Top 10 Essential Oils That Repel Bugs + Bug Spray Recipe, Diffuser Blends, and more DIY Recipes to Naturally Keep Bugs Away

Top 10 essential oils to keep bugs away + lots of DIY recipes to repel bugs (homemade bug spray, natural mosquito repellent, rollerball recipe, mosquito candle, bug diffuser blend, and more) to get rid of spiders, ants, fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums, wasps, weevils, moths, cockroaches, bed bugs, beetles, aphids, chiggers, earwigs, fruit flies, head lice, silverfish and more. {easy essential oil recipes, natural DIY, doTERRA, Young Living, Plant Therapy}

Spring is here, the sun is out,  and the weather is finally starting to warm up.  But with the warmer weather, comes the bugs.  Spiders in the garage, ants in the kitchen, mosquitoes biting us.  Bugs are everywhere this time of year.

Thankfully, essential oils can help keep those bugs away

In this blog post you’ll find…

  • Top 10 essential oils to keep bugs away
  • Which essential oils repel bugs from A-Z (ants, aphids, bed bugs, beetles, … ticks, wasps, & weevils)
  • How to get rid of bugs around your home naturally with essential oils

And if you do happen to get bitten, then there’s also help at the bottom of this blog post on which essential oils can help relieve the itch and more DIY recipes for natural anti-itch rollerballs, salve, and itch-relief stick. 

 

Top 10 essential oils to keep bugs away + lots of DIY recipes to repel bugs (homemade bug spray, natural mosquito repellent, rollerball recipe, mosquito candle, bug diffuser blend, and more) to get rid of spiders, ants, fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums, wasps, weevils, moths, cockroaches, bed bugs, beetles, aphids, chiggers, earwigs, fruit flies, head lice, silverfish and more. {easy essential oil recipes, natural DIY, doTERRA, Young Living, Plant Therapy}

 

Top 10 essential oils to keep bugs away

  1. cedarwood
  2. cinnamon
  3. citronella
  4. lemon eucalyptus
  5. lavender
  6. lemongrass
  7. peppermint
  8. sweet orange (+ other citrus essential oils like lemon & grapefruit)
  9. spearmint
  10. tea tree

 

CEDARWOOD–  The wood and oil from cedar are great natural insect repellents.   That’s why cedar closets are great at keeping away moths, why cedar mulch is great for keeping insects away from plants, and why natural flea and tick treatments often include cedar oil.  Cedar is helpful at repelling many pesky bugs like mosquitoes, flies, and silverfish.  And it’s great for keeping creepy crawling pests away too, like ants, fleas, mites, ticks, and lice.

Use cedarwood essential oil to make your own natural moth balls:  Simply put a few drops of cedarwood essential oil on a few cotton balls and place them in your closet and drawers.  That will keep the moths away and give you great, fresh smelling clothes!

Use cedarwood to get rid of dust mites:  Wash bedding with hot water, a few drops of cedarwood essential oil, and detergent (get the recipe for my favorite DIY liquid laundry detergent here).  And you can make your own linen spray to control dust mites by mixing 1 cup vodka and 20-25 drops cedarwood essential oil in a spray bottle.  Shake well and spray on furniture. bedding, and linens.

 

CINNAMON–  The strong smell of cinnamon keeps many bugs away including wasps, earwigs, bed bugs, silverfish, and spiders.

Use cinnamon essential oil to get rid of ants:  Cinnamon essential oil is the absolute best natural way to keep ants away from your home because its scent is so overpowering that it interferes with ants’ neuroreceptors.  The ants then can’t remember how to get back to the food source in your home and can’t tell their friends how to get there either.  The end result: an ant-free home!

Keep wasps away:  In a spray bottle, combine water, a few squirts of dish soap, and several drops each of cinnamon, peppermint, and geranium essential oils.  Shake well and then spray the mixture where wasps are likely to build a nest (under eaves, along porch, bird boxes, garages, and window openings)

 

CITRONELLA– Citronella is one of the best known essential oils for being able to repel mosquitoes.  According to the National Pesticide Information Center, citronella works so well because it masks the scents that are attractive to bugs, namely carbon dioxide and lactic acid.

Use citronella to make “Bug Away” floating candles – they’re super easy to make, really cute, and they keep mosquitoes, flies, and other pests away from your patio for hours.   Get the recipe and instructions here

make DIY mosquito repellentfind my favorite bug spray recipes here

 

LEMON EUCALYPTUS– According to the CDC, lemon eucalyptus is the most effective essential oil for a natural mosquito repellent.  Although its name can be confusing, lemon eucalyptus isn’t two essential oils (lemon and eucalyptus) blended together, rather lemon eucalyptus essential is one essential oil.  It’s from the eucalyptus citriodora tree native to Australia.  Why does it work so well to keep those biting pests away?  Lemon eucalyptus essential oil contains a small amount of PMD (p-menthane 3,8-diol).  PMD is an effective and long-acting mosquito repellent.  Part of the reason it’s long lasting is that lemon eucalyptus evaporates more slowly than most other essential oils and will last for several hours.

