Could you please tell me some plants that repel ants and spiders? I would like to keep bugs out of my home without using sprays. I don’t have to worry about children or pets. It’s just that I don’t trust those chemicals.
Donna Rivas, North Carolina
There are indeed quite a few plants that repel spider and ants. For example, roses, citrus, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus are natural spider repellents and so are chestnuts. If you lay cedar mulch down around your windows and garden, it deters spiders, too.
Hedge apples repel spiders, but they are poisonous to humans. Be careful and wear gloves to handle them.
Besides plants, there are several natural ways to keep both spiders and ants away and get rid of ant colonies in yard. Spices like black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon deter ants and spiders. Essential oils of peppermint, rose, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lemon are also natural barriers to these pests.
Finally, loose tobacco is another spider deterrent and a great way to repel ants. If you sprinkle the leaves where you see spiders, it should chase them away. You can also mix up a spray by soaking the tobacco leaves in water.
Although it’s not a plant, vinegar in the garden and borax works well at keeping spiders and ants away. Sprinkle it where spiders nest and where ants enter your home. This creates a temporary barrier until you can caulk up any cracks to keep invaders outside.
In the meantime, here is a helpful list of tips for you: https://www.tipsbulletin.com/14-great-ways-to-keep-spiders-out-of-your-home-naturally/ While the article focuses on repelling spiders, many of the techniques work on ants, too.