Does Olive Oil Repel Ants?

Many people prefer natural methods and cost-effective products to control ant infestation in their properties. Accordingly, a few ingredients in the kitchen make it easier for them to get rid of these nuisance pests. Some natural herbs, spices, and cooking oils, like garlic, mint, olive oil, cinnamon, etc., have insect-repelling properties.

Does Olive Oil Repel Ants? Olive oil can repel ants by creating a slippery barrier as they cannot move on the greasy surface. You can also use it to kill ants after mixing it with dishwashing soap and water because this solution clogs their spiracles and causes suffocation.

Ants get attracted to moist and dirty places inside the house to keep themselves hydrated and nourished. These annoy house owners due to interference in pantry items, foodstuff, bathtubs, sinks, and many other objects and places.

Using olive oil to control their population is a short-term solution, as it kills only a few ants and repels them for a short duration.

Why does olive oil repel ants?

Olive oil has medicinal properties and is widely used in cooking, cosmetics, and even soaps. It also has insect-repelling properties due to its slippery texture and liquid nature.

It reduces friction due to high viscosity at room temperature, making it difficult for small creatures to walk on greasy surfaces. Similarly, ants have six tiny legs for walking on the ground.

They cannot balance their walking movement after reaching the surfaces coated with olive oil. It becomes a repellent because they avoid walking on greasy surfaces.

They do not cross the barrier if you coat the surface with a small amount of oil until it evaporates. Its aroma does not deter insects like most of the repelling substances.

In addition, its slippery texture is the only reason for its potential to repel insects; otherwise, it does not contain any toxic chemicals.

Furthermore, its odor is also pleasant and alluring for ants, but its greasy texture restricts them from crossing the barrier. It is good to use to keep pet ants inside the enclosure.

Can you use olive oil to kill ants?

Many insecticides contain toxic compounds that are deadly for ants because these chemicals interfere with their nervous system and brain functioning.

However, olive oil has no insecticidal properties because it does not contain any harmful substances. It can still be used to kill ants due to its attractive grassy odor.

This odor is appealing to insects and grabs their attention in a short time due to its highly viscous texture. It traps ants by drawing them with its enticing odor and covering their bodies with oil.

Their tiny bodies have spiracles or breathing pores that can get clogged with oil. Accordingly, they avoid moving on greasy surfaces to prevent the clogging of breathing pores.

One of my friends used this method to check its efficiency by leaving a drop of olive oil on their body and found it dead after some time.

It is less likely for an ant to move out of this greasy trap once it enters the oil spill or smooth surface. Eventually, it dies due to suffocation in a few days.

It cannot live without oxygen, and spiracles are the only route for oxygen intake. So, their fate is death after getting trapped in the olive oil; that’s why they prefer to stay away.

Furthermore, this natural ingredient is safe to use at home due to its non-toxic and environmentally friendly nature, posing no harm to children, pets, and the environment.

How do you use olive oil to get rid of ants?

Using olive oil to control the population of ants is effective only when you use it correctly. It can be used to prepare a repelling spray or an attractant to kill them.

Add almost half to 1 tablespoon of dishwashing soap in the same quantity of olive oil. After that, pour this mixture into water to prepare a spraying solution.

Mix them well and spray on their trails moving in different parts of the house. This soapy solution kills them immediately while the oil clogs their breathing pores.

Moreover, you can use this solution outdoors if there is an infestation on the plants. It helps remove aphids, too, which are usually responsible for attracting them.

In addition, pour a small amount of olive oil on the cotton ball and use it to grease the inner sides of a closed container. Cover all the sides and base of the container with olive oil.

Avoid using excessive oil to ensure the effective killing of these tiny insects. It is better to use a container with a small hole to provide an entry route and cover all other sides and top of it.

The grassy odor of olive oil grabs their attention for some time so that you can collect most of these insects inside the container. Close the opening when you see a large number of ants inside.

The oily layer on the bottom and sides of the container kills them by clogging their spiracles. This way, you can naturally remove most of their population.

Furthermore, after dipping it in oil, cover the top of an aquarium to avoid the escape of pet ants.

What type of ants can be killed using olive oil?

A few species of ants are more inclined towards fatty foods and greasy substances, while others move to sugary foods, depending on their dietary requirements.

Accordingly, olive oil works great against grease-loving thief ants that are only 1.2 to 1.5mm long. Its odor grabs their attention and traps them inside the enclosure, leading to death.

However, it can be used as a repellent for many other species because these tiny insects can’t cross the greasy barrier.

You can use it to control pavement ants, common black ants, argentine ants, yellow crazy ants, and many other indoor and outdoor species.

They are prone to death if their breathing pores get clogged with the oil. So, they prefer to stay away and avoid crossing the barrier for survival.

How long does olive oil keep ants away?

Olive oil is an excellent insect-repelling substance, but it is not a long-term solution to keep ants away. They can cross the barrier when its layer is not thick enough to cause problems in walking.

They can easily move on the olive oil after a few weeks because it begins to lose properties after exposure to air. You have to re-apply the oil or respray it to keep ants away.

Moreover, it can be frustrating for some people to respray the solution after some time, so finding a long-term removal method is better.

One of my friends used it to repel ants by applying a small amount of oil on the sides of a dry fruit bowl but found these irritating creatures inside after 2 weeks.

A thin layer of oil cannot deter them for more than a few weeks, so you should use it as a quick solution only. In addition, ask exterminators for proper treatment and removal from property.

It also depends on the usage because it can repel ants for a long if used indoors. The oil spreads or thins out quickly outdoors when used on infested plants.

Furthermore, they can attack the plant within a few days when you spray the solution because it evaporates quickly when mixed with water.

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