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Peppermint oil for ants around pool


Ants, flying ants, water bugs, fruit flies, and other bugs near the pool water and patio area can be annoying and spoil your fun and relaxation.

Most insects that visit your pool area are primarily drawn to the pool’s water, especially water bugs. Chemicals placed in the pool water will kill ants and other bugs and end up in your pool filter, causing clutter.

In our article, we will discuss how you can use peppermint essential oil as a natural bug repellent to get rid of ants around the pool.

Let’s get started!

What bugs do not like the smell of Peppermint essential oil?

Most bugs, including ants, spiders, cockroaches, earwigs, stink bugs, wasps, fruit flies, moths, fleas, and mosquitos, detest the smell of Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint essential oil, therefore, makes an excellent repellent.


A dirty area, however, is like an invitation for pests to wreak havoc. At first, we suggest you keep a closer eye on the situation than you normally would. Then, over time, as the presence of bugs seems lesser, you can ease back on the prevention process.

Does Peppermint oil kill flying ants?

Yes, drops of Peppermint oil will kill flying ants on contact. Flying ants appear during the mating season; they fly from the nest to mate and set up a new colony. This may be why you see them flying near your swimming pool.

They will leave once the mating season is over. Peppermint essential oil users say it will also kill bed bugs and cockroaches.

How to use Peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle

Peppermint essential oils come in small bottles and are available in most grocery stores on the wedding cake aisle, and you can purchase them online.

If you do not wish to use a chemical bug spray (which can be toxic), some essential oils can work on an ant infestation for a short time.

This is how to make a natural bug spray for keeping bugs and ants away from your pool:

  • Two cups of warm water

  • Put a few drops of Peppermint essential oil (a good ratio of ten to fifteen)

Mix the two, pour half into a spray bottle, and give it a good shake before spraying it. Apply to areas around the pool where there is evidence of ants.

Spray around the swimming pool perimeter and entry points if the pool is inside. The spray will make it easier to get into hard-to-reach areas. Leave the Peppermint essential oil scent to build up around your pool. This should repel ants by the pool area.

Peppermint essential oil must be sprayed around the swimming pool regularly

A clinical trial from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that most essential oils used as an ant spray are effective as a bug repellent for short periods. Most chemical repellents are not adequate for the long term either; however, essential oils have significantly shorter effectiveness than DEET, for example.

How often should you spray Peppermint oil around swimming pools?

When using Peppermint oil as a bug spray, you should apply the Peppermint oil/water spray mixture to the affected areas around the swimming pool once every half an hour for the scent to remain strong enough to get rid of the ants and insects. Essential oils can be expensive, so repeating this method of ant repellent soon becomes costly.

Light Peppermint infused candles

It is common knowledge that ants, bugs, and other insects do not like smoke; fire can be used as a natural repellent around the pool area to get rid of ants, mosquitos, and other pests. Unfortunately, it tends not to be that enjoyable for the swimmers.

You can purchase bug repellent candles as an alternative to smoke, which can help keep bugs away from your pool. The smell the candles give off is not as lovely as peppermint oil; however, they are not expensive and are easy to use.

Use a spray bottle of Peppermint oil on curtains and pool cover

If your pool has curtains or sunshades, you can use Peppermint oil or clove oil to treat them. This would help build up the smell of the Peppermint oil and keep pests away. Keep the curtains and sunshades closed around the pool to keep out insects like ants.

Never add Peppermint oil to the swimming pool water

While using Peppermint oil to get rid of bugs, you might consider putting a few drops of Peppermint oil in the swimming pool water. Please do not put any essential oils into your pool water. It can damage the filter and pumps seriously.

Adding essential oils to the pool will make the water oily, which passes through the filter, causing an oil build-up in the pump mechanism over time. This can prevent the pump from functioning.

Another reason not to add Peppermint essential oils to the pool is it can irritate the skin and cause rashes.

How do I keep ants and other pests away from my pool water?

Keeping bugs away from your pool and pool area might seem daunting, but we have some other solutions for you using natural methods.

Cinnamon essential oils


Cinnamon essential oils kill black ants due to their strong odor. You can use it by the swimming pool and inside on kitchen countertops, baseboards, and windowsills.

Cinnamon essential oils have other benefits

Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties

It contains antioxidants and has excellent anti-inflammatory effects

Its prebiotic properties may help to improve gut health

Could reduce blood pressure levels

L Known to lower blood sugar and risk of type 2 diabetes

Relieves digestive problems

The main reason essential oils work is due to their strong scent. Ants do not like pungent smells because it interrupts the pheromone trails; they leave. The pheromone trails help them communicate with each other. When essential oils are used, it masks the pheromone trails we cannot see.

