Back Button

How to Kill Ants With Common Household Spices

Jaime Stathis

While there are many commercial products that will remove ants from the home, many people don’t want to use them because of potential toxicity from the chemicals.

Chemically based insecticides are effective, yet they are potentially harmful to all members of the household, especially pets and young children--who not only lie on the floor but also eat things off of it. Many people are using spices to kill ants and other pests. Spices are non-toxic, safer for the family and the environment, and more cost effective than purchasing insecticides.

  1. Identify where the ants are entering. If possible, remove the host (food items or plants that the ants are living on).

  2. Spray white vinegar (diluted or full strength) as close to the source as possible. This will disorient the ants and they may not find their way back to your home.

  3. Stash bay leaves or cloves in silverware drawers and behind countertop appliances.

  4. Figure out where the ants are getting into your home. Ants are unlikely to cross a barrier of cinnamon, so sprinkle some at their entrance (doors, windows, cracks) to your home. Cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, black pepper or minced garlic can also be sprinkled on ant hills.

  5. Place mint (spearmint or peppermint) around windows and doorways. Tea, chewing gum, essential oils or the plants themselves will work. Apparently ants are repelled by the scent.


This article only covers using spices to rid your home of ants, but there are several other non-toxic methods such as using baby powder, borax, cream of wheat, chalk, flour and petroleum jelly.


Using spices to rid your home and garden of ants does not pose any major threats, but keep in mind that toddlers and pets touch a lot of things and often put things in their mouths that shouldn't be there.