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Ant Control Myth Busting: Does Cinnamon Repel Ants?

Last Updated: 05.02.23


Dealing with an ant infestation can be difficult. If you want to learn about pet safe solutions, one of our recent posts covers this topic. Because cinnamon is a popular ingredient used in DIY mixes for ant control, we have analyzed what the specialists have to say about this matter. We have also listed other safe methods that you can try.


Is cinnamon effective?

If you are currently dealing with an ant infestation you have probably heard about the trick of using cinnamon as a repellent. But, does this DIY method works? According to professional exterminators, there is some truth behind this claim. However, cinnamon has its limitations.

Researchers have demonstrated that using cinnamon oil can help you repel and, in some cases, exterminate ants. The effectiveness of this solution relies solely on the concentration of the oil, as well as on the placement of the mixture.

In other words, it is recommended that you purchase cinnamon essential oil with a high concentration and that you soak cotton balls in it. Then, you have to place the balls in the exact places where the ants are entering your house. 

To make sure that you place them well, it is essential that you carry out a thorough inspection of your home. People who have no training might find it difficult to identify all the points. As a result, this method might not supply users with the expected results.



Cinnamon and vodka

One of the most effective combinations that you can try is mixing vodka with cinnamon oil. To start, you should mix ¼ cup of water with ¼ cup of vodka. Then, you should add 20 to 25 drops of cinnamon oil of a high concentration.

Vodka is an essential part of this mixture because it keeps the solution well blended. However, if you do not want to use alcohol, some say that you can substitute it with water. To make this mixture even more efficient, you can also add other essential oils such as tree oil, peppermint oil, citrus oil, etc.

If you plan on spraying the solution in your kitchen, it is recommended that you use peppermint oil instead of tree oil. 


Why does cinnamon repel ants?

It used to be a common belief that ants enjoy cinnamon. However, this assertion could not be further from the truth. The reason why cinnamon is toxic to ants has to do with some of its components that are damaging to the ants when ingested. In fact, cinnamon includes alcohols such as ketone, ether, carboxylic acids and aldehydes.

The spice can be used as a way of killing ants, as well as a method to deter insects from communicating with other ants that are in search of food.

Even though some say that cinnamon powder is just as effective as cinnamon essential oil, this is not necessarily the case. When applied is powered form, the spice only causes the insects to move to a different location in your home.

Plus, powdered cinnamon should not be used when dealing with a fire ant invasion. This species of ants can get pretty aggressive. When this happens, they tend to get enraged and bite.



The main advantage of using cinnamon to kill and repel ants is the fact that this spice is not toxic. Therefore, it can be utilized in homes where there are children and/or pets. Because it is natural, you do not have to leave the house while it works. 

Another plus is the accessibility of this spice. You can purchase cinnamon at any store near you and you do not have to pay a lot of money for it. Besides, cinnamon essential oil is also rather accessible. If you do not want to waste time looking for it in stores, you can always buy it online, from a trusted retailer.



Another DIY solution that you can use involves the use of vinegar. Because it has a strong smell, ants are repelled by it. Also, vinegar is a practical choice because, most likely, you already have this ingredient in your kitchen.

If you decide to test it, you just have to put some in a spray bottle and then spray it around in your kitchen in the areas that you consider problematic. Even though, at first, the smell might bother you, the odor tends to fade somewhat easily.

Some of the people who have used vinegar so far claim that spraying it directly onto the insects can also kill them. You should reapply it if you notice that the ants do not go away.

Exterminators point out that vinegar can only be used as a repellent. However, this solution has no effects when it comes to killing the insects. What is more, the effects of the vinegar are short-lived, as the user has to reapply it constantly. This can easily turn into being a nuisance because of the powerful smell of vinegar.



Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is another substance that people swear by. This product is a mixture of fossilized algae that has been proven to be quite effective. Diatomaceous earth works because it is made up of small sharp particles that easily get into the joints of the insects and, therefore, it disables them.

On top of that, this product can also punctuate through the protective skin of the ants and it can absorb the protective fats and oils that can be found on the insects’ exoskeletons. As a result, the ants get dehydrated and they die.

This solution is 100% natural and it can be utilized around children and pets. The best way to apply it is by sprinkling it by hand in problematic areas such as doorways, in the pantry or inside the holes of the baseboards. You can also use diatomaceous earth outdoors.

One thing that you should remember is that you should not mix this product with water. If you do so, it will become useless. If you decide to sprinkle it outside your home, you have to remember to reapply it after it rains. 

As you have already guessed, the one drawback of this solution is the fact that it tends to be rather messy. Still, because of its effects, many warm heartedly recommend it.


Ineffective DIY tricks

Before you start your DIY war against the ants that have taken over your home, you must understand that numerous solutions simply do not work. For instance, lemon juice is not a reliable option. Just like vinegar, lemon juice only works for a short while and it only masks the insect’s scent rails. 

Another common myth that you should know about is in regards of using chalk. Some people have argued that drawing borders with chalk can keep the ants away. Exterminators say that this solution is also impractical. While chalk can derail the pests, by disrupting their trail, they will most likely find new ways of hunting for food.


How to keep the ants away

As expected, the best way to avoid an ant invasion is by employing prevention techniques. It is recommended that you clear up food and liquid spillage and that you clean your floors regularly so that crumbs and other debris are eliminated.

Furthermore, you should store all your food in airtight containers and that you should do your best at blocking entry ways. This means that you have to seal any cracks and crevices around your home.




For indoor ant control you can also use store-bought solutions that contain pesticides. However, these products are toxic and should be used with precaution and care. You have to make sure that your food is not contaminated and that your pets are not put in danger. 

To avoid any unfortunate accidents, it is recommended that you carefully read the instructions provided by the manufacturer.


Professional control

If your ant problem gets out of control, the best solution is to employ the help of professional exterminators. Because they know how to deal with such a problem, exterminators will be able to fully eradicate the ants in due time. Also, they can teach you how to prevent future infestations.

Before you decide on what exterminator you want to employ, you should do some research. You can go online and look for exterminators in your area. Before you make any arrangements is also practical to search for feedback provided by previous clients.

Moreover, keep in mind that, depending on the type of ants that you are dealing with, solutions and DIY projects might not work as expected. If this happens, exterminators are your best option. 



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