Use lemon eucalyptus to make an effective natural bug spray – in a spray bottle mix 2 ounces witch hazel and 2 ounces distilled water with 40-50 drops essential oil (or 20-25 drops for kids 3-9).  Oils and water don’t mix, so be sure to shake the bug spray before you use it.  Avoid spraying on face.  For young kids under 2, spray onto their clothes (and not on their skin).  Apply as often as you need it.   Get 10+ recipes to customize your bug spray with essential oils and full instructions here

 

LAVENDER– Lavender is a great natural bug repellent.  While it’s always a good idea to dilute essential oils, lavender is such a gentle oil that it can be used inside and outside your home, on plants, as well as on people and pets.  It’s a very versatile oil that helps repel all kinds of pesky bugs from mosquitoes to head lice, flies, gnats, ants, bed bugs, moths, spiders, ticks, and fruit flies.

Use lavender essential oil to keep flies away:  Fill a 8 oz spray bottle with distilled or filtered water, add 20 drops lavender essential oil, 10 drops spearmint essential oil, 5 drops orange essential oil, and 5 drops cedarwood essential oil.  Shake well and spray around window and doorways as often as needed.  Or use your diffuser to keep flies out of your home – 3 drops lavender, 2 drops spearmint, 1 drop orange, and 1 drop cedarwood.  Not only does it repel flies, it also smells great, and promotes relaxation.  All of which make for a pretty perfect summer day!

Keep bed bugs away:  In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup of vodka with 20 drop lavender, 20 drops eucalyptus, and 10 drops tea tree.  Shake well to mix, then spray on and around bed.  Tip- if you’re traveling, take a small bottle of this with you.  When you get to hotel, spray your bed AND spray around your suitcase to try to get the little pests from hitching a ride home with you.

 

LEMONGRASS– I love the smell of lemongrass, but thankfully,  a lot of bugs don’t.  Lemongrass is closely related to citronella, which is well known for being a great natural insect repellent.  Lemongrass works on a wide variety of pests including chiggers, fleas, flies, fruit flies, no-see-ums, mosquitoes, and ticks.

Use lemongrass essential oil to make your own mosquito and tick repellent lotion barsfind my recipe here 

Get rid of fruit flies:  The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to make a fruit fly trap.  Put about an inch of apple cider vinegar and 5-10 drops lemongrass essential oil in a small bowl or mug. Cover the bowl/mug with Saran Wrap and use a toothpick to poke holes in the Saran Wrap.  The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and essential oil solution, and then fly in through the small holes in the Saran Wrap, but won’t be able to find their way out.

 

PEPPERMINT– To me, peppermint has a fresh, clean scent that reminds me of candy canes and Christmas, but to many insects it smells horrible.  They can’t stand the smell of it and it drives them away.  Peppermint is a great natural repellent to ants, aphids, bed bugs, boxelder bugs, cockroaches, fleas, fruit flies, gnats, head lice, moths, spiders,  stink bugs, and wasps.

Use peppermint to get rid of stink bugs and spiders: Like many bugs, spiders and stink bugs hate the smell of peppermint, so simply use a little peppermint essential oil to encourage them to find a new home.  Mix 15 drops of peppermint essential oil and a cup of water in a spray bottle.  Shake well and then spray all around your home (inside and out) where bugs hang out or might enter your home.  get your baseboards, around doors, windows, porches, corners or rooms, etc.  Be careful to not use too much.  You don’t want to saturate your drywall and carpets.  The goal is not for them to be wet; that could cause mold to grow.  You just want to get the smell of peppermint into the area so that the bugs will relocate somewhere else.

Get rid of cockroaches:  While ants and spiders using come in through windowsills/doorways, roaches don’t usually enter a home via windows. Instead roaches hitch rides on grocery bags, cardboard boxes, luggage, backpacks, etc.  To get rid of cockroaches, fill an 8 oz spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and 20 drops peppermint essential oil.  Shake well and spray this mixture around doorways, windowsills, under sinks, around baseboards, in kitchen, etc.  Do this often to keep the roaches away.

