Getting Rid of Ants

I have ants all around my house and I don't mean my mother's sisters, I mean the tiny 6 legged little black insect pest type ants.  They are in my garden and like to harvest aphid honeydew on my raspberries, which is all together gross.  A few have found their way into our house and now that I'm planting a bigger garden it was time to get serious. 

I tried over the counter ant dusts, ant traps, ant glue traps, ant sprays, I tried almost every product on the shelf and they weren't deterred or dead. 

So I started searching the net and learned about certain plants that repel ants, so I planted pennyroyal, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and garlic chives.  I saw ants on the pennyroyal but for the most part they just walked around the plants to where they wanted to go.  Now I don't want to grow a bunch of these types of plants as a border around my vegetable garden because I have very little space to plant as it is. 

So I kept looking and found out that cinnamon, citrus oil, lemon juice and cayenne pepper work.  I pushed cinnamon sticks into the dirt but that didn't do much of anything.  Lemon juice just washes away the minute I water and I have no idea where to get citrus oil. 

Eureka! Ant problem solved finally - I put cayenne pepper powder into a jar of vegetable oil, enough to make it a really dark orange / red, and let it stand for 24 hours.  When I poured it on the flagstones the ants wouldn't go through the line of oil, it worked like a wall.  They'd get close, then just like one of those toy cars that change direction when they hit a wall, the ants turned around and tried to go a different way. 

I'm now making a bigger batch of Cayenne vegetable oil to surround my garden's perimeter and to put into the soil where there are a lot of ants.  The oil doesn't wash away easily, which will prolong its usefulness. 

I wish I hadn't wasted so much money on insecticides since they didn't work. 

This post was originally posted in 2011

Shannon Peel is an author, marketer, and content creator. Check out her agency website at

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