Ants of all types have been the bane of gardeners. Different types of ants, such as red ants, can cause pain when attacked or threatened. Because of this, removing them from the garden or home can be a problem. Nature has provided a way to deter ants from entering gardens or homes in the form of mint. Different forms of mint can be used such as spearmint or peppermint.
Mint is a perennial herb that can be grown as a companion plant or as a stand-alone herb. Mint plants can reach heights of 18 inches with a span of 12 inches. The leaves can be rounded with spiked edges or spear-shaped. The roots of the mint plant spread quickly underground and can sprout new plants at any point. Because of this, mint can grow rapidly from a single plant.
Mint is used as a deterrent for various creatures including ants. The smell of the mint is strong enough to keep ants away from where it is planted. When used for mint jelly and combined with borax it can become a trap, because the ants are attracted to the sugar and are killed by the borax.
Ants can be repelled from gardens by inter-planting mint with vegetables such as tomatoes or other bush plants. Mint can also be used as a border around the garden to keep ants from moving through the garden. Placing mint near doorways and windows will keep ants out of the house. Mint leaves and sprigs can be placed in the path of ants or near cracks in walls to keep ants from entering a room.
Growing mint for ant repellent can be done both indoors and outdoors. Mint can be grown from either seed or cuttings. Cuttings grow faster and can be easier to grow for persons not familiar with cultivation. Mint cuttings are created from an 8-inch section of the plant that has had the lower leaves stripped off. The cutting is placed in water and set in direct sunlight. Within 10 days roots appear at the base of the cutting; at this point the plant can be transplanted to soil. Mint requires no fertilizer. Using the cutting method of growing mint plants can be replicated as needed.
Mint is a very aggressive herb. Once planted, it spreads each year, overtaking a garden if not carefully cultivated. To avoid this problem, mint can be planted in pots where the amount grown can be controlled.