 

SWEET ORANGE & OTHER CITRUS OILS- Sweet orange essential oil has 90-95% content of limonene, which is lethal to fleas and flies.  Plus, most bugs hate the smell of citrus essential oils (such as, sweet orange, lemon, grapefruit, & bergamot).  Ants, cockroaches, gnats, head lice, moths, silverfish, spiders, ticks, and weevils all detest scent of sweet orange essential oil.  Which is perfect, because I LOVE the fresh, clean smell of sweet orange essential oil!

homemade room spray–  fill 8 oz glass spray bottle about 3/4 full with distilled water, then fill most of the rest of the way full with witch hazel, and add 20 drops sweet orange, 10 drops lemon, 10 drops eucalyptus, and 10 drops lavender essential oil.  Shake well and spray around the room.  Not only will it freshen and deodorize the space, it will also help keep pests like flies, spiders, and ants out of your home.  Find more homemade room spray recipes here

DIY flea & tick spray for dogs:  In an 8 ounce spray bottle, combine 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil, 10 drops sweet orange, 10 drops lavender, 10 drops cedarwood, 5 drops peppermint, and 5 drops lemongrass.  Then fill spray bottle with distilled or filtered water.  To use:  shake well and spray on dog’s coat until damp.  Brush through.  Notes: only for dogs over 12 weeks.  Do not spray on dog’s face or get inside their ears.

 

SPEARMINT– Like peppermint, spearmint essential oil is also good for keeping away ants, boxelder bugs, flies, gnats, head lice, mosquitoes, moths, and spiders.  But although those two essential oils are similar, spearmint’s lower concentrations of menthol, make it a safer and more suitable oil to use around young children.

Make a DIY Bug-Repelling bracelet:  Simply braid cotton fabric or leather and wrap around your wrist.  Put a few drops of spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, or lavender essential oils on the bracelet to help keep mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs at bay.

make a kid-safe bug sprayfind the recipes here

 

TEA TREE– Tea tree essential oil is extracted from the stems and leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree native to Australia.  Tea tree essential oil (aka melaleuca) is well known for its antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that make it great for natural DIYs like this mold & mildew cleaner, powerful homemade shower cleaner, laundry detergent, trash can deodorizer, natural deodorant that actually works, immune support foot rub, and essential oil healing salve.  But in addition to all these great uses for tea tree, it’s also a good natural insect repellent and insecticide.  Tea tree is also great at keeping bed bugs and head lice away.

Use tea tree to keep pantry bugs away:  Wipe down shelves with a mix of white vinegar and a few drops of tea tree essential oil.

Head lice prevention:  mix a few drops of tea tree into your shampoo and conditioner.  Wash your hair as normal.

Keep bed bugs away:  In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup of vodka with 20 drop lavender, 20 drops eucalyptus, and 10 drops tea tree.  Shake well to mix, then spray on and around bed.  Tip- if you’re traveling, take a small bottle of this with you.  When you get to hotel, spray your bed AND spray around your suitcase to try to get the little pests from hitching a ride home with you.

 

Top 10 essential oils to keep bugs away + lots of DIY recipes to repel bugs (homemade bug spray, natural mosquito repellent, rollerball recipe, mosquito candle, bug diffuser blend, and more) to get rid of spiders, ants, fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums, wasps, weevils, moths, cockroaches, bed bugs, beetles, aphids, chiggers, earwigs, fruit flies, head lice, silverfish and more. {easy essential oil recipes, natural DIY, doTERRA, Young Living, Plant Therapy}

 

Essential Oils to Repel Bugs

Ants: black pepper, cinnamon, citrus (such as, orange, lemon, grapefruit, & bergamot), clove, peppermint, spearmint, tea tree

Aphids: cedarwood, clove, coriander, fennel, lavender, oregano, palmarosa, peppermint, spearmint

Bed Bugs: cinnamon, clove, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, thyme, tea tree

Beetles: cedarwood, orange, peppermint, thyme

Boxelder Bugs: peppermint, spearmint

Chiggers: cedarwood, lavender, lemongrass, orange, sage, thyme

Cockroaches: cedarwood, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon, orange, peppermint, thyme

Earwigs: cinnamon

Fleas: cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, orange, peppermint

Flies: cedarwood, lavender, lemongrass, range, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, tea tree, thyme

Fruit Flies: basil, clove, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass,peppermint

Gnats:  cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, orange, patchouli, peppermint

Head Lice: cedarwood, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, orange, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, tea tree

No-See-Ums (aka biting gnats): lemongrass

Mosquitoes: cedarwood, cinnamon, citronella, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, hyssop, lavender, lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, orange, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint

Moths: cedarwood, citronella, hyssop, lavender, orange, peppermint, spearmint

Roaches: cedarwood, cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon, orange, peppermint, thyme

Silverfish: cedarwood, cinnamon, gnats

Spiders: cedarwood, cinnamon, citronella, cloves, lavender, lemon, orange, