The Viral DIY Ant Deterrent That Will Keep Infestations At Bay

Summer is the time for backyard barbeques, pool parties, baseball, and family vacations, but it's also the time of ants. Ants can invade your spaces and ruin your good times pretty quickly. Of course, insect repellants used to get rid of ants are typically filled with toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your plants or your pets, and non-toxic commercial types are often expensive. Making your own organic ant spray is a great idea, and it can be done over several days using orange peels, vinegar, and water.

Ants are drawn to food, as they set up stores of it to last throughout the winter, so any area that contains food is in danger of attracting these tiny insects. And while finding ants all over your outdoor spaces is bad enough, seeing ants marching along your kitchen countertops, bathroom walls, or bedroom floors is much worse. That's why it's imperative to have a reliable deterrent spray on hand for any time those little soldiers set up camp.

Make your own ant spray

To make a sustainable and organic ant repellent that will naturally get rid of ants for good, start by putting as many orange peels as you can into a mason jar. Fill the jar with white vinegar, covering the peels completely. Before securing the lid to the top of the jar, add a piece of parchment paper as a barrier to prevent the vinegar from eroding the metal lid. Let this sit for two weeks, infusing the citrus essence into the vinegar. Then, strain the vinegar into a spray bottle that's half filled with water.

Not only does this make an effective ant repellent, it also doubles as an all-purpose cleaner. Spray it wherever you find ants or wherever you'd just like to wipe down your surfaces. Because ants dislike the scents of both vinegar and oranges, this spray packs a double wallop. Additionally, it likely won't kill the ants — or at least not most of them. Rather, it should just keep them away from your home. Its non-toxic formula also won't harm your kids or pets, so it's safe for indoor and outdoor use.

This mixture repels ants by scent

If you've ever seen ants marching, you've probably noticed that they travel in straight lines, one following the other. When they do this they are actually tracking each other's pheromones. Vinegar masks the scent of those pheromones, confusing the ants. Rather than trying to continue following and fruitlessly getting lost, they back away and avoid it altogether.

Likewise, the scent of oranges is also a strong odor that masks ants' pheromones and keeps them from traveling near its source. In addition, the oils found in orange peels contain the chemical D-limonene, which dissolves the waxy coating on their respiratory organs, suffocating them. While a small amount of this ingredient shouldn't harm them, if you know where the ant colony lives and you pour a significant amount of orange oil — or orange oil-infused water — onto the ant hill itself, there's a greater likelihood that you will kill the queen and the whole colony will perish. However, if you only know where the ants are coming into your home and what food sources they're flocking to, you can spray these areas to prevent future invasions. Just be sure to caulk or seal up any exterior holes that ants or other insects might find entrance through to make sure the problem doesn't continue.