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.
Using Essential Oils to Repel Bugs
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.
How to Use Essential Oils to Repel Bugs
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 there is 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).
Now, let's get into which oils to use for which bugs!
The Best Essential oils to repel bugs
Here is a list of common bugs, and the best essential oils to repel them. You can download a handy printable version with all of these bugs and oils on one page too!
Repelling Ants with Essential Oils
To repel ants with essential oils, use the following
Repelling Bed bugs
To repel bed bugs with essential oils, use the following
Cinnamon, Clove, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Thyme, Tea Tree
To repel boxelders, use Peppermint and Spearmint oils
Repelling Cockroaches with Essential Oils
To repel cockroaches, use the following essential oils
Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Orange, Patchouli, Sandalwood
To repel earwigs with essential oils use - Eucalyptus, Cinnamon
Repelling Fleas with Essential oil
To repel fleas, use the following essential oils
Cedarwood, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Lavender, Orange, Pine, Rosemary
Fly Repellent with Essential Oils
To repel flies, use the following essential oils:
Lice Repellant with Essential Oils
To repel lice, use the following essential oils
Cedarwood, Patchouli, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Spearmint, Tea Tree
Essential Oil Mosquito Repellant
To repel mosquitos use the following essential oils
Citronella, Peppermint, Lemon, Basil, Clove, Thyme, Lemongrass, Geranium
Moth Repellant with Essential Oil
Use the following essential oils to repel moths
Lavender, Cedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint, Orange, Citronella, Hyssop
Deter Spiders with Essential Oils
Not a fan of spiders? Use these essential oils to repel them
Peppermint, Tea Tree, Orange, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Spearmint
Essential Oil Repellant for Stink bugs
Use the following essential oils to deter stink bugs:
Peppermint, Cinnamon, Spearmint
Essential Oil Tick Repellant
Use the following essential oils to repel ticks
Essential Oil Wasp Repellant
Use the following oils to repel wasps
Cinnamon, Black pepper, Clove, Geranium, Lemongrass
Essential oil Weevil Repellant
To repel weevils, use the following essential oils
Cedarwood, Patchouli, or Sandalwood
Getting rid of bugs with essential oils
There you have it, a good list of essential oils to use to get rid of bugs. Remember, you can use these blends in a diffuser, or dilute them in water to make a spray.
Are there other oils that could be added to this list? I'm sure there are. This is a compilation of the most effective from my research and experience so far.
I tend to make a blend of Cedarwood, Peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary, and Cinnamon.
This seems the trick for my house, but you may not like the particular scents or have different bugs to battle. The Bug Away blend from Rocky Mountain oils contains Citronella, Cedarwood Atlas, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Thyme, which is a great way to defeat general bugs, and then you don't have to worry about mixing your own blends.
For more about essential oils check out my essential oil page.