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Do Bay Leaves Repel Ants? (All You Need to Know)

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When we make soup or tea, we want to get an aroma. It enhances the flavor and attracts us to sip. But the difficulty is perfect ingredients. You cannot add any leaf or artificial fragrance to your food. It will damage the food quality and cause different diseases.

Here come the bay leaves. They are a great source of aroma that you can use in your soup or tea. It has vitamins to boost your immune system. But can bay leaves repel ants?

Let’s find out below!

Do bay leaves repel ants?

Bay leaves repel ants because they have an aroma that ants and other insects most dislike. If you have bay trees in your garden, you will not find any ants or insects nearby. Or you can place some bay leaves in cabinets, rooms, or where ants are bugging. The leaves will quickly deter them.

Bay leaves can be used in different ways; in fact, different versions of the bay leaves can also repel ants and insects. Both the dry and fresh bay leaves can do the job perfectly. Do you want to know how? You’re just one step behind. 

The dried leaves and fresh bay leaves contain the aroma that mainly repels all insects, including ants, flies, and rodents. They both are effective, so you can use the dried and fallen leaves to deter ants from your home.

Fresh bay leaves: 

You can use fresh bay leaves to repel ants. It will be better to take fresh leaves from the garden and place them in the ant’s area. The leaves will spread the aroma in the air that ants and other insects can’t bear. If they inhale the bay aroma, they will feel sick.

Thus the fresh bay leaves repel ants. Some gardeners love to grow bay trees in their garden. It has become their habit to use bay leaves in different dishes. But they also use it to repel ants and insects. Bay leaves work best against flies, ants, and aphids.

Dried bay leaves: 

Apart from the fresh bay leaves, the dried bay leaves also repel ants through their aroma. The dried and fresh bay leaves contain the same aroma, but the fresh leaves have a strong and bitter taste, whereas the dried leaves are less bitter.

Although the dried leaves have fewer ingredients than the fresh leaves, they will still work against aphids and ants. You can place the dried bay leaves in your cabinets or in the kitchen to repel the ants from the surrounding.

3 reasons why bay leaves repel ants

Bay leaves can repel ants for the following reasons –


Whenever you ask why bay leaves repel ants, aroma or the scent would be the answer. Although bay leaves have other ingredients, including vitamins, aroma plays a crucial role here. It spreads a smell in the air that cannot be ideal for ants. 

Ants are scent sensitive. They can’t bear anything but sweets and carbs. When you place the bay leaves in your garden, they will repel most of the insects and bugs.

Ants can’t Eat: 

Ants cannot eat the bay leaves for the smell or the bitterness. If you chew some portions of the bay leaves, you will get a strong and bitter taste. It’s not perfect for anyone, let alone the ants.

It’s another reason why the bay leaves repel ants because ants avoid those things that are inedible and are not in their touch. So, you can safely use the bay leaves to repel ants. 

Digestion Problem: 

If the ants or other insects eat the bay leaf or some portions of it, they will get sick and may fail to survive. Mainly, bay leaves cannot be adequately digested. It contains a high aroma that will damage the stomach and entire digestive system.

You won’t notice any insects or ants eating bay leaves. Instead, they will avoid the bay tree and go somewhere else. You won’t find bugs or aphids near the bay trees. 

These are the three main reasons why bay leaves can repel ants. These reasons are also applicable to other insects and aphids. If you want to get rid of the ants, and other insects, try to grow bay leaves in your garden. It will be a worthy decision and investment.

How do bay leaves get rid of ants?

Bay leaves get rid of ants by their strong aroma and bitter taste. If you plant bay trees in the garden, you will find fresh and aromatic air there. It’s because of the bay leaves. Once the leaves start to grow, they will also spread the aroma in the air.

The aroma is too strong for ants to inhale and bear. So, they leave the bay leaves and keep away from them. Another reason is the bitter taste. Ants and other aphids or insects don’t love to bite on bitter food. It’s a great concern that the bay leaves are bitter for the ants. 

These are the two ways how the bay leaves get rid of ants for a long time. You can also use the same leaves in your home and deter unwanted insects from the surroundings. It will work similarly to the garden.

How do I use fresh bay leaves to repel ants?

Bay leaves are fragrant laurel leaves. Often, home remedies work just as well as pesticides bought at the store. The smell and taste of bay leaves bother ants. A few bay leaves around your house will keep the ants away. 

Fresh vs. Dried: 

Fresh bay leaves are the most effective for controlling the ant population, although dried bay leaves are also effective. Place the bay leaves in any location where you notice ants, such as cabinets, counters, and floors, and leave them there overnight. 

More bay leaves should be placed around any entrances into your property.


Once a day, check the bay leaves and replace them as necessary. When the aroma of the leaves fades, the ants may return. All that is required is the removal of the old bay leaves and the replacement of new ones.

The use of natural solutions for ant control can be just as effective as using commercial pesticides to eliminate and control ant problems.

Place the bay leaves in any location where you notice ants, such as cabinets, counters, and floors, and leave them there overnight.


Anthills in your yard should be treated to lessen the likelihood of the ants returning. Using a food processor, grind the bay leaves until they are a fine powder. Pour the bay leaves over the tops of all of the anthills once they have been ground.

How do you make bay leaf ant spray?

It is entirely understandable that you would like to treat your lovely home with a safer bug repellent spray than all the other traditional pesticides containing harmful chemicals. However, some people prefer to use conventional pesticides that contain toxic chemicals.

Fortunately, you can create a non-toxic, low-waste spray right in the comfort of your own home if you want to. Let us get this party started.

Mix Vinegar & Bay Leaves:

Using a wooden spoon, stir the bay leaves into the vinegar for two weeks, stirring occasionally.

Remove & Shake:

Remove the bay leaves and set them aside. Fill a tiny spray bottle with one ounce of the infused vodka and shake well.

Add Douglas & Spray:

Add ten drops of Douglas essential oil to the mixture. Spritz a napkin with additional aromatics before placing the drink on top of the napkin.

How long do bay leaves repel ants?

If appropriately applied, bay leaves can repel ants for seven days. Bay leaves can be used to repel insects naturally. Ants are said to be deterred by the spicy scent of bay leaves, which is widely believed to be accurate. 

When dried bay leaves are sprinkled around your home, they can be just as effective as some of the most popular commercial insecticides sprays at keeping pest insects such as ants, cockroaches, and fleas at bay. 

Using bay leaves instead of commercial insecticides has several advantages; the most important is that they contain no toxins, making them safe for use in homes with children and pets.

To use bay leaves to repel insects, spray or place whole leaves in areas where ants are most frequently encountered. Place bay leaves on countertops, under cabinets and appliances, around trash cans, and baseboards to add a fragrant touch to any room. 

It is possible that the pungent odor of the bay leaves will fade and that the leaves’ efficacy will diminish after a few days.

Final Thoughts

Because of the strong aroma, the bay leaves can repel ants. It can also work against other aphids and flies. You can place both the dried and fresh bay leaves in different corners to repel ants from everywhere. Besides, the bay leaves powder is also an excellent repellent to use against ants.

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