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How To Keep Ants Away From Patios

How To Keep Ants Away From Patios

If there is one place in your property that you take time to decorate as a space to relax and rejuvenate, it is your patio.

It gives you more privacy compared to conventionally built balconies on your property.

While you may take great care to aesthetically decorate this space to match your needs, it can be a great dampener if, soon after you begin enjoying it is quickly invaded by uninvited guests: the ants.

While it can be a great nuisance to your plans, the good news is there are quite a few effective ways to ensure your patio stays free of ant infestation.


Ants infestation can be quite concerning and irritating when they invade your patio. You can, however, take control of your patio back by understanding how you can get rid of them. There are two ways you can achieve it, those are:

  • Removing the pheromone trails through which they communicate with each other about where to find food.
  • Repelling the ants by using ingredients that irritate their sense of smell, ensuring they don’t route towards your patio.

This article will navigate you through the following aspects:

  • You can take preemptive measures to ensure your beloved patio is safe from ants by cleaning the space thoroughly.
  • To repel ants, you can use kitchen items like cucumber, coffee grounds, vinegar, dish soap, cinnamon, and citrus fruits.
  • Trace the ant nest and use ingredients like coffee grounds to blanket the mounds to eliminate the nearby ant colony.
  • Ant bait is the most effective way to eliminate ants, but it needs patience to see long-lasting results.

Whether you’re already suffering from ants infesting your patio or have just recently finished setting up your coveted patio and are planning to make sure the space stays ant-free, read on to learn about the most effective and easy-to-do ways to keep ants away.

This article will explore how we can use different strategies to keep ants from the patio.

5 Ways To Keep Ants Out of Patio

5 Ways To Keep Ants Out Of Patio

There are about 10,000 known ant species around the world. Ants are amazing creatures with super-human strength that allows them to carry weight 50 times over their body weight.

While we may marvel at how they thrive to survive, landing them as a subject of ongoing study under entomologists and scientists, we would still unanimously decide to keep our personal space isolated from them.

So here are the 5 most effective ways to make sure your patio stays ant-free:

1. Prevention


It is relatively easier to proof indoor space against the ants by blocking the entry points.

However, while aiming to keep ants away from a space outdoors, it is recommended to keep elements away that attract the ants and ensure the place does not stay enticing long enough for them to make pathways and create colonies nearby.

Therefore, proactive prevention is the best way to keep ants out of the patio.

Ants communicate through a chemical trail called pheromones that leads other members in the ant colony. Soon enough, there is a tiny army marching along the scent trail straight into your patio, aiming to feast.

The best way to tackle this situation is to ensure the following to eliminate any scent trails created by ants that could lead other ants into your patio:

  • Ants are attracted to all things that are sweet and sticky. Any messes and spots that are left uncleaned become attractive hotspots for ants. Make sure to clean the space thoroughly after a good session involving lots of edibles.
  • Make a habit of giving the patio a quick sweep daily to ensure it stays unattractive to ants passing by.

2. Using Organic Ingredients To Repel Ants

Using Organic Ingredients To Repel Ants

Ants don’t have a conventional respiratory system due to their minute size. Instead, they have holes called spiracles on either side of their bodies.

Ants seem to find certain smells heavy for their system and feel repelled.

The most effective ingredients that work well against ants are discussed below:



There is something in the chemical composition of this vegetable that eliminates the fungi that ants adore.

Keep a few cucumber slices around your patio to keep ants away from the area.


Be sure to remove the cucumber slices from the area after you are done in a few hours, as rotting slices will begin to attract other insects ( like the roaches ) that find them enticing.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee Grounds

Next time you’re done enjoying a hot cup of coffee, instead of disposing of the coffee grounds, spread them in the flowerbed and potted plants around the patio to repel the ants.

Once you can locate the ant hill, blanketing the mounding spot will force the ant colony to evacuate completely.



One of my tried and tested all-time hacks is including a few cloves in your sugar jar.

This works like a charm to steer ants clear of your sugar pot.

So long as the cloves are within the sugar pot, you will never have to worry about ants crawling their way into the jar.



Vinegar is another inexpensive deterrent you can use to address the ant issue efficiently.

Make a spray bottle using water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Spray it directly over the ant trails.

Vinegar’s pungent smell throws off the pheromones scent that ants rely on. It causes the ants to go into a frenzy once the trail is lost, and they eventually disperse from the area.

Don’t worry about the lingering smell, as vinegar, by nature, evaporates quickly, and the odor is gone only after a few minutes.

Dish Soap

Dish Soap

You can use dish soap to wash down surface areas where food is usually kept on your patio. Water alone will not be able to wash off the pheromone trail left by the ants.

