Ants can be a nuisance to many homeowners as they usually enter the house to forage their food or water, damaging property in the house. Fortunately, ant repellent is the best approach to prevent them from invading the insides. In this article, we will introduce you to some tips to select the best ant repellent. 

What attracts and repels ants?

Ants are tiny insects that have incredibly powerful senses of smell and are easily attracted to a variety of ingredients such as sugar, pet food, water and flowers. Besides, ants usually leave a pheromone trail when they look for food. Once an ant detects something delicious in your home, it will return its tracks and strengthen its smell trail. Thus, other ants can follow it towards the food source. 

Many plants attract pollinators with their enticing, floral aromas while other plants use their aromas to protect them from insects and pests. Essential oils highly extracted from the plants that are able to repel ants in nature will have a strong ant repellent effect. Below are some essential oils for preventing ant infestations.

Cinnamon leaf

Cinnamon is the most effective oil for ant issues as it has ant-repelling properties. At high concentrations, it works as an insecticide that interrupts ants’ pheromone trail, resulting in fewer ants invading your house. However, the effectiveness of ant repellent depends on the type and concentration of cinnamon that you use. It is proven that high concentrations of cinnamon essential oil at 20% potency significantly repel ants. Although it is harmless to humans and pets, the recommendations is that not to apply it straight away. Instead of that, you should use it as an ant spray because this substance is so highly concentrated. 


Peppermint offers you a gentle everyday solution to your ant problem. Although peppermint gives users a pleasant aroma, it is quite unpleasant to insects and is recognized for its ability to repel mosquitos. Additionally, it is recognized for its fire ant repellent ability. 


The lemongrass plant is also rich in chemicals like citral and citronellal, which may repel various insects. These properties are effective to repel ants, mosquitoes and house flies in the house. With its bug-banishing properties and pleasant aroma, it becomes an ideal choice for the best ant repellent in the kitchen. 


Cedarwood is well-known for its ant repellent ability. Many houses utilize the oils derived from cedarwood trees to keep pests away. Furthermore, it also works well on cockroaches. 

What is an ant repellent?

Basically, an ant repellent means repelling ants. Therefore, once it is applied, it will form a barrier that the ants no longer want to pass, forcing them to look for another place to go. 

Some ant repellents can work, but, ants may seek another entryway to invade your home. The repellents are used to repel ants, therefore, they have no effect on the colony. If you want to eliminate the entire ant population, an ant bait may be the best way. Repellents can be available in either liquid sprays or dry substances. To prevent ant invasion, they are applied around cracks, holes, window sills, along baseboards, corners, and outside the perimeter of your home. 

Drawbacks of ant repellents

Both forms of repellents, dry and liquid, have disadvantages. For instance, chili power is one of the best ant repellents, but it is not a good idea to sprinkle it around your kitchen if you have young children or pets that are prone to putting items in their mouth. One disadvantage of liquid repellents is that they will lose their effectiveness once they dry. Therefore, you have to continuously reapply the liquid to have an effective barrier against ants. 

Ingredients in ant repellent and ant insecticide

Ant repellent

Choosing an ant repellent that is natural and effective to deal with ants both inside and outside the home is of vital importance because numerous ant repellents available on the market are toxic to use around children and pets. Several common chemicals in commercial ant repellents are neonicotinoids, avermectin, fipronil and organophosphates and carbamate. These chemicals kill ants by attacking the ant’s nervous system, which stops its body system. Nevertheless, they are toxic chemicals, so you should be careful to use them. 

Ant insecticide


Being a well-known active ingredient in Advion’s line of cockroach-fighting insecticides, indoxacarb is also a great way for ant control. When ants come into contact with indoxacarb and absorb or eat the chemical, it prevents sodium ions from entering nerve cells, resulting in paralysis, loss of appetite, impaired nerve function and death. In addition, it is available in bait form, thus, ants easily pass it to others. Besides, it is effective to eliminate up to three generations of cockroaches. So it is one of the best insecticides for ants, cockroaches, and other insects. 


Carbaryl was widely utilized in the 1950s and is being used for food crops and other agricultural needs. It acts as a reverse inhibitor of an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which affects an insect’s nervous system, resulting in death. The advantage of carbaryl is you can get rid of ants and other pests without causing too much damage to your property. Nevertheless, it can harm some beneficial insects like honey bees. Thus, it is not applied in those areas of the outdoor garden that honey bees frequent. 


Another highly-effective ant-killing insecticide is fipronil, which efficiently eradicates the entire nest. When an ant is poisoned by eating or touch, the slow poison gives the ant adequate time to come back to its colony and distribute the poison to others. Because of its ability to be easily spread, it is one of the best insecticides to eliminate entire ant colonies in your house. 

Demon WP

Demon WP is a broad-spectrum insecticide that may be utilized to combat ants both indoors and outdoors. It is effective with spiders, flies, chiggers, fleas, mosquitoes, and many other pests. When sprayed, it provides a residual barrier to protect your house for up to 2 to 3 months after the first application. Besides, it uses cypermethrin as the active ingredient that kills insects by attacking the nervous system of insects that come into contact with it. Another advantage is it can deal with ants in hard-to-reach places thanks to a gallon pump sprayer. 

