10 Plants That Ants Hate (Won’t Eat)

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If your garden is affected by ants, you don’t need to use insecticides or harsh chemicals right away. A better method is to fight the pest with plants that act as potent repellants. Due to the fact that smell plays an important role in ant communication, it’s not surprising to see that strong-scented plants are not tolerated by ants. The insects will be successfully deterred away from your garden or from the houseplants in your home. Bringing some beneficial plants to repel ants could be a natural solution to an ant problem. Unless it’s a serious infestation that requires more advanced remedies, ants don’t need to be killed. You can just discourage them from hanging around in your landscape.

Check out the plants that ants hate and likely won’t ever eat:

1. Mint


The scent of mint is very reliable when it comes to deterring all kinds of insect pests, ants included. Many varieties of this plant can produce the characteristic fragrance that’s liked by humans yet hated by insects. Another advantage is that you can make some delicious teas from mint leaves. Visit a garden store and pick the strongest smelling variety of mint to ensure great success against ants. This plant is easy to grow and can be placed in any spot of the garden where ants cause issues.

2. Marigold

Marigold Flowers

Known for its cheerful orange blooms, marigold is also great to use as an ant-repellent. The flowers feature an aromatic scent that will cause some detrimental effects on ant navigation. Marigolds are effective to repel ants indoors and outdoors. Just make sure you find a very sunny spot for this plant to help it thrive. African and French marigold varieties seem to be ideally suited for deterring insect pests from your garden. Allow these plants to grow in healthy densities to obtain the best ant-repelling features.

3. Garlic


Everyone is familiar with the intense scent of garlic. This flavorful plant is a great ally in your fight against ants that wreak havoc in your yard. Garlic’s natural defense mechanism protects it from a wide variety of insect pests. However, you will only obtain the best repellant properties if you use freshly cut cloves. Planting garlic plants around the yard may not be as effective because the fragrant compounds are left underground. Distribute cut bulbs of garlic in any area frequented by ants to form a preventive barrier against these pesky insects.

4. Lavender


Ants steer clear of lavender considering the plant’s strong scent. The aromatic oils of lavender can fill the entire garden with a lovely smell. At the same time, you can take advantage of some solid pest-repelling properties. Although not as strong as processed oil extracted from the plant, the smell of natural lavender is more than enough to discourage ants from hanging around your property. Mosquitoes and flies also dislike lavender. Search for a bright spot in your garden to grow this plant. Indoor lavender houseplants can require some extra airflow.

5. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal Flowers

Pennyroyal is part of the mint family. The plant may appear harmless but it contains a toxic compound that can be dangerous for both humans and pets. As you’d probably expect, pennyroyal works as a solid natural pesticide. It repels many insects, including ants. The plant grows best in damper soils close to bodies of water. It tolerates different levels of sunlight exposure without problems. Extra precautions need to be taken when planting pennyroyal to minimize access to it by children or pets.

6. Rosemary


If you’re looking for a plant disliked by ants that doesn’t smell too intense, consider planting rosemary. It features a subtler aroma that’s still strong enough to repel many insect pests such as ants. Rosemary is a solid garden addition or it can work flawlessly as an indoor houseplant. The herb grows without issues as long as it gets a healthy dose of sunlight. Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean. It’s considered an evergreen shrub that grows quite slowly. Rosemary plants are practical to grow for repelling both mammals and insects invading your garden.

7. Catnip


Although your cats love this plant, ants won’t be very thrilled to run into it. Catnip can help you get rid of pesky ants in your yard thanks to its natural anti-repellant properties. However, there’s a big chance of drawing every feline in the neighborhood. Similar to other herbs on this list, catnip produces multiple volatile compounds that will wreak havoc among ants. Essential oil made from catnip is more potent and can act as a versatile pesticide in the garden. Catnip plants are easy to grow and resistant to deer.

8. Sage


Ants can be easily discouraged from hanging around in your yard if you choose to plant sage. This aromatic herb releases a pleasant fragrance that’s heavily disliked by ants. Although it’s typically more effective to crush the leaves of sage to properly release the repelling scent, the whole plant can also work as a successful deterrent. There are various benefits to growing sage in your garden, not just to keep away ants. You can use the leathery green leaves to decorate key areas in the yard or to bring a flavorful punch to your cooking.

9. Anise


Anise is another unattractive plant for ants. The characteristic scent of anise will keep ants away from your property. This herb is extremely popular in some parts of the globe, particularly in the Middle Eastern region. The seeds of anise can provide a distinctive flavor to lots of dishes. The same chemicals responsible for the unique aroma of anise are also capable of preventing ants and other pests from getting too close. Anise plants are drought-resistant and don’t require any complex maintenance. Their delicate flowers can add some visual interest to any garden.

10. Chrysanthemum


Not all ant-repelling plants are herbs. A good example is chrysanthemum, an ornamental perennial that produces pretty flowers. You might not expect it considering the plant’s delicate look, but chrysanthemum features an active insecticidal compound that will naturally offer protection against ants and other pests. Instead of using chemical sprays, dried flower heads of chrysanthemums can be processed into a natural insecticide. Some chrysanthemum species are more reliable than others when it comes to producing the natural ant-repelling ingredient.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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