Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Bay Leaves for Ant Control

ants & aphis image by Marek Kosmal from

When it comes to killing and controlling an ant problem, home remedies often work as well as store-bought pesticides. Bay leaves fall into this category because ants dislike the smell and taste. A few bay leaves around your house serve as a deterrent for the ants.


Fresh bay leaves work best to control the ant population, but dried bay leaves also work. Place the bay leaves in any area where you see the ants, including cabinets, counters and floors. Place more bay leaves near any entrance into your home.


Check the bay leaves once a day and replace as needed. The ants may come back when the scent of the leaves disappears. All you need to do is remove the old bay leaves and lay down new ones.


Treat ant hills in your yard to reduce the chances of the ants coming back. Grind the bay leaves into a fine powder using your food processor. Pour the ground bay leaves over the tops of all ant hills.

Turf Ant Control

Ants don't typically cause any damage to the grass itself, even though the ant hills may appear frighteningly large. These ant hills can create aesthetic problems, however, and make mowing difficult when you're caring for your turf. Raking every day can help level the ant hills and will control and prevent prolific nest building. Alternatively, simply shoot the ant hills with water from your water hose to rinse away their nest. Use a nontoxic solution such as boiling water first. Then, combine either 4 tablespoons of peanut butter or 6 tablespoons of honey with 3/4 teaspoon of boric acid, a natural insecticide that's relatively low in toxicity for you but very toxic for ants. The ants will carry the bait into the ant hill, and the boric acid will kill them. Follow the labeled instructions for manufacturer-specific guidelines, as toxicity varies widely by product.

Garden Guides