Herbs to get rid of ants

Updated July 19, 2017

Ants are a common occurrence and are a sight most people have adjusted to seeing. Spotting them in the home, however, can make any homeowner cringe. And having ants in the yard can lead to bites and stings. There are a number of herbs that can help keep ants away.

Common Herbs

Many households contain common cooking herbs such as oregano, parsley and basil. Any one of these herbs will help deter ants. Sprinkle fresh oregano, parsley, or basil inside cabinets or around windowsills to keep ants out of the home.

Other Well-Known Herbs

Although most people have heard of sage, thyme, chives and rosemary, they are not commonly found in all homes. Thyme is an excellent deterrent to get rid of ants. Simply place some in cupboards and around doors or windows to keep ants out of the home. Chives, sage and rosemary are also good deterrents against ants in the home.

Uncommon Herbs

Tansy, a herbaceous flowering plant, has leaves that emit an odour that repels ants. Place fresh or dried tansy leaves wherever ants may be entering the home.

Southernwood branch is an herb whose branches give off a camphor smell. Ants stay as far away from the branches as they can get. Simply place a short piece of the herb's branch in cabinets and in any other spot where ants have been seen.

Herbal Sprays

Place a small amount of a strong herb, such as mint, oregano or thyme into a spray bottle, fill with water, and shake to mix. It is advisable not to use cinnamon or black pepper in a spray bottle as it may clog the spray nozzle.

Spray the mixture around all openings where ants may be coming into the home. Spray around the outside of the home, as well, to prevent ants from trying to get inside. The sprays can also be used on counters and floors as an ant preventive.

Spraying every few weeks is a good idea to keep ants at bay.

Using Plants Around the Home

Planting herbs around the outside of the home can work as a deterrent to keep ants from entering the home. Thyme, sage, mint, tansy and oregano planted close together all around the home will keep ants at bay so that they do not enter the home.


Calamus is an herb found near lakes and streams. The calamus plant emits a lemony odour that repels ants. The rhizomes of calamus (the underground stem) can be dried and used to get rid of ants. Wrap the rhizomes in paper and place in cupboards or near dustbins to keep ants away.

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About the Author

Katherine Bostick has been writing since 1993. She is a freelance writer and has written articles for both the "Spectator" and the "Crossties" newspapers. Bostick writes articles on educational topics, personal essays, health topics, current events and more. Bostick performs copy-editing and book-review services and produces her own local newspaper in South Florida.