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What Smells Do Ants Dislike? (All You Need to Know)

The invasion of ants in our house can be very frustrating and irritating. They multiply very fast when they find a food source. However, you can get rid of the ants naturally quite easily.

There are various smells that ants dislike and if they get those smells they won’t enter the house. Let’s take a look at what smells ants dislike.

7 smells that ants dislike and how to use them:

Ants are an annoyance worldwide, particularly during the summer. Fortunately, there are numerous smells that the ants cannot stand. The smells that ants dislike are garlic, cucumber peels, baby powder, lavender, citrus peel, cinnamon, lemongrass, vinegar, citrus peel, oil, coffee grounds, and more.

It can be very annoying when ants get into your house. They can go through very narrow spaces and get into your food. So, you might be very eager to get the ants out of your house.

You can prevent ants from coming to your house in various ways. You can use natural repellents and chemical repellents to prevent ants from coming into your house.

However, your pets can get affected by the chemicals from the chemical repellent. So, using natural repellents is best for keeping the ants away from your home.

Let’s take a look in detail at what smells ants can not tolerate and dislike.

Coffee Grounds:

Ants can climb up on your counter, but you might have noticed that they don’t go near your coffee jar.

You might have noticed that they don’t climb up on your coffee jar even if you leave it open on the counter. This is due to the fact that ants can’t withstand the scent of the coffee.

You can prevent ants from getting into your house by sprinkling coffee around your house. If you find an ants nest, you can also break the nest by sprinkling coffee grounds around it.

In addition to keeping the ants away, coffee grounds are also helpful to your garden. This is because coffee grounds contain magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. It also contains a very pleasing fragrance.

Cucumber peels:

Ants cannot tolerate the smell of the cucumber peels. The peels of the cucumber contain an antifungal chemical.

This chemical is poisonous to the kinds of fungi that ants eat. By getting rid of the food source of ants, you can prevent ants from getting into your house.

You should just leave the slices of cucumber peels on the entryways of your house and on the paths through which the ants enter the house. Since cucumber is a food item, you should replace the peels frequently so that it doesn’t attract other pests.


Ants have a problem with the fragrance of the garlic. If they smell garlic in the entryways of the house they wouldn’t go inside the house.

So, if you place a few garlic cloves properly, you can prevent ants from coming to your house. To repel the ants, place garlic cloves in spots of the house where they are likely to enter.

Citrus peel:

Ants don’t also like the smell of the citrus peel, just like the cucumber peel. It also removes the fungus on which the ants feed. So, it will keep the ants away from your house.

The fragrance of the citrus peel is however pleasing to humans. It also has other benefits other than repelling the ants. The citrus peel will also repel insects like flies, mosquitoes, and ticks.

Peppermint oil:

Peppermint oil is another great natural ant repellent. Ants will go the other way if they smell peppermint oil in your house. In fact, it will repel other common household pests.

The ants stay away from peppermint oil because it is toxic to them and they can detect it from the smell of it.

So, by spraying peppermint oil on the narrow spaces and counters you can prevent them from getting into your food and entering the house.

Baby powder and chalk:

Ants do not like the smell of calcium carbonate since it messes with their scent trails. Baby powder and chalk contain calcium carbonate.

So, by sprinkling baby powder or applying chalk on the ants’ scent trail, you can prevent them from coming into your house.

Black pepper:

Ants can’t tolerate the scent of black pepper at all. They won’t come anyway near the black pepper if they get the smell of it.

Black pepper repels ants by irritating their senses. Ants do not want to be bothered by the smell; therefore the black pepper’s heat deters them from your house.

To repel the ants, you can simply sprinkle black pepper around your home. You can also create a solution with water and black pepper and spray it to drive the ants away.

Where to place these scents to get rid of ants:

There are numerous smells that ants don’t like and stay away from. However, you will have to place these scents in the right place to get the best outcome.

If you don’t block the entryways of your house with those smells ants will anyway enter the house but will stay from those smells. So, you must place those items in the right place. Let’s find out where to place the scents to get rid of ants.

On the entryways:

You should place the scents that ants don’t like on the entryway of your house. Although ants can go through very narrow spaces, they prefer large open spaces to move if there is no danger.

So, by placing those scents on the entryways you can prevent ants from getting into your house.

On counters:

The ants usually climb up to the counter looking for food sources as we always keep the food on the counters. So, by placing the scents on the counter you can make sure that ants don’t get up on the counters and get into your food items.

Are these ants bad for my house?

Almost every kind of ant is bad for your house. This is because they will get into your food items and make them uneatable. Some types of ants can also get into the woods, damaging them permanently.

Let’s find out if these ants are bad for your house.

Carpenter ants:

The carpenter ants are the type of ants that damage the woods. They are very bad for your house as they are dangerous to your home’s integrity.

They can invade wood that is used for constructing, stored on a property, and furniture inside your house.

Flying ants:

The flying ants won’t chew on your furniture like the carpenter ants and won’t bite you, but a swarm of flying ants inside your house can be quite frightening. In this case, you will have to do full pest control in your house to get rid of them.

Sugar ants:

Sugar ants are fairly less dangerous for your house compared to other types of ants. However, they will get into the sweet food items in your home, making them uneatable.

Fire ants:

Fire ants’ invasion in your house can be very bad. This is because they will destroy the vegetation in your garden. They can also bite people and damage furniture in the house.

Black ants:

The black ants can be quite harmful to your house. They can chew on wooden items and other vulnerable items in the house. They can find a food source quite quickly, as a result removing them from the house is quite difficult.

Tips to prevent ants from coming to your house:

Preventing ants from coming to your house is much easier than getting them out of the house. You can do it quite easily by following a few simple tips. Here are some tips to prevent ants from coming to your house:

Keep food in sealed containers:

If ants find a food source in your house, a huge amount of ants will come into your house to carry the food. By keeping your food in sealed containers, you can prevent ants from finding it as they won’t get the smell so they won’t enter the house.

Keep the surrounding of your house clean:

If there are food particles around your house, ants will get attracted to them. They will eventually come inside your house looking for food. So, by keeping the surrounding of your house clean you can prevent ants from coming into the house.

Use ant repellent around the house:

The best way to keep the ants away from your house is by placing ant repellents around the house. It will effectively keep the ants far away from your home.

Final Thoughts

Ants dislike a lot of smells that come from natural items. The scents of items that ants cannot tolerate are cucumber peels, black pepper, baby powder, coffee ground, garlic, citrus peel, and peppermint oil. By placing these scents in the right place, you can prevent ants from coming to your house.