Why Do Ants Crawl on You? {How To Finally Stop Them}

I hate seeing ants on my pants. Why do ants crawl on you? Do we smell inviting?

How do you stop ants crawling on your leg, arms or your back? We need some repellents or reduce some of the odors that are present on our bodies.

In this article, we will find out, “Why Do Ants Crawl on You?”

Why Do Ants Crawl on You?

Ants follow scent trails that could lead directly to you. Ants are attracted to the odors of:

  • food
  • fragrances
  • lotions
  • sweat
  • blood
  • tears
  • urine
  • dead skin cells

We could be proactive next time by applying peppermint oil mixed with water, citronella or even baby powder.

We should also avoid sweet scented lotions, soaps and fragrances to not attract ants, wasps and other insects. Make sure there are no crumbs on you after snacking on the couch or elsewhere.

What Does It Mean to Have Ants Crawling on You?

Ants crawling on you is either a real thing or just a sensation. It’s commonly used as a term of discomfort which is actually referred to as formication.

This is a type of paresthesia if there are no actual ants on you. There are no physical causes of this feeling, but the sensation is still present and no one can deny what you are going through. Although it’s psychological, it’s triggered by a form of internal discomfort.

Why Are Ants Attracted to My Body?

You might be expelling natural body odors that ants are attracted to. They are highly sensitive to pheromones and chemical signals.

Ants can detect molecules of hydrocarbons on the skin. They can also smell:

  • food leftovers
  • blood
  • sweat
  • tears
  • urine
  • fragrances

We might think we’re super clean, but the sweet fragrances we are wearing or showered with recently, could be attracting ants.

How Do You Keep Ants off You?

Keeping ants off you involves some hygienic practice like making sure there aren’t crumbs of food or sauces on our skin after eating. Also, we must reduce the amount of fragrant scents that come with using lotions, soaps, perfumes and colognes.

Here are some other ant repellents that we can apply on our clothes or skin:

  • Baby powder
  • Lemon oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Vinegar
  • Citronella

I wouldn’t spray vinegar on my body, but I would spray it one my shoes or shorts. The last thing I want is ants crawling on my clothes or skin.

YouTube video

Why Do Ants Come Near Me?

Ants come near because you are so sweet. Truthfully, there are multiple reasons ranging from the fragrances you’re wearing to the remnants of food, sweat (salt), urine or even blood.

Ants would love the smell of fruity substances on your body and may crawl on you to find out if there is an actual food source. Otherwise the salty excretions of our own perspiration can be enough to draw them in closer.

Also, I hate to say it, but when we urinate in public places (especially us guys who use urinals) we can splash drops of urine on our pant legs and this can easily draw in ants.

Can Ants Recognize People?

Ants cannot recognize you. They are not saying, “Hey, there’s Peter!” “Oh look! Jill is home!”

This is not the reason why ants have chosen to come to you and crawl on you. It’s something more than that, such as your body odor, body heat, fragrances you are wearing or lotions you may have applied.

They would love to find crumbs of food or sauces from meals that weren’t washed off your fingers or accidents where you may have dropped some on your clothes without knowing.

Why Do Ants Keep Crawling on My Bed?

Ants are crawling on our bed because they are following scent trails. They may have discovered:

  • crumbs of food
  • body heat
  • sweat
  • blood 
  • sweet fragrances from your detergents
  • soaps
  • lotions

It might be time to stop using scented fragrances and soaps and consider binge watching TV shows in the living room instead. Vacuum up, spray the area with lemon juice, vinegar and water.

Use peppermint oil with water or drop some of this essential oil that ants hate on cotton balls. If you want to get rid of them with something stronger, sprinkle baking soda or diatomaceous earth on your bed, leave it for a couple of hours, then wash all the sheets.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How can I stop ants from crawling on me?

You can attempt to stop these ants by applying baby powder on your skin. Ants also hate mint, eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree oils. Mix these oils with water and begin to spray it on yourself and your clothes. You only need a few drops with a full spray bottle of water.

2. Reasons Ants Will Crawl on You

Ants are drawn to odors and moisture and body heat. They might also like your sweat, tears, blood, natural body odor, scented fragrances, stains of food, liquids, sugars, urine and dead skin cells. Repel them with essential oils or baby powder.

3. Do ants like cinnamon?

No. Cinnamon is an ant repellent. You can buy cinnamon oil and mix it with water in a spray bottle. Cinnamon smells nice for us, but it’s awful for ants. They can actually die from inhalation of cinnamon and will keep their distance. Cinnamon dries their insides and cracks their exoskeletons the same way baking soda and diatomaceous earth do.

4. What Do Ants Want From You?

Ants might want to grab your attention to keep them safe from possible danger. Your body heat and warmth provide a cue for them to get closer.

They may rely on your body as protection from a moment where a predator on the grass below was trying to eat them. Ants may have found some food bits or sugary odors on your skin and wish to consume it if they can.


Thanks for visiting ThePestManagement.com for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.

Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable