Please suggest some natural ant/insect repellent that I can use to get rid of the ants/ticks/insects. I started using clorox but I would prefer something natural.

Thank you so much

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    What does "natural" mean? Cyanide is natural. So is chlorine, for that matter. What does "get rid of" mean? From your home? From your yard? Please edit your post to outline your concerns and goals. – isherwood Jun 12 '17 at 1:13
  • Welcome to Home Improvement. May I suggest that you take the tour at diy.stackexchange.com/Tour to get the best out of this site. – SDsolar Jun 12 '17 at 1:38
  • I mean something for my house like homemade solutions rather than using harmful chemicals. – InquisitiveGirl Jun 12 '17 at 2:42
  • This question is not well written because it extremely vague: first different insects are attracted or avoiding different elements, second: the purpose: to make them avoid an area or to kill them? ... – sorin Jun 12 '17 at 8:42

For ants I use cinnamon. It works well.

  • How do you use it? – SDsolar Jun 13 '17 at 1:27

I've had great luck mixing sugar, borax, and water. The ants eat it and die. In 24 hours, no more ants.

  • How did you apply it? – SDsolar Jun 13 '17 at 1:27
  • I had good results with borax & water, but only when it was dry and the ants were seeking water sources. – Spencer Joplin Jun 16 '17 at 4:28

If you repel them, they'll just take another route. Killing them is how to solve the problem.

One of the most effective ant killers is TERRO, which is made from Borax (the active ingredient), and sugar. You can make the same kind of mixture yourself, they're both household ingredients (and natural). There are plenty of posts online describing the precise mixtures people have used.

The active ingredient in many commercial insecticides, effective against many kinds of insects, is pyrethrin, which is extracted from chrysanthemum flowers (how much more natural can you get than that, although it can be produced synthetically, if that fact makes it "unnatural"). In low concentrations, it is also a repellent.

There is some toxicity in humans from chronic, high level exposure. But for perspective on the risk, the Chinese started using it 3,000 years ago and it hasn't wiped them out. If you want to make it yourself, you could do what the ancient Chinese did--grow mums, dry the flowers, and grind them up. Or to save time, buy ready-made insecticide containing it.

  • I've used those plastic traps with that stuff in them. The ants have a party then they are gone. I think they take it back and share it. Some ants get caught in the trap but I usually pour some out so they can all have a dose. Party time. until they die – SDsolar Jun 12 '17 at 8:59

I've never mixed ingredients like mark suggests but boric acid works really well. I don't like to throw around the word "Natural" because like isherwood said, there's lots of pretty nasty natural stuff. Boric acid has a pH of 5. your dog can eat it, your kids can eat it, it has no smell.

Figure out where they are getting in, pour a 2" channel of boric acid where they will have to cross it (dry ground). It sticks to their exoskeleton and slowly melts it. They take it back to the colony with them. Indecently, this works on other pests with exoskeletons like roaches and water bugs.


I understand what you mean. I had used RAID before, but it is a neurotoxin made in a lab. Not natural. It also gave me bad headaches. Besides, I didn't care to kill them; I just wanted them out of my space.

My mother uses natural spearmint - she scrubs the floors with it.

It confuses them so they go elsewhere because they can't smell the trails.

Myself, I just use Glade Apple Cinnamon air freshener. At the first sight of ants I spray it where they are coming out so they can't follow the trails. (I'm disabled so can't scrub floors)

It is available at the 99 cent stores, and is very effective on ants, even outside.

It is like a magic eraser of their trails so they turn back.


Here is the prime example of the best-selling lab-made kill spray:




Unscented Raid smells like a kerosene spill in a nerve gas factory. Lemon Scent Raid smells like a kerosene spill in a nerve gas factory with a hint of lemon.

Pyrethrin and Pyrethroids

These poisons cause the ion channels in nerve cells to remain open too long, which makes neurons fire repeatedly, resulting in paralysis and death. Pretty vicious given where they come from: Pyrethrin is obtained from flowers of the asteraceae family (including daisies and chrysanthemums); pyrethroids are just synthetic pyrethrin. While both are especially toxic to insects (alas, even bees) they are supposed to be among the least deadly pesticides to mammals. Still, keep Raid away from kitty: Cats' livers can't process pyrethrin fast enough to keep from, you know, dying.

Piperonyl Butoxide or N-Octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboximide

Not poisons on their own, these so-called pesticide synergists block the enzyme that breaks down pyrethrin in insects. Basically, bugs don't have a chance.

Isoparaffinic Hydrocarbon Solvent

The patent recommends Exxsol D60, a proprietary goo concocted by ExxonMobil Chemical and described as an "aliphatic hydrocarbon"—a hydrocarbon without aromatic ring molecules. Here it serves as an oily poison delivery system that coats the insect's exoskeleton, helping to get the toxins into the pest's pores.


Unscented Raid smells like a kerosene spill in a nerve gas factory. Lemon Scent Raid smells like a kerosene spill in a nerve gas factory with a hint of lemon.

Sorbitan Monooleate

Older spray pesticides were up to 80 percent hydrocarbons, toxins that aren't the greatest chemicals to be spraying around your house. Raid's current formula cuts the amount of hydrocarbons in half, replacing it with water. Surfactants like sorbitan monooleate help the H2O and hydrocarbons stay mixed properly.

Sodium Nitrite or Sodium Benzoate

These substances (particularly sodium nitrite) can be toxic in high doses, but the amounts present here are only enough to prevent the metal can from corroding.

Pyrethrin and Pyrethroids

Keep Raid away from kitty: Cats' livers can't process pyrethrin fast enough to keep from, you know, dying.

Raid uses a mix of propylene, butanes, and butylenes as propellant.

These are flammable and can cause breathing difficulties; you might want to stub out that Marlboro Light before spraying indoors.

  • 3
    This answer is dubious. RAID insect spray is nothing like Nerve gas. Lysol will likely not kill you if it is spilled. And, what's with the non sequiturs? What does the factory a product is made in (even if it is a horrible factory) have to do with the product's safety? – Edwin Jun 12 '17 at 2:16
  • 1
    What's natural about Glade Apple Cinnamom air freshener? Why cinnamon? Is there even any cinnamon in Glade Apple Cinnamon air freshener? – Edwin Jun 12 '17 at 2:18
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    @SDsolar, these pesticides are so potent, I started twitching just reading your answer. I suspect the downvotes were a reaction to the original wording. – fixer1234 Jun 12 '17 at 6:54

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