There are many options if you are looking for essential oils to get rid of ants in the house. We’ll discuss some of them in this guide.
Using Essential Oils To Control Ants At Home
Ants are pests known for invading our homes and turning them to their residence, not minding whether they are welcomed or not. Getting rid of them is not often an easy task, especially when we know that insecticides are not only a harsh means of exterminating the ants but are also dangerous to our health.
There are about 12,000 species of ants all over the world. Thankfully, only about a few of them are hell-bent on disrupting our peacefully tidy environment.
These pests are tagged social insects, living in colonies- an ant colony is a large family of ants living together in a place.
A colony is made up of a queen ant and three classes of ants – the soldiers, the workers, and the swarmers. The responsibility of the swarmer is to mate with the queen when there is a need for them to increase their population.
Do you know that a single queen can produce millions of offspring? Yes, and she can span up to a year or more.
Ants go about seeking means of survival, and they move together in their search for food, water, and shelter. So once you sight an ant in your home, there is a big chance they have set up either outside the house or inside.
Most times, ants prefer to set up their colony outside the house where it will be easy to access the inside for their supplies of food and water. Only a few species like carpenter ants who dwell inside the wood would prefer to build their colony in the furniture inside the home.
Essential Oils For Killing Ants
Insecticides are equally dangerous to human health; most of them contain lethal ingredients which can be harmful to household pets and you.
Do you have to expose yourself to the toxicity of the chemical insecticide when you can get rid of ants using natural ingredients or using insecticides?
While most of the natural methods have been criticized for their ineffectiveness in totally getting rid of the pest, the essential oils have proven to be outstanding in the fight against the notorious household invaders- ants.
Some of the essential oils that will successfully carry out the ant extermination assignment includes the following;
- Cinnamon Essential Oil
There have been proofs that show that the cinnamon is very effective at repelling ants. All you need to do is dip your cotton balls into the cinnamon essential oil and leave the cotton balls where you may have seen ants.
Or better still, get the powdered cinnamon and sprinkle it around suspected areas, especially by the windows, doors, cracks, etc.
Trans-cinnamaldehyde is a compound that makes up the cinnamon essential oil, and it has been found effective in eliminating and eradicating ants.
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (LEO)
This oil is also very effective at repelling ants. The oil is gotten from the lemon eucalyptus tree, which contains citronella that is used to produced insect-repelling candles.
Get your cotton balls and dip them into the lemon eucalyptus oil and place them in a suspected area where the ants have infested. Once the cotton ball is dried, you can repeat the process and keep repeating until you are sure you have successfully made your home unwelcoming for the ants
But you have to make sure that you keep your pets and younger children away from the lemon oil-saturated cotton balls.
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)
Don’t be confused; there is a difference between the Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)and the Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (LEO). OLE is gotten from the gum of the eucalyptus tree that is found in Australia.
The chemical content of OLE called PMD is known for its effectiveness in insect pest extermination. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, OLE is a classified bio-pesticide because the chemical content is capable of eliminating almost all kinds of insects, including mosquitoes.
It is also a safe method of getting rid of ants. And like other essential oils, you should dip your cotton balls into the oil and place them in suspected areas of ant infestation.
- Neem Oil
The neem tree is native to India. The neem oil is extracted from the neem tree. Be sure to get the neem oil and not some diluted neem or products that contain extracts of neem; they may not be as effective as getting the oil extracted from the neem tree.
The neem oil is very effective in repelling ants and termites. And just like the others, just put you your cotton balls into the oil and place them in areas where you are likely to find the ants.
- Tea Tree Oil
The tea tree oil also works well in getting rid of ants from the household. The strong scent of this oil is capable of choking younger children or pets, so keep them far away when using it.
If you find the scent the too strong, you may choose to mix it with peppermint oil and water; it won’t make it less effective.
You can choose to go with the traditional method of dipping cotton balls into the oil and placing them in suspected areas where the ants might be found.
Otherwise, you may decide to mix about ten drops of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water. Pour it into the spray bottle and then spray around your home.
- Peppermint Oil
This is another natural ant repellant. It can also get rid of bugs, mosquitoes, and almost all kinds of insects.
Peppermint oil can be harmful to your pet and younger children, so it is very important to ensure that the oil is out of their reach.
You can dip your cotton ball into the oil and place it at locations within your home here ants can be found, or you can try out the spray method:
Mix about 10-20 drops of peppermint oil with 2 cups of water. Mix properly, and your spray is ready for use, you can spray at every corner and cranny of the home.
Natural Methods To Prevent Ant Infestation
Even though using essential oil works perfectly in combating an ant infestation in your home, it is important to maintain a very clean environment- which is the known antidote for an ant infestation in your home.
A very clean inside and outside makes the environment ultimately unappealing to the ants, and you can achieve this by observing the steps below;
Step 1- Remove every food source. To do this, you have to ensure that your kitchen environment is as clean as possible. Clean out your sink, sink trap, and make sure that there is no residue or litters of food carrier bags around the house, whether inside or outside.
Step 2- Remove Paper or Nylon Liner from kitchen cabinet- these liners may have some accumulated crumbs and spills of food hidden within; to avoid this, get rid of the liners. While getting rid of the liners, be also careful of cleaning up any food crumbs in and around your home.
Step 3- Clean your garbage cans inside out. Cleaning your garbage can with warm soapy water will remove the smell of food from your trash can. You can also use a floor cleaner that is pine or citrus-scented; this will help remove strong food smell that is likely to attract ants. Apart from that, it helps to remove stubborn food particles from the garbage cans.
Step 4- Clean up the pet’s bowl. Your pet food is another attraction for ants. This is why you have to remove the pet’s bowl once it is empty and clean it properly to eliminate the food smell. But then if your cat little to eat little at a time, you can put some water in their bowl so that any ant that attempts to get food will drown in the water
Step 5- Seal up holes and tiny openings in your home. It may be a mission impossible to seal up every single nook and cranny, but it important to check for every cracks and hole around the home, the windows, doors, holes in your furniture. Fill up every hole or treat them with a repellent to make you home unappealing to ants.
Step 6- Keep your Yard Clean and House plants sterile. Maintaining a clean yard will make your house unattractive for ants. While at it, make sure that the vines or vegetation in your garden does not extend to your front door or window. You need to trim your vegetation such that it stays outdoor. This way, ants won’t get in.
Also, you have to get rid of house plants that attract ants. If you love your house plants and want to keep them, you can replant it in sterile soil. First, you need to remove the plants from the pot, wash the pot inside out properly with bleach. After that, rinse the pot with plenty of water to remove all the traces of bleach.
Before you replant, also wash your plants thoroughly and make sure no ant is hiding beneath the leaves. The next trick is to get a kind of bowl of the plate, fill it with water and place a brick at the middle of it (any other flat surfaced item will do) then sit your house plant on it the idea is to drown an ant that dares to come to the houseplant. More so, it will make plants happier, living in a water environment gives them more humidity.
The bottom line is essential oil is a natural method of eliminating ant from your home, which also prevents them from invading your home. It is a cost-effective method that saves you the cost of getting a more expensive insecticide. It also saves the cost of getting a professional fumigator to help you get rid of the pest.
You can always make it into spray by adding several drops of the oil into 2 cups of water. Mix it properly, and your essential oil is ready for use.
The use of essential oils is an important strategy to get rid of ants naturally. They are safe and cost-effective too.