Suspend SC

Another sprayable insecticide that can be an alternative to Demon WP is suspend SC. It uses deltamethrin as its active ingredient to eliminate ants by poisoning their central nervous systems. Moreover, it is also effective with a wide variety of pests. It is designed for outdoor and indoor use in cracks and crevices and provides protection for up to 3 months after application.  

The best way to use ant repellent indoors

The best method to eliminate ants is preventing them from invading your home. We can solve this problem in several ways such as sealing all cracks in walls or flooring, frequently sweeping the floors, and tightly sealing all food items that are not stored in the refrigerator. If you have pets, it is also essential to clean pet eating areas to ensure pet food is not attractant to ants. 

However, if your house also gets ant infestations, natural ant repellents are a great idea for this problem. Two common ant repellents are clove bud essential oil and peppermint essential oil. 

Clove bud essential oil

This spicy, strong, and warming oil is an efficient natural ant repellent because its strong scent masks the smell of the food trail. Furthermore, it is proven to kill ants within 6 hours and repel them within 3 hours of application. Therefore, many commercial natural insect repellents use clove bud essential oil as one of their main active ingredients for ant control. 

Peppermint essential oil

Another great essential oil for ant control is peppermint essential oil. In addition to controlling ants, it works well on other pests such as mice. To keep ants at bay, homeowners simply soak cotton balls in peppermint essential oil and put them around the house.

How is ant poison different from ant repellent?

There are some differences between ant poison, ant repellent and ant insecticide. The main goal of an ant repellent is to deter or repel ants and other insects from entering your home. Once applied, the repellent will create barriers or perimeters that keep ants out and prevent larger problems. Ant poisons, on the other hand, do not just repel ants, but also eliminate ants. Some ant poisons, such as sprays kill ants on contact while some others are designed to eliminate the entire colony. 

Top 3 best ant repellent 

Combat 10023400973061 Indoor and Outdoor Ant Killing Gel, 27 Gram.

best ant repellent
Combat 10023400973061 Indoor and Outdoor Ant Killing Gel, 27 Gram.

This can effectively get rid of numerous types of ants in just three to five days. It acts as bait, so it allows ants to bring the gel bait back to their nest where they poison all members of the colony. Furthermore, it contains more water to promote quicker feeding, so it begins eradicating ants within hours. However, it contains the insecticide, fipronil, thus, you need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure no harmful effects to you and your family. 

In addition, the gel is contained in a ready-to-use syringe, so you easily squeeze it into hard-to-reach areas where ants travel such as cracks and crevices.    

EcoRaider Ant & Crawling Insect Killer (32 OZ), 100% Fast Kills, Also Kills Fire Ants. Lasting Repellency, Safe for Children & Pets

best ant repellent
EcoRaider Ant & Crawling Insect Killer (32 OZ), 100% Fast Kills, Also Kills Fire Ants. Lasting Repellency, Safe for Children & Pets

This is a non-toxic and eco-friendly ant spray that utilizes natural insecticidal compounds extracted from aromatic plants as active ingredients. The spray is effective to control insects in both indoor and outdoor areas and works well on a lot of insects, including ants, gnats, midges, lice, fleas, mosquitoes, moths and flies. With com natural formula, it is entirely safe for use around adults, children, and pets. 

Once sprayed, the spray penetrates the exoskeleton of the insect and destroys a nerve receptor that only exists in invertebrates, causing immediate paralysis and death. Furthermore, it also creates a barrier to prevent for re-entry for more than 4 weeks. Besides, it gives you a pleasant citrus scent due to the natural ingredients in the spray. 

Stay Away FBA_360310 Repellent Pest Control Scent Pouches-All Natural, No Mess, and Environmentally Safe-1 Pack-Not for Sale in NM, SD, Ants, 2 Ounce

best ant repellent
Stay Away FBA_360310 Repellent Pest Control Scent Pouches-All Natural, No Mess, and Environmentally Safe-1 Pack-Not for Sale in NM, SD, Ants, 2 Ounce

The Stay Away Ants scent pouches are a safe method to deal with ants in your house. Its plant-based active ingredients made from lemongrass, peppermint, and thyme essential oils, along with a patented design ensure your house is ant-free after application. Moreover, it also offers continuous protection for 30 days, even in places you can not see or reach. Because of using a mix of essential oils and other botanic ingredients, the pouch releases a pleasant aroma in your house and is safe to use around humans and pets. 

Additionally, it is easy to use. You just remove the outer plastic wrap and put it anywhere ants go to find food such as pantries, cupboards, kitchens, basements, or places you see pest activity, or entry points you want to prevent them from coming. 

