Warm weather brings out the bugs which means you’ll probably see more of them around your home, garage, patio, etc. With that being said, essential oils are a great, natural way to repel those pesky insects!
In this article, we’ll be discussing 10 essential oils that repel bugs & great DIY recipes.
Top 10 Essential Oils that Repel Bugs
Cedarwood– Cedarwood has long been a moth deterrent and used in the form of cedar chests, mothballs, and chips. In addition to moths, cedarwood essential oil is also a wonderful repellent against ants, fleas, mites, lice, mosquitos, silverfish, and ticks.
Cinnamon– Although cinnamon smells wonderful to many people, luckily the strong smell is a deterrent to bed bugs, earwigs, silverfish, spiders, and wasps.
Citronella– Citronella is a commonly used in candles to repel mosquitos. This popular essential oil also repels fleas, gnats, moths, and ticks. It’s also great to use in a diffuser.
Lavender– In addition to the many health and wellness benefits of lavender, this versatile oil is also great for repelling bugs! Lavender essential oil repels ants, bed bugs, fruit flies, gnats and no see ums, lice, mosquitos, spiders, and ticks.
Lemon Eucalyptus– Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil comes from the Citriodora Tree native to Australia. According to the CDC, lemon eucalyptus is the most effective essential oil for a natural mosquito repellent.
Lemongrass– Use lemongrass essential oil in a diffuser or add to a candle and keep those pesky flies, no see ums, and mosquitos away! This citrusy oil also repels chiggers, fleas, and ticks.
Peppermint– I love using peppermint oil to repel bugs and bugs hate the smell which is great! Not only does it smell awesome, it also repels so many insects including ants, aphids, bed bugs, boxelder bugs, cockroaches, fleas, fruit flies, gnats and no-see-ums, lice, moths, spiders, ticks, and weevils.
Sweet Orange– The sweet, clean, citrusy smell of orange is a turn off to many insects…thank goodness! Sweet orange essential oil contains limonene, which is lethal to flies and fleas. This magnificent oil also repels ants, cockroaches, gnats, lice, moths, silverfish, spiders, ticks, and weevils.
Spearmint– This minty oil contains lower concentrations of menthol than peppermint which makes it safer to use around children. Spearmint essential oil repels ants, boxwelder bugs, flies, gnats, lice, mosquitoes, moths and spiders.
Tea Tree– Tea Tree essential oil is well known for it antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that make it great for natural DIY sprays and cleaners. In addition, it’s also a wonderful insect repellent for bed bugs, dust mites and lice.
Best Essential Oils for Repelling Specific Insects
Check out these great DIY recipes below including diffuser recipes, sprays and candles!
Diffuser Recipes for Bug Repellent
Keep those pesky bugs away with these simple diffuser recipes!
3 Drops Clove essential oil
3 Drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil
4 Drops Lemongrass essential oil
3 Drops Peppermint essential oil
3 Drops Citronella essential oil
4 Drops Lemongrass essential oil
DIY Bug Spray Recipes
What you’ll need:
- 4 oz Spray Bottle
- 1 Part Distilled Water
- 1 Part Witch Hazel
- Essential Oil
For Kids Age 3+ : 20-25 drops essential oil
For Adults and Kids 10+ : 40-50 drops essential oil
I normally would recommend a glass spray bottle but since you’ll probably be using outdoors, I like to use plastic spray bottles.
Directions: Fill the spray bottle halfway with distilled water and half with witch hazel. Leave some room at the top to add the essential oils and sprayer top.
Our favorite essential oil blends are listed below.
Favorite Essential Oil Blends for Bug Spray
(Safe for Kids 10+ and Adults)
- 15 drops lemongrass + 15 drops eucalyptus + 20 drops citronella
- 20 drops rosemary + 20 drops cedarwood + 10 drops peppermint
- 15 drops eucalyptus + 20 drops lavender + 15 drops lemongrass
(Safe for Kids 3+ and Adults)
- 10 drops lemon eucalyptus + 10 drops lavender
- 10 drops lavender + 10 drops citronella
- 8 drops lavender + 5 drops geranium+ 7 drops cedarwood
Directions: Fill half of spray bottle with distilled water and half with witch hazel. Leave a little room at the top for the essential oils and sprayer top. Shake well before using. Spray on clothing and exposed skin. Avoid spraying into eyes.
Repel Bugs Naturally with a DIY Essential Oil Candle
Lemon Eucalyptus Bug Repellent Candle
What you’ll need:
- 8 oz glass mason jar
- 1 medium cotton wick
- 8 oz beezwax pellets
- 5 ml (100 drops) Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 ml (40 drops) Geranium essential oil
- 2 ml (40 drops) Cedarwood essential oil
- Put a cotton wick into an 8 oz glass mason jar. Center the metal tab on the bottom in the middle of the jar. You can keep the wick centered by laying two chopsticks across the top of the jar and placing the wick in the middle.
- Put a glass or Pyrex measuring cup into a pot that’s about 1/4 full of simmering water. The water will heat the measuring cup from the outside.
- Melt the beeswax in the measuring cup. (Tip: You can blend the essential oils in a separate glass bowl while the beeswax is melting!)
- Remove the beeswax from heat when it’s fully melted.
- Add the essential oils and stir, using a glass stirring rod or a stainless steel spoon.
- Carefully pour the melted wax into the glass jar, holding the wick in place. (Tip: Try pouring just a small amount of the melted blend in first, and letting it get a bit solid so it holds the bottom of the wick in place!)
- Beeswax solidifies quickly so you will be able to use your candle in a couple of hours.
Now that have knowledge about numerous essential oils that repel bugs, I hope you have fun making some or all of these DIY recipes!
Other articles you may be interested in:
5 Great Smelling Essential Oil Blends for Diffuser
How to Make Homemade Disinfectant Spray
Essential Oil Storage and Shelf Life