I always use natural methods to control the population of annoying ants moving indoors. Many people use catnip as a deterrent for common insects.
Are Ants Attracted To Catnip? Ants are not attracted to catnip due to its woody or grassy taste, and it contains oils like nepetalactone which gives it a distinct minty aroma. It can effectively repel insects but does not kill ants.
The level of attraction among ants depends on the nature of the substance because they get closer to objects with pleasant odors and appealing tastes.
In addition, catnip is a fragrant herb that can affect the natural behavior of ants by masking the natural odor of their chemical secretions.
Why are ants not attracted to catnip?
Catnip is a herb from the mint family, with a unique, strong scent common in Asia and Europe. It is not appealing to ants as these insects like mild odors.
Its fragrance can cause discomfort for insects by irritating them as they cannot tolerate its minty odor. Moreover, the oils and volatile compounds are responsible for their characteristic odor.
The scent of essential oils is attractive for a few animals like cats, but it does not entice the odor receptors of ants. It occurs due to the presence of pest-repellent terpenoids in its essential oil.
The terpenoids in essential oils primarily include nepetalactone, which is present in leaves, shoots, and other plant parts.
Its essential oil can repel insects away from your house due to its repelling scent irritating their odor receptors. It has a mint odor, which is not desirable or appealing to these ants.
Accordingly, this herb is considered potentially unattractive for ants like other plants or herbs of the mint family due to their characteristic odor and woody or grassy taste.
Moreover, it does not entice these insects due to the absence of sugar, fats, and other nutritional elements.
It does not contain a significant content of sugars or other carbohydrates, making it an undesirable food source for these tiny creatures.
So, catnip is not suitable for their consumption as it has repelling potential that deters ants from a particular area of the house, but some exceptions can rarely exist in a few species.
Does catnip kill ants?
Catnip is not responsible for causing death among ants as this non-lethal herb poses no significant harm to these insects. It is generally non-toxic for insects and only repels them.
Various chemicals are present in the plant, including volatile compounds that can create problems after inhalation. They feel discomfort and breathing problems due to this herb.
Nepetalactone has insect-repelling properties that can efficiently deter a variety of insects, including cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes, and many other tiny creatures crawling or flying everywhere.
Moreover, it is included in the list of herbs or natural ingredients that can repel ants from the house due to its minty aroma that creates a force field.
Some animals adore Nepeta criteria and get attracted to it, but ants avoid getting closer to its plant and other parts of this plant present indoors.
Most commonly, plants belonging to a group of the mint family, like peppermint, spearmint, and this catnip plant, are good at repelling these insects.
You can use it as an ant repellent, but it cannot help remove them permanently. Its smell can deter insects from a distance of a few feet but cannot kill them immediately.
Accordingly, it can be a suitable method to control indoor infestation, but you have to look for other lethal procedures to deal with their propagating colonies and mounds.
How do you use catnip to repel ants?
You can use the catnip plant as an effective deterrent against the ants’ population by growing it in areas of frequent infestations. This bushy herb grows up to 20 or 40 inches and covers a large area.
It is better to grow it in the garden, which can keep your garden free of ants and reduce the risk of indoor infestation.
Accordingly, you can keep them away from the house by growing this repelling plant, as it also prevents the attacks of aphids and other insects.
In addition, you can use its leaves in fresh or dried forms, but the odor of fresh leaves is more repelling.
Locate areas of infestation or entry points to a house and spread the leaves after packing them inside a breathable cloth or pouch to make them last longer.
You can also spread leaves directly on the floor, but they can get removed due to foot traffic, pet interference, and air.
In addition, keep these pouches close to the trails if you see insects moving inside the house or sprinkle the powder. This direct contact or crushed catnip leaves can bring quick and effective results.
Furthermore, it is essential to regularly check the odor of leaves to replace them with fresh leaves, as their scent disappears after some time.
Is it safe to use catnip as an ant-repellent?
Catnip is generally safe to use as a repellent for ants because it has no toxic impact on pets and humans. This natural herb is a safe alternative to chemical sprays or insecticidal solutions.
It leaves no residues on the ground and harmful volatile compounds in the air that can cause breathing problems after inhalation.
I usually spread its leaves at entry points using my hands, but I found no irritation or sensitivity on the skin. However, it can vary among individuals, as a few can be allergic to this fragrant herb.
Allergic reactions are less likely to happen in people but rarely can happen. However, you do not have to worry about the side effects or undesired reactions related to this plant.
Moreover, it is completely safe to place on the floor even if you have cats or other pet animals in the house. It causes no problems in cats after ingestion, as it typically attracts cats.
Its ingestion activates their happy hormones and makes them feel good by targeting happy receptors in their brain.
Their digestive system improves after ingestion of crushed leaves, and these leaves cause no harm to people if they accidentally consume their leaves.
Accordingly, it is better to pack them inside small ouches to reduce the exposure and consumption rate among non-targeted animals; otherwise, it is not a toxic herb.
What type of ants hate catnip plants?
The response of ants to catnip plants varies in different species as a few species do not significantly respond to its plant, while others hate it due to its smell.
Its aroma repels a large number of insects and deters ants from specific areas.
Its aroma depends on the concentration of aromatic compounds or nepetalactone, as the higher content of this compound makes it an effective repellent.
However, they do not bother the presence of catnip leaves in the peripheral areas of the nest if its aroma is not strong. Only fresh leaves can repel insects away from the plant or other locations.
In addition, many species, including ghosts, pharaohs, argentine, sugar, pavement, and carpenter ants, hate its dominant odor and prefer to stay away from it.