You can use cinnamon to deter ants through the use of powder, oil, or sticks. However, cinnamon is not likely to kill ants. Rather, it just keeps them from going a certain way, and the ants usually find a way around. Most natural remedies work in a similar way, but you can try a wide variety to see what works best for you.
EditDeterring Ants with Cinnamon
- Sprinkle it at entry sites. The simplest method of using cinnamon is just to grab what you have in the cupboard. Add a dash or two where you see the ants entering the house. The cinnamon is so strong that it disrupts the trails the ants are trying to make, and they’ll stop coming in that way.
- Create a barrier line. Instead of just sprinkling it, you can also use cinnamon to make a line that ants won’t cross. If you see them in certain areas, try using a cotton swab to make a line across that area. Rub it in the cinnamon and spread it in a single, thin line.
- Use cinnamon essential oils. If you want to go a step further with your cinnamon, try using essential oil instead of the powdered stuff. It tends to be more potent. You can simply dip a cotton swab in it and then rub the oil along the areas where you’ve seen ants.
- Some other essential oils may also repel ants. The easiest way to spread essential around your home is by making a solution with water. Then you just spray it around your home in areas where you’ve been seeing ants.
- Start with a 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of water and a 1/4 cup of vodka (60 milliliters). The vodka helps keep the solution mixed together well. However, if you don’t have it, substitute extra water (another 1/4 cup) for the vodka, and shake well before each use.
- Add essential oils. Try adding 20-25 drops of cinnamon oil. Shake well.
- Try other essential oils. You’ll need 15 drops of tea tree oil, 15 drops of peppermint oil, and 7 drops of citrus oil (such orange, lemon, or lime). You can substitute 3 drops of clove in place of the citrus. Shake thoroughly.
- However, if you want to use it in food areas, replace the tea tree oil with more peppermint oil.
- Place sticks down. Another less messy option is using cinnamon sticks instead of the powder. Lay them out next to entrances you’ve seen. In fact, you can place sticks around anywhere you’ve seen ants. You can find cinnamon sticks in the bagged spice section of the grocery store.
EditUsing Other Natural Remedies
- Try white vinegar. Vinegar is such a strong smell that ants will often avoid it. Put some in a spray bottle to use around your kitchen. It’s perfectly safe. Just clean your counters first. Then, spray them down lightly with vinegar. Let it dry. The smell will soon dissipate.
- In fact, spraying vinegar directly on ants may kill them.
- Reapply if you see more ants.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth has been used as a natural deterrent for ants for years. It’s non-toxic, so it’s safe to use around kids and pets. However, make sure you get the food-safe variety, not the kind used to filter pools. Then just sprinkle it around where you’ve been seeing ants.
- Pour boiling water on mounds outside. One way to help reduce the number of ants is to use very hot water. The boiling water won’t destroy the whole colony, but it will kill about two-thirds of it. Try about of boiling water for each large anthill you see.
- Be very careful with this method. You can be burned both by the water and the steam.
- Spread out bay leaves. An old-fashioned deterrent is bay leaves. You can find bay leaves on the spice aisle, and they are usually still whole (though you can buy ground, too). Spread them out on places where you see ants, and often, the ants will not go in that area.