Do Ants Like Cinnamon? Debunking 9 Myths

are ants attracted to cinnamon

Ant invasions are a common household nuisance that can disrupt our daily lives. As we seek natural remedies to keep them at bay, cinnamon often emerges as a popular suggestion. But do ants like cinnamon, or is it just a myth?

Do Ants Like Cinnamon?

Cinnamon has been widely believed to repel ants due to its strong scent and natural compounds. Scientific research suggests that cinnamon may not have a significant repellent effect on ants.

Ants are primarily attracted to food sources and the presence of sugar or protein-based substances, so cinnamon alone may not deter ants. However, it’s important to note that individual ant species and preferences can vary, so some ants may exhibit avoidance behavior toward cinnamon.

Have ants also infested your clothes? If yes, you must read: Ants in Clothes.

Does Cinnamon Kill Ants?

Cinnamon does not kill ants. A compound called cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon gives cinnamon its distinct aroma and flavor. Cinnamaldehyde has been found to have repellent properties against ants but not kill them.

How to Get Rid of Ants Using Cinnamon?

While cinnamon has been traditionally suggested as a natural ant repellent, scientific studies have shown mixed results. If you still want to use cinnamon to deter ants, follow the steps:

Step 1: Identify the Ant’s Trails

Observe the ants’ movement and try to locate their entry points and trails. This will help you target your efforts effectively.

ants trail

Step 2: Clean the Affected Area

Thoroughly clean the areas where you have noticed ant activity. Ensure to eliminate any food or water sources that may attract them. Ants are often drawn to sugary or greasy substances, so be sure to wipe up spills and crumbs promptly.

Related: How to get rid of ants in the closet?

women cleaning wardrobe

Step 3: Use Cinnamon to Create a Barrier

Sprinkle ground cinnamon in the areas where ants enter your home or along their trails. Focus on doorways, windowsills, and any cracks or gaps they may use as entry points. Be generous with the cinnamon, creating a visible line the ants must cross.

cinnamon barrier for ants

Step 4: Observe and Repeat

Monitor the ant activity and observe whether the cinnamon is deterring them. If you notice that the ants are still entering your home, try increasing the amount of cinnamon or applying it more frequently. Additionally, for enhanced effectiveness, consider combining cinnamon with other natural ant deterrents like peppermint oil or vinegar.

cinnamon powder barrier for ants

Step 5: Address the Ant Colony

Cinnamon may deter ants from entering your home but does not eliminate the entire ant colony. If you continue to experience ant problems despite your efforts, you may need to locate and eliminate the ant colony. This may involve using ant baits, contacting a professional exterminator, or employing other ant control methods.

ant colony

Common Myths and Facts About Using Cinnamon to Deter Ants

Cinnamon completely repels ants.While cinnamon may have some repellent properties for certain ant species, its effectiveness can vary.
Sprinkling cinnamon powder is enough to keep ants away.Simply sprinkling cinnamon powder may not provide long-lasting or reliable ant control. Other preventive measures are necessary.
Cinnamon kills ants on contact.Cinnamon is not known to have strong insecticidal properties, and it is unlikely to kill ants on contact.
Any type of cinnamon works equally well.Different species and varieties of cinnamon may contain varying levels of compounds that affect ants differently.
Cinnamon disrupts ant pheromone trails permanently.While cinnamon can interfere with ant trails temporarily, ants may find alternative paths or create new trails.
Cinnamon can eradicate ant colonies.Cinnamon alone is unlikely to eliminate an entire ant colony. It may deter foraging ants but not address the root of the infestation.
Cinnamon is a standalone solution for ant control.Effective ant control typically requires a combination of strategies, including sanitation, sealing entry points, and targeted ant baits.
Cinnamon works for all types of ants.Ant species vary in their sensitivity and response to cinnamon. What works for one species may be ineffective for another.
Once ants are repelled, they won’t return.Ants are resourceful and persistent. They may find alternative routes or return if the attractants or conducive conditions remain present.

The Science Behind Ant Behavior and Attraction to Cinnamon

Ant behavior and their attraction to cinnamon can be understood through the science of chemical communication and sensory perception.

Ants rely heavily on chemical signals, known as pheromones, to communicate with each other and navigate their surroundings. Ants release these pheromones to relay information about their behavior, such as marking food trails, signaling danger, or identifying nest mates.

Cinnamon contains essential oils, such as cinnamaldehyde, responsible for its distinctive fragrance, which can act as either attractants or repellents to ants, depending on the species and their sensitivities.

While cinnamon has a pleasant scent to humans, it contains volatile compounds that can interfere with the pheromone trails that ants use to communicate with each other.


Cinnamon has been popularly believed to repel ants, but the scientific evidence is mixed. Ants are attracted to food sources, and cinnamon alone may not deter them. If you choose to use cinnamon as a deterrent, follow a comprehensive ant control approach.

Consider integrating other strategies and consulting professionals for persistent ant infestations. Remember, effective ant control requires a multi-faceted approach tailored to the specific circumstances of your situation.

Related: 9 Bugs that eat clothes.

Related: Do ants like coffee grounds?