It’s Spring! And the Ants Come Marching One By One….

It’s Spring! And the Ants Come Marching One By One….

Orange tulipsWe have been enjoying the beautiful spring weather and all the flowers. The hard part, however, is that while there are bulbs waking up and the grass and trees are all waking up, so are other things. Like ants.

Now, I know the ants are necessary and I know we need them to help aerate and mix up the soil and things like that. However, I really don’t like them coming into my house. But they are persistent and keep trying. So here are a few oils I use to discourage them.

Best oils

  • Singles: Peppermint, Lavender, Citronella, Cinnamon Bark, Basil, Eucalyptus globulus, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus citriodora
  • Blends: Bug Off, Purify (Both from Rocky Mountain Oils)

Ants on a BoardWhat to do

Put drops of the essential oil of your choice in the areas you have seen them come in. Particularly the openings. Just use a few drops. Start with five and see how it does. You can put them on a cotton ball and stick it into the corners you know they are coming in or you can wipe them along the thresholds of doorways and places like that. You will need to refresh them every few days or so. Keep your eye on how things go to see how often to replace them.  And they’ll make your house smell lovely!

You can use a carrier oil to make them go further but you need to be careful which one you use. Olive oil will attract the ants in spite of the essential oils. Some people will use a mineral oil for a carrier oil on their floors.

You can also do up something decorative. Some people will use ribbons or other fabric decorations, potpourri mixes or wooden blocks and put them in their windows or on the floor.

Here is also a video showing different ways you can use some of these oils to keep the ant away.

Other options

Diatomaceous earthAnother thing to do is get some Diatomaceous Earth (DE). No, it’s not dirt. It’s actually an off-white powder. How it works as an insect repellent is it has an abrasive action on their exoskeletons. When they walk through the powder, it grates the waxy substance off the insect’s body and breaks down the exoskeleton. What’s even better is when the ant tracks the DE back to it’s nest. And the DE is safe to use anywhere. Even in your food, surprisingly enough.

The time to use DE is when you have large amounts of ants around. Sprinkle a layer around and on top of the mound. Make sure it stays dry for at least 24 hours. You can also put a tracing of DE along doorways and other areas you know they come in. I like to trace the DE along my threshold with a line of essential oils on my doorway side so that they track through the DE before being repelled by the oils, thereby having to track back through the DE.

On a side note

peppermint_oilOne year I was using a lot of Peppermint and Eucalyptus, with a touch of Lemon, in my front doorway to keep the ants out. We happened to have a fennel plant right next to the front door and it attracted a lot of wasps. I’m talking 20-30 wasps hovering around it all of the time. Never once did one of them come into my house.  Maybe they didn’t like the scent of the oils. I’m not sure, but I was very happy they stayed out!

And finally,

Ants really are rather annoying when they come in the house. What do you like to use to keep them out? What are you hoping to try out? Please tell us in the comment section down below. We are all very interested. And good luck!

Ants fighting


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I was surprised that you did not distinguish food grade DE from pool grade DE, as in my experience people may be unaware of the difference. 

Thanks so much.



I tried the borax and sugar with water mixture, but that never seemed to get rid of the ants (even though they were supposed to bring it back to their nests to get rid of all of them), but what does seem to work right now is a spray bottle of water and peppermint oil (Rock Mountain Oils/Native American Nutritionals).  


I use borax and vinegar in the house. But the borax doesn't seem to work long outside. It is supposed to do the same thing the DE does...Think I will try the DE this year.

Rising Earth Massage
Rising Earth Massage

Thanks for posting this! I have been fighting with ants for 3 weeks now :(


  1. […] For more ideas, take a look at our article on dealing with ants in the springtime. […]