Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ants Hate Cinnamon

I'm sure it has happened at your home -- maybe by a door, or in the driveway, or on your patio. You're outside, enjoying a sunny day in the yard, and, to your dismay, you notice one of those big, black, wriggling clusters of ants. Yuck.

It's that time of year when you start seeing ants everywhere, inside and out. It doesn't help, either, when you live with little kids who leave crumbs and bits of food in their wakes. I've been able to keep ants under control in the house with those covered ant baits, but haven't found anything that works really well with them outside.  Well, except for a can of aerosol ant spray -- that always does the trick -- but I hate the fumes and chemicals, especially around my young kids.  For that reason, I've tried all sorts of natural ways to kill them -- mint leaves, salt, baking soda, vinegar, etc. They've all worked okay, but not nearly as well as the stinky poison spray.

Back when I took my beekeeping class and the topic of pests came up, the instructor suggested using cinnamon to keep ants away from hives.  Then a couple weeks ago, while doing an inspection of our hives, my husband and I noticed that one of the hives had ants crawling around it, on the cover, and even a couple on top of some of the frames inside. So, as instructed, we sprinkled cinnamon around on the ground below the hives (since they're up on cinder-blocks) and dusted some on the cinder-blocks, too.  A week later when we inspected again, there was no sign of ants.  The cinnamon worked so well!

A couple days ago, Max ran into the backyard shouting, "Mommy! There are millions of ants going into the garage!"  I went inside and grabbed my big cinnamon container.

I'm not sure there were millions, but there were a ton of ants on the ground by the open garage door and also crawling up bricks next to it. The second the cinnamon hit the ground and the backs of the ants, they all started freaking out. Max found this all pretty exciting. "Oooh, they hate that stuff!"

In no time, the ants were high-tailing it out of there and the corner by our garage door was ant-free!

I bought my big bottle of cinnamon at Costco for less than $3, so I didn't mind using a generous amount on our ant invasion. (Sidenote: the Kirkland brand of cinnamon is my favorite! It has such a great flavor and smell.)  Even with the generous sprinkling, I only used a few cents' worth. It's a much cheaper alternative to buying that can of ant spray (I checked Amazon -- a can of the stuff runs for around $5-10). Not only is it non-toxic, but it smells nice. Even yesterday, you could smell little notes of cinnamon in the garage! All in all, it's a pretty pleasant way to get rid of some not-so-pleasant invaders.

Note: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have disclosed.

{This post is linked up with Homestead Barn Hop, Your Green Resource, and Little House Friday}


Tara said...

Genius! I also hate ant spray, especially in my house! Vinegar didn't work so now I will be using this. LOVE this-hate ants.

ourlittleacres said...

Thank you. I've been fighting ants in my kitchen for over a month and I don't use poison. We live in a 100+ year old house. I think they live in the walls! Trying it now.
I found you through the Barn Hop!

Nisha @ Healthy Mom's Kitchen said...

I've also heard cornmeal works wonders.

Elise said...

That good to know! We have a huge ant problem in our house :P

articles said...

We had ants in our house last summer, and cinnamon did help to get rid of them! I want to mention, though, to be careful not to step in it barefoot--it really burns!

Bridgette Adair said...

Like you, I can't stand the sight of ants; and every time I see them, I only splash them with water or sprinkle a lot of rock salt on them. Anyway, sprinkling cinnamon sounds like a good idea; and you've proven that it's effective too. Thanks for sharing!

-Bridgette Adair

Ronnel Breaker said...

Ants hate cinnamon? Really? I'm intrigued to try this method. I've read somewhere that Boric acid works too, but haven't tried it yet. The other natural substances that ants don't like are vinegar, pepper, and bay leaves. You might want to try these natural methods too. I hope your house is pest-free by now. >>

Cinnamon Vogue said...

Try Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil for ants. All you need is 1% Cinnamon Oil with 99% water, mix it in a pump spray and spray all around. Because it is so powerful a little goes a long way and lasts much longer than Cinnamon powder.

Jeffrey Goude said...

I wonder why the ants hate that smell, and is it possible that other insects hate it too? It’s a good thing bees don’t mind the stuff. Excellent anti-ant measure for beekeepers everywhere!


Annie Henke said...

I'll second that comment! The cinnamon spray was the ONLY thing that killed my ants. I used the "ant away" by Herbia and it was SUPERB!!!! Who knew?!

Gypsy Stars said...

i had a huge trail of tiny black ants marching from my sliding glass door to a hall closet via underneath the fridge. since i keep NO food anywhere except the fridge (caused by years of living at the beach), i could not understand what they wanted in my apartment. first, i bought Combat Source Kill Max. what a big waste of money. they would walk all around those traps. next, i found two small holes where they were entering from and plugged them up with tape. yet still they came. then, i spent the entire day washing my small apartment in vinegar, from ceiling to floor to walls. another big waste--of time. i even put dishes of vinegar on the floor, but when a few gnats fell into them, the ants dived in and ate them! i even saw them swimming in the vinegar. cut lemons that i left near their trail did nothing either. then, someone told me about cinnamon. not being sure of what the potency should be, i bought some organic bulk for a few cents. presto! it was like magic. they stopped cold in their tracks and began bunching up and dying. while i feel badly they had to go, i just can't stand any kind of insects in my abode. i hope this helps someone the way i was helped.

Thread Snipper said...

Cornmeal does not work. Talc powder does. A buck at the dollar store.

Sara Matlock said...

I just read all of this 1:50 pm. I am in the middle of an ant battle myself so I just went to pantryand grabbed the cinnamon. I sprinkled it all across edges of counter and around the ants, they will not cross over it so far, so this may just work. But it did not kill on contact either.

Joel Savell said...

Trying this now. Sprinkled a generous amount around their entrance into the house. They definitely don't know what to make of it. Most of them won't cross, but a few intrepid souls attempt the crossing. Some make it, some get lost, a couple actually died. I'm wondering if maybe the powder cuts them up and burns them. Diatomacious earth is used to keep certain kinds of bugs away by cutting them up at a microscopic level. To us it's just powder, but to them it's millions of razor sharp shards.

I think persistent ants could eventually establish a trail over the cinnamon, but they definitely don't like it.

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