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Essential oils to repel bugs

by Alycia Louise

Using Essential oils to repel bugs is an easy and natural way to rid your home of all the creepy crawlies.

Come fall all the creepy crawlies and flying bugs try and invade my house. Spiders, flies, boxelders, fleas and stinkbugs all try to find a place inside my house to get cozy for the winter. I get it, they want to survive the winter and get away from the cold, but my house is not an option. At least in any of the living areas. They can have the corners of the attic or the unreachable space in the closet.

I understand the need for bugs and I encourage beneficial bugs out in my yard and I respect their space. But once they are in my house it’s a different story. Being in my kitchen, bathroom or bedroom are immediate death sentences for anything with more than 4 legs. Other areas of the house may grant them a chance to be set free outside, but it entirely depends on my mood and the kind of bug it is.

If the bug in question touches me it usually ends up in several pieces or as a smear on whatever I hit it with. It’s often a violent reaction that I cannot control. Like the giant house spider that crawled at me while I was doing laundry this morning. I know house spiders are harmless but that didn’t stop me from crushing him repeatedly with a laundry basket. The sickening crunch was enough to make my skin crawl all morning.

There are the odd exceptions. Like the small spiders I allow in my windows to catch gnats and other little bugs. Or the daddy long leg spiders I allow every now and then to live in the lonely corners of the house. If they stay in their designated space they may stay and will likely be named. I once had a daddy long leg I named Ralphie who lived in the corner behind the bathroom trashcan.

They stay out of my living space and don’t bother me. They usually move on once the gnats are gone, or sometimes the cats find them and they magically disappear.

Try the natural way

Because of my aversion to bugs I like to keep them to a minimum in the house. One way I do that is with essential oils.

Different oils repel different bugs, so theirs not just one oil to use (but there are a few that get close). You’ll want to experiment with oils to discover which ones the bugs in your area hate the most. The best way to use essential oils to repel bugs is to diffuse them in a diffuser or have a spray bottle of essential oils to cover all the bases.

  • To use a diffuser select 3-5 different oils from the list below (depending on which bugs you wish to repel) and put 2-3 drops of oil in the diffuser reservoir, fill with directed amount of water and then diffuse for a few hours every day.
  • You can also make a spray repellent by taking the selected oils and putting 5-8 drops each into a 2oz glass spray bottle. Top it off with water and shake it before spritzing on furniture, around doorways and windows and curtains.

The spray repellent is safe enough to use on yourself and loved ones if needed. Depending on which oils you choose you can also use them on your pets as well, just be sure to check out essential oils for dogs and essential oils for cats to make sure the oils you picked will be safe for your pet (Cats especially need to avoid direct contact with certain oils).

Essential oils to repel bugs

  • AntsTea Tree, Peppermint, Geranium, Orange, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Lavender, Spearmint, Black pepper, Clove
  • Bed bugs– Cinnamon, Clove, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Thyme, Tea Tree
  • Boxelders-Peppermint- Spearmint
  • CockroachesCedarwood, Eucalyptus, Orange, Patchouli, Sandalwood
  • EarwigsEucalyptus, Cinnamon
  • Fleas-Cedarwood, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Lavender, Orange, Pine, Rosemary
  • FliesLemongrass, Lavender, Geranium, Peppermint, Basil, Spearmint
  • Lice– Cedarwood, Patchouli, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Spearmint, Tea Tree
  • Mosquitos-Citronella, Peppermint, Lemon, Basil, Clove, Thyme, Lemongrass, Geranium
  • Moths– Lavender, Cedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint, Orange, Citronella, Hyssop
  • Spiders-Peppermint, Tea Tree, Orange, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Spearmint
  • Stink bugs– Peppermint, Cinnamon, Spearmint
  • Ticks-Rose, Geranium, Juniper, Thyme, Grapefruit, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Oregano
  • Wasp-Cinnamon, Black pepper, Clove, Geranium, Lemongrass
  • Weevils– Cedarwood, Patchouli, or Sandalwood

Now I’m sure there are other oils that could be added to this list but this is a compilations of the most effective from my research so far.

I tend to make a blend of Cedarwood, Peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary, and Cinnamon. Which seems to do the trick for my house, but I’d love to hear what you’ve used and how well it worked at ridding you of your multi-legged pests.

For more about essential oils check out my essential oil page.

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