Top 3 best ant poison

Syngenta – TRTD11568 – Optigard Ant Bait Gel Box – 4 Tubes w/ Plunger – 30g each tube

best ant poison
Syngenta – TRTD11568 – Optigard Ant Bait Gel Box – 4 Tubes w/ Plunger – 30g each tube

The Syngenta TRTD11568  can deal with ant infestations in both outdoor and indoor areas. It is a mixture of active ingredients and an attractant, therefore, it is effective to treat the entire colony. The active ingredient, Thiamethoxam, gradually interferes with the digestive system of the ants, therefore, these ants have time to return to their nest where they contaminate others before they die. It is perfect to control various insects such as argentine ants, carpenter ants, ghost ants and other nuisance pests. 

With a unique syringe design and a thin nozzle, you easily apply it inside hard-to-reach areas such as cracks and holes, which enhances its effectiveness. Besides, its effect can last a couple of months, which gives you insect-free spaces during treatment time.  

Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait – 8 oz. ant Killer, ant Poison

best ant poison
Advance 375a Select Granular Ant Bait – 8 oz. ant Killer, ant Poison

Due to its weather tolerance, this bait is an excellent method for controlling ants in yards where kids and pets often play. It works well under weather conditions. This is a protein ant bait, which contains food attractant ants love, so it effectively lures ants from their nests and eliminates them. It works on a wide range of ant species, including sugar ants, argentine ants, and carpenter ants and remains the effect for several weeks after a single application. Besides, it is simple to apply. You can broadcast or put it as a mound to kill ants in your yard. Furthermore, it is also odour-free, so you do not feel annoying by the chemical smell after treatment.  

Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait, 1LB 8oz (24 Oz)

best ant poison
Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait, 1LB 8oz (24 Oz)

The Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait is a granular ant killer that effectively keeps ants from coming inside your house. Furthermore, it works well on 25 different ant species including carpenter ants, fire ants, ghost ants and others. Once ants find the bait around the perimeter of your home, they will carry it back to the mound because they think it is their food. As a result, the queen and the entire colony will be eradicated after eating the bait. 

It can deal with ants on lawns, landscaped areas, or around structures. For the best result, we can not apply it when ground or grass is wet or when rain within 24 hours. Although it has very low toxicity to people, animals and birds, it is only used for outdoor purposes. 

Top 3 best insecticides for ants

Syngenta 73654 Demand CS Insecticide, 8oz, Beige

best insecticide for ants
Syngenta 73654 Demand CS Insecticide, 8oz, Beige

This insecticide from Syngenta is one of the best ways to deal with ants infestations. It is a water-based insecticide concentrate that is able to deal with more than 30 common insects including spiders, ants, flies, wasps, fleas, ticks and bed bugs indoor and outdoor spaces. Furthermore, it also gives you an unparalleled residual and protection against these insects thanks to the integration of lambda-cyhalothrin and micro-encapsulated technology. Moreover, it has no odour and does not stain surfaces during application. Therefore, the treated areas will be free of smell and people and pets when return when the insecticide is settled.  

Syngenta – A20380A – Advion Fire Ant Bait – Insecticide – 2lb

best insecticide for ants
Syngenta – A20380A – Advion Fire Ant Bait – Insecticide – 2lb

The Advion Fire Ant Bait is an effective bait for your ant invasions. With its fast-acting ingredient, it efficiently eradicates a wide variety of ant species. Moreover, it also combines with an alluring formulation, so it easily attracts swarms of ants and kills worker ants and the queen and even larvae. Therefore, it protects your house from these nuisance insects for up to 3 months. 

In addition, it is simple to use since you may spread the bait or put moulds near nest entrances. Moreover, it poses no hazard to humans after application, so it is harmless to use lawns and other outdoor areas.  

Bonide BND568 Termite_and_Carpenter_Ant_Killer Insecticide/Pesticide_Concentrate, 32_Oz

best insecticide for ants
Bonide BND568 Termite_and_Carpenter_Ant_Killer Insecticide/Pesticide_Concentrate, 32_Oz

These product can kill subterranean termites, carpenter ants, fire ants, carpenter bees, and wood infesting beetles. To control subterranean termites, the chemical must be dispersed in the soil to create a barrier between the wood in the structure and the termite colonies in the soil. For the best result, a trenching treatment should last up to 5 years. Furthermore, you easily mix the insecticide with water and spray it on treated areas with a sprinkler can, hand sprayer, or low-pressure sprayers. However, to ensure your safety, you should carefully read and use it according to the label directions.      

Frequently asked questions about best ant repellent

How does a poison eradicate a colony? 

Ant poisons often available in bait or bait stations kill ants based on their social system.  In an ant colony, the primary duty of the female worker ants is finding food for all members in their nest. Therefore, baits are tailored to attract ants while the active ingredients in the bait poison the ants. Because the poison takes time to work, these ants have time to return to their nest and spread the poison throughout the colony, resulting in the entire colony will be killed.  

Why do ants return to the same place every year?

Moisture is one of the reasons why ants come back to the same place in your house every year. Ants are drawn to moist places because they need water to thrive and even store water within their nests for later use.


Ant repellents are an effective way to deal with ant invasions. However, some repellents are harmful to the health of humans and pets. Therefore, an efficient and natural product should be considered when purchasing the best ant repellent. 

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