enough
While lavender serves as a good ant repellent, using it alone will only provide temporary relief from ant problems.
This is because the cause remains unsolved. All the efforts you make towards repelling ants won’t be enough as long as the cause of the problem isn’t resolved.
So, what’s the cause of the problem? It isn’t difficult to see; food and moisture. You’ll have to consider cleaning up after each meal by getting rid of food crumbs.
Even sugary substances or spills attract ants. So, have your countertops and floors cleaned. Consider mopping your floors before you go to bed at night.
In the case of moisture, you’ll want to avoid standing water.
Also, fix all leaky pipes. You’ll need to have your plumber carry out maintenance work on your plumbing systems to fix leaks however little.
Lavender will help repel ants but is only one part of resolving the problem.
We’ve seen that both preventive treatments, as well as active treatments, need to be applied at the same time.
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