Some Essential oils that work for ant problems.

The following essential oils work best at killing ants or repelling them:

Tea tree: The natural astringent kills ants and the pungent smell will repel ants. Try leaving cotton wool balls soaked in Tea tree oil around the pool and near entry points to the pool.

Cedarwood: Cedarwood essential oil will stop ants from approaching food. It works well against aggressive ants like fire ants.

Citrus oils: Lemongrass and orange are often used to mask ant trails; they contain Limonene that kills fire ants on contact.

Clove: This oil is excellent for ant control. Clove oil will interfere with ant pheromone trails and will kill them. Clove oil is powerful and should be diluted before use.

Patchouli: This oil will kill ants like black ants.

Dish soap and hot water

Mix dish soap with hot water in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the ants near the pool. Only use this method if you are not concerned about the grass or plants by the pool. If the plants are in pots, you could remove them until you have finished treating the area.

If you find the ants’ nest, you can spray it directly onto the nest to kill the ants inside. Hopefully, you will eliminate the queen and her eggs.

White Vinegar

White vinegar has a higher acidity level than other brands making it more effective; ants do not like the smell of it. To eliminate ants, pour some into a spray bottle and spray it around the edges of the pool.

Some people make a mixture using vinegar and water. We think undiluted works best on pests. If you find the ant colony, you can pour it straight into the anthill.

Pet-friendly ways to get rid of ants

Your pet’s food can tempt ants. Below are some pet-friendly ways to get rid of ants around the pool.ants-on-water

Lavender oil

Lavender oil is not the most efficient way to get rid of ants. However, it is safe to use around children and pets.

Dried Lavender leaves can be placed around the pool, or add Lavender essential oils to water and spray it around the pool to get rid of ants.

Citrus oils

Lemongrass and Orange essential oils are effective for killing ants near the pool. They are safe in small quantities and will even kill Fire ants. Do not spray near your pet’s food or water bowl, and do not apply to the skin of pets.

Castor oil

Castor oil is non-toxic and natural for repelling ants and kills ants around your pool. It is safe for pets and children over two years old. Castor oil can be diffused and used topically, and you can spray it on pets to repel bugs.

Essential oil ant spray recipe

To make a spray begin with 1/4 cup of vodka or vinegar, 1/4 cup of distilled water, and one of these essential oils in a spray bottle.

  • Five drops of Peppermint essential oil

  • Five drops of Tea tree oil

  • Five drops of citrus oil, like Lemongrass, orange, or grapefruit

Use the spray at least three times a day until the ants have left.

A poorly maintained pool will attract ants and other pests


Some ant species will eat dead bugs and insects. Keep the pool water clean and the surrounding deck clean of bugs and insects; once one ant worker finds a food source to eat, more ants will follow.

Potted plants by pools will attract soil-loving ants; they can build their ant nests in them; we recommend you remove the plants from the pool area to avoid this.

Pets might bring food to the pool area to eat, increasing the chances of an ant problem. Try to avoid letting them do this around your pool.

To avoid bugs and ants around your pool, clean everything after a picnic or grilling. Do not leave garbage and leftovers out for long.

When you clean your pool, use a vacuum, a robotic cleaner, and a scrubbing mitt to clean away algae that water bugs like water boatmen like to eat.

Diatomaceous Earth (food grade)

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural white powder produced from fossils; the crystals of the powder are sharp enough to pierce an ant’s exoskeleton. When it does, the ant’s body dries out due to dehydration.

It is non-toxic, making it safe to use near children and animals. Sprinkle around areas ants have been seen. You will need to reapply after rainfall.

Borax is lethal to ants

Borax has low toxic levels for humans and animals; however, to ants, it is fatal if they come into contact with Borax. If ants eat Borax mixed with sugary bait, it causes problems with their digestive system and leads to the ant’s death.

An ant will not die immediately; for Borax to be effective, you need it to be taken back to the ant nest so it can be eaten by the queen and the other ants in the colony. Worker ants eat the Borax bait and bring it to the nest for the other ants to eat.

Liquid Borax bait recipe

Take half a cup of sugar, add one and a half tablespoons of Borax, and one and a half cups of warm water. Mix the ingredients well and place them in jar lids along the ant trails.

Solid Borax bait recipe

Mix a teaspoon of peanut butter with two teaspoons of Borax placed on a jar lid along the trails of ants.

Our final thoughts

We discussed ‘Peppermint oil for ants around pool’ and other ways to eliminate ants. We hope you have found our article has been helpful to you.

Good luck!

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

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