Why Essential Oils Aren’t Great for Getting Rid of Ants

by | Mar 13, 2021 | Ant Control, Pest

Looking for an all natural pest control solution for ants? Have you tried endless cleaning, homemade all natural ant sprays, sprinkling cinnamon–and ants just keep coming back?

Read carefully to learn why essential oil ant repellents can make ants worse, and how to get them under control safely– before you’re forced to call in the pros.

What’s the Best All Natural Way to Kill Ants?

Odorous house ants aka sugar ants (Tapinoma sessile) are a persistent pest for Portland ant control. Notably, odorous house ants can have mini colonies with multiple nests, or “satellite colonies–” that LIVE inside your walls. 

To get the best all natural ant control, it’s important to visualize that ants are coming from inside (not outside). Those interior ant colonies will have to be dealt with eventually. Just killing & repelling individual ants and occasional trails with essential oil ant sprays will actually make things harder in the long run. Here’s why:

Safe Ant Control.   

Why Do Ants Keep Coming Back?

Ants can have a main colony outside and secondary nests inside your house. Ants build new nests close to food sources, including the honey in your pantry. Oftentimes, in your insulated wall voids where the moisture & warmth are ideal.

If you spray them, and repel them, but don’t get the whole colony (or colonies) in your walls, they will just keep coming back.

Essential Oils to Get Rid of Ants

Essential oil sprays & even many exterminator sprays have an strong, repellent odor that is offensive to the ants. The ants go back into your walls when they smell the essential ant sprays– and smelly powders like cinnamon.

Have you ever noticed ants go away for a while after using an all natural spray, then pop up again elsewhere?

When their trails are disrupted, sometimes their colony inside your wall will “fracture” –or split in two– then you have two ant colonies in your house. 

Natural Way to Get Rid of Ants

So, the most eco friendly way to get rid of ants is to actually hold off of any organic or essential oil ant sprays and choose baits instead.

Baits containing borax are safe for pets & kids when applied correctly, and it works well.

How to Keep Ants Out of House

You might be tempted to try to caulk every crack & crevice you see. Unfortunately since ants might be nesting inside, caulking exterior cracks & crevices may be keeping them in. Ants will always have the opportunity to enter through air vents under the edge of your siding, or through minuscule crevices barely visible. For this reason, the best way to keep ants out of the house is to bait the colony. Once they are gone, then you can regularly apply an essential oil ant repellent around your foundation to keep ants out of your house.

All Natural Insecticide Safety Tips

  • Do not spray essential oil ant repellents outside around flowers when bees are foraging.
  • Products containing high concentrations of essential oils should be used with caution indoors. Essential oils contain powerful chemical vapors that may irritate or harm pets like dogs & birds.
  • Always cover fish tanks and pet food dishes before spraying all natural ant killers inside.
  • Always read and follow the label on any organic ant control sprays or product.

Essential Oils to Repel Ants

If you’re committed to using essential oils to control ants, be prepared to spray ants often. The issue may worsen over time, and may make ant removal much more difficult in the long term. Your exposure to the essential oils will increase. If you eventually require an ant extermination company, they will have many more individual self-sustaining colonies to track down and get rid of.

Many Portland homeowners find that Terro liquid ant bait is effective for small ant removal jobs. Terro uses a form of borax as the active ingredient, which is a soapy natural chemical.

Instead of just repelling ants around your house like essential oil sprays do, borax baits will work well to control ants throughout the whole colony.

So they don’t come back.

Click to Get Rid of Ants.   

Safe Ant Extermination

On the other hand, some folks report feeding endless baits to their household ants to no avail. Certain species such as velvety tree ants may have colonies of more than 50,000 individuals.

Carpenter ants are much larger than house ants, and oftentimes cannot physically consume enough bait to control their entire colony. In these situations, you might want help from an eco friendly pest professional in Portland OR.

The best ant control tactics always use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to achieve results and reduce pesticide usage.

If you’d like help with Portland ant pest control, always feel free to give us a call.

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Pest and Pollinator contact information phone 9712319945 email info@pestandpollinator.com