The Essential Oil That'll Banish Ants From Your Home For At Least A Week

At first glance, ants seem like a harmless nuisance. They have a tendency to ruin picnics, but if you see them in your house, removing them with a paper towel here and there seems to do the trick. But it's much more serious once a couple of ants becomes an infestation. They can swarm across your floors, climb onto your countertops, and invade your kitchen where crumbs and scraps (aka, their next meal) hide. To avoid that, you need to stop them in their tracks, and peppermint oil can help. 

A spray made with peppermint oil can help to get rid of ants in your house for up to one week. This gives you ample time to seal your home before they return, whether that means cleaning up crumbs from the floor or sealing any cracks or holes they have access to. Here's how to do it, plus considerations and warnings you should keep in mind.

How to use peppermint to deter ants

Peppermint essential oil can be used as an ant repellent by creating it into a spray. Simply take a spray bottle and fill it three-quarters of the way with water. This will help you dilute the essential oil. You'll then add 12 drops of peppermint essential oil to the bottle. Shake the bottle well to combine the ingredients, and then use the mixture to spray any area where you frequently see these pests. 

Consider spraying down window and door frames to stop them from crossing into the threshold, or spray cracks or areas you see them swarming. Since this is an all-natural solution, you can even spray down your countertops or tables to deter them from walking around areas where food is present. You can even take this hack outdoors and saturate your patio or deck, keeping them even further away from your house. 

Why this works

Peppermint is a great natural ant repellant because it's so potent and strong. Ants use pheromones to communicate and navigate, and it's believed that the strong smell of mint disrupts that. It will make them lose their way, hopefully prompting them to leave the environment. In addition to that, peppermint has menthol in it, and studies have proven that it can act as an ant repellant. If you spray it near where they swarm, it will force them to go in the opposite direction (which is, hopefully, out the door!)

However, there are some caveats to keep in mind before spraying this all over your house. If you have cats or dogs, you may want to skip this method and choose a different one. That's because peppermint oil is toxic to pets, and it can cause everything from diarrhea to vomiting to even potential death. However, if you don't have pets, a peppermint oil spray is one of the best ways to get rid of ants.