Carpenter Ants and Peppermint Oil

The advantage of using peppermint for ants at home is that it smells good. It is safe for you plus your pets. You can also make a natural peppermint spray at home to repel ants and several other bugs.

Peppermint oil repels carpenter ants because it neutralizes the pheromones on their path. Mix 15 drops of peppermint essential oil with ½ cup of water and spray it on their tracks. This way, they cannot invite others to your house when they find food.

Remember that you can also soak some cotton balls in peppermint oil extract and place them in places that you do not want the ants to visit. This is a good alternative and a sure way of keeping them away especially if you do not have a bottle hand sprayer.

Does Peppermint Oil Repel Ants
Does Peppermint Oil Repel Ants?

How to use peppermint oil for carpenter ants

When mixing peppermint with water for spraying on ants, it is best to use warm water and add a bit of soap since the soapy water will also help in neutralizing the ants’ communication scent.

Here are simple steps on how to make a natural peppermint spray to deter carpenter ants at home:

  1. Take 2 cups of water in a spray bottle
  2. Take 4 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and add to it
  3. Then add about 15 drops of essential peppermint oil and mix to form a solution
  4. Spray this on areas where you have noticed and love to crawl on and they will avoid it

It is important to add the dishwashing liquid because it will help in breaking the surface tension of water. This will make the solution easier to spread since it will be more soluble and the particles will be effective in keeping ants away.

You can also use this outside especially when you have noticed a trail of ants using a specific path. Simply spray this directly on their trails and they will try to find alternative routes. This will derail them and they will keep off your house and its environs.

Peppermint oil + Cotton balls for carpenter ants

You can also soak small cotton balls in peppermint essential oil and place them in areas where you normally see the ants. This is a good way to repel ants especially if you have a reason why you do not want to use the spray version.

Replace the cotton balls after 3-5 days just to keep the scent strong. This is because the weaker it becomes, the less effective it is in repelling the ants. This can be easily placed on decks or cupboards where you keep sugary stuff like honey and sugar.

Those can also be placed at entry points like under the kitchen windows or under the door. You can also place the cotton balls soaked in peppermint around your house trash bin in the kitchen to keep ants and other bugs away from it.

Don’t forget to throw some under the sink, fridge, and around your cooker. It is best to do this after cleaning those areas so that the ants will not have any reason to crawl those areas, especially with the peppermint oil smell around.

Fresh peppermint leaves vs Carpenter ants

Using fresh peppermint leaves for repelling ants will work instantly because the scent will be much stronger. If you have peppermint plants growing in your backyard, then you are lucky. Here is what to do:

  1. Wash a hand full of fresh peppermint leaves
  2. Chop them into pieces on a chopping board and place them in a container
  3. Crush the leaves until they become soft and then add 1 glass of warm water
  4. You can also place the leaves in a blender and add one glass of warm water
  5. Blend them until they become soft and equally mixed
  6. Sprinkle the blended or crushed peppermint leaves mixed with water in areas where the ants like to crawl to keep them away.

For best results, add 2 teaspoons of dish soap to make the solution easier and leathered to spread. Use a hand spray bottle to spread the mixture directly on the affected areas.

This is perfect to use both indoors and outdoors when repelling ants and bugs that leave sawdust piles on the porch, deck, or verandah. Additionally, it is a natural repellent that will not discolor the beautiful finishing on any wooden surface.

How to get rid of carpenter ants on deck

Peppermint oil extract can repel ants on deck and this is even more efficient if you have pets. The extract mixed with alcohol or vinegar will be the best because those ingredients are harsh to ants. Here is how to use it:

  1. Pour 1 glass of water into a hand bottle sprayer
  2. Add 5 teaspoons of pure peppermint oil extract
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of dish soap and mix
  4. Spray this directly on the surfaces where you do not want the ants to crawl on

If you are using a natural extract that you have bought, you will go for the 5 teaspoons of it. However, if you have made your home extract in plenty, then you can use ½ glass of peppermint extract mixed with ½ glass of water in a sprayer bottle to repel ants at home.

Can peppermint oil kill ants?

Peppermint will not kill ants but will repel and keep them away efficiently. It deters them and this is one of the best ways to remove ants from your car seats, kitchen, or any other infested areas.

This is also a good way of naturally repelling stubborn sugar ants that keep coming back into the kitchen. You can also spray this directly on a group of ants to make them wander off. This will also kill their ability to make more ants follow them into your house.

Using warm water and peppermint oil for carpenter ants will also aid in the efficient sprinkling of the water by making the peppermint solution stick on the ants for some time. This will make it impossible for the ants to easily invite others as they naturally do.


  1. American Family Physician: Peppermint oil, by BENJAMIN KLIGLER, M.D., M.P.H., and SAPNA CHAUDHARY, D.O
  2. University of California Agriculture & Natural Recourses: Ants by


  • Felix Odi

    Hi, I’m an experienced author and content creator with over 18 years of experience as a publisher. Growing up in rural areas of Bristol, FL, I developed an interest in pest control, fish farming, and poultry keeping. Farming is a main activity in the area, and pests are always part of our major setbacks. I had to learn how to get rid of them with simple DIYs.