Make a spray using water and dish soap. You can include a few drops of essential oil into the spray mixture to make it more potent against the ants.

The ants find the smell of peppermint too heavy to ignore and avoid the area.

The strong aroma will erase any pheromone trails and make the space refreshing.



A study in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications has proven through successful experiments that cinnamon essential oil can repel ants.

You can use cinnamon in any of the 3 forms: sticks, powder, or essential oil.

Here is how you can use them in different forms to keep ants away from your patio:

  • Throw cinnamon sticks casually around the patio to repel ants.
  • Make a cinnamon spray bottle by mixing cinnamon oil in water and spraying it around the areas you feel are hotspots for ants to keep them away.
  • Use cinnamon powder as a barrier to mark off areas to ensure the ants don’t cross.

Each way is equally powerful enough to work like a charm. It will make your patio ant-free and leave your space smelling heavenly.

Tansy Plant

Tansy Plant

You can place an ant-deterring plant around your patio setup to make sure ants are warded off.

Tansy plant does not only look cute, but it also works like a charm in repelling ants.

Place tansy flower pots as a centerpiece on your patio table.

It instantly spruces up the look of the space and simultaneously signals the ants to keep away.


You may also include tansy plants and other plants around the flowerbed to protect the area from ants creating colonies under the soil close to the patio.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits

Lemon, oranges, and grapefruits might smell great, but it doesn’t sit well with the ants’ system.

You can leave the peels in the flower bed or potted plants around your patio to make sure ants stay away.

You can even switch to an organic cleaner that includes lemon.

Nowadays, supermarkets have many options available in surface cleaners, including citrus essence.

Use it to wipe up surfaces around the patio. It is a natural way to get rid of them without causing them any harm.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a fine silica powder of fossilized algae.

It’s food gradable and can be sprinkled across the areas on your patio.

It only works in dry form to ensure not to sprinkle on wet areas.


Do not sprinkle Diatomaceous earth on flowerbeds or potted plants. It will ward off the bee and insects from the petals, disrupting the natural ecosystem.

3. Tracing Ant Colony To Remove Nest

Tracing Ant Colony To Remove Nest

On average, an ants nest is usually about 7 feet deep.

This makes it next to impossible to get to the exact source if you aim to reach right at the ant colony center.

You can, however, trace the location of the entry and exit points to an ant’s nest. It appears as a mound in the middle of the soil.

Use one of the ingredients mentioned in the article to stuff the hole, and this will get them to hightail for more attractive nesting grounds.

4. Using Ant Bait To Get Rid of Ants

Using Ant Bait To Get Rid Of Ants

Ant baits are generally considered safer and more effective than sprays.

It is considered the most powerful way to eliminate ant colonies that keep coming back. There are several ant baits available commercially.

You can prepare ant-bait at home by prepping a mixture of baking soda and powdered sugar in a 1:1 ratio. The sugar smell will serve as the bait while the baking soda messes with their system.

It takes time to work, so you need patience for this process. It works slowly, so ants have ample time to carry it back into the colonies.

It will save you the trouble of tracing their colonies and treating those areas.

Cornmeal is also an effective and inexpensive way to tackle the problem. Sprinkle it around ant trails, and ants will quickly eat it and carry it back to their colony.

Cornmeal blocks its system as its bodies are not able to digest it.

5. Professional Treatment To Treat Ant Infestation

Professional Treatment To Treat Ant Infestation

If you feel the situation is too overwhelming. The ant infestation has progressed much further and beyond your control; you can use pest control services to address the issue immediately and recover your space.

Check the local listing in your area to call for the relevant service.


It is possible to get rid of ants and ensure your patio stays ant-free by using the kitchen ingredients listed above.

As discussed, the best way to tackle the issue is by prevention from the start. It requires a bit of proactiveness and surely goes a long way.

You can choose any of the methods mentioned above in the article that you find easy to execute to enjoy an ant-free patio.

If you find yourself in a situation where getting rid of an ant infestation feels too daunting, don’t hesitate to get professional help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Possible To Keep Ants Away With Water?

Not all, but most of the ant species can swim.

If you are thinking of getting rid of ants by spraying the space with water, it might not work because ants can even float for long periods.

If the water bodies are big enough to handle alone, they will build lifeboats to survive.

Should I Use an Insecticide on the Patio To Treat Ant Infestation?

We do not recommend using chemicals around the space you plan to keep your food for consumption as it may most likely contaminate the edibles.

You may, however, get an organic mixture from the market to use as a deterrent spray to get rid of ants.

Before using the store-bought spray mixtures on your patio, always ensure the mixture contents are non-toxic.

How Often Should I Replace Ant-Baits?

It is recommended to replace them every 3 months.

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