Last Updated: July 3, 2021

  • What on GOD’s earth annihilate ants?
  • Their persistence is seriously maddening!
  • Did someone whisper “cinnamon”?
  • Does it actually work?

Okay, let’s stop with the madness. You get it right? Cinnamon for ants is the whole point of this article: seeing if the chop sticks, the grind, or the food grade oil can be the next magic potion for getting rid of ants. So sit back, relax, and let’s go through the facts.

In reference to the last two bulleted questions:

Cinnamon, in the different variety that it comes, does have the potential to kill ants. But depending on the variety also, there appears to be a distinction with regards to how much of this potential we’re talking about.

Cinnamon essential oil of very high concentration easily tops the chart for the best type of cinnamon to use for repelling or killing ants.

Then comes the sticks, food grade oil and the powder versions, having mostly the potential to repel ants and very little capacity to kill them.

What kind of cinnamon kill ants? And what only repels?

According to a 2014 study published by the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications (IJSRP), a fabricated repellency paper soaked with a 20% concentration of cinnamon essential oil (the concentration is based on the experiment conditions) displayed the ability to repel ants after only about 15 minutes of exposure, and continuous display of such ability was observed after the exhaustion of 60 minutes.

Additionally, the same oil concentrate was able wipe out an entire population of ants enclosed in a container with it after only about 90 minutes.

Another important takeaway from the study was the observation that a proportional relationship exists between concentration of cinnamon essential oil and repellency and mortality percentage.

This means that the higher the concentration of cinnamon essential oil, the more the mortality and repellency rate of ants and vice versa.

So there we have it. Cinnamon essential oil of very high concentrations has been proven through research to have positive results as an ant exterminator and repellent.

But in order to arrive at any conclusion regarding the best type of cinnamon for killing ants, we need to analyze what other studies say about other variations of cinnamon i.e. the powder, food grade oil and stick variations.

So what do they say? As far as i know, there is not a single research paper that explicitly studies the potential of cinnamon powder or sticks as a potential ant exterminator or repellant. For the food grade oil, why should anyone be bothered?

But, there are tons of anecdotal evidence that suggest cinnamon powder as a great ant deterrent.

And in fact, i myself can affirm of such claim, which means that i’ve got first hand experience using cinnamon powder to drive away ant populations. So it seems to work for that purpose, but only for that purpose.

I have never sprinkled cinnamon powder, or food grade oil over a marching colony of ants and had them all lying dead on their backs instantly, or after some few minutes or hours. They just end up scattering all over the place in search for a safer place to hide.

So with all these, i think it’s safe to assume that the best type of cinnamon to employ as a deterrent and annihilator of ants around your home is the cinnamon essential oil. And good luck trying to find one as concentrated as the one used for that experiment.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but even if you do, it still doesn’t mean you’re signed up for success, because let’s face it, the mortality test conducted in the aforementioned experiment was only observed in a closed setting i.e a lidded plastic container holding both the ants and the essential oil for 90 minutes straight, and the ants in question were those of a single species — the red ants.

Why does cinnamon essential oil kill ants? And why your regular cinnamon powder can’t?

Cinnamon essential oil’s potential to kill ants is largely due to one of the many volatile compounds present in it. This compound is called Trans-cinnamaldehyde and it’s a scientifically known skin irritant.

This compound is the most dominant volatile compound present in cinnamon essential oil, and it typically makes up around 70 – 80 percent of the mix.

Your regular powdered cinnamon doesn’t have that much of concentration and is typically mixed with a host of other ingredients that dilute its annihilating properties.

Is cinnamon essential oil a good control remedy for ants on its own?

As per studies, concentrated cinnamon essential oil can kill ants. But how much of it are you going drizzle around your property in the name of exterminating ants, and how often, say you have a pretty serious infestation? How much do you think this stunt will cost?: Much lower than a professional grade insecticide or treatment?, And then there’s the painful hark back, remember you need a closed system for everything to work?

In the end, you’re better off with something more potent and cost effective than cinnamon essential oil, something you can apply on ants that instantly takes them to coma, then kills them slowly from there.

I can’t think of anything better than a professional grade insecticide specially formulated for ants. If you have a pretty serious problem, get professional help instead! Also, boiling water works like magic, especially when applied to the nest.

How to control ant population around the house

  1. Get rid of their food and water source. Use the ants themselves to find out where these places are.
  2. Get rid of their settling place using professional grade insecticide or boiling water. Search for ants under wet wood, in tree stumps, on walls, trees, old furniture etc.
  3. Use cinnamon powder or essential oil to deter ants away from your home or places you don’t want them to be.

Final Thoughts

Cinnamon essential oil has the potential to kill ants, but only when you exposed them to the oil for long periods. That’s less likely to happen in a natural situation where ants would run away for their lives immediately when cinnamon-sprayed!

So it seems that cinnamon oil, though potent, is of little benefit when it comes to exterminating ants, and the better option would be to invest in professional help, professional DIY treatments, or greet the queen of the colony with a pot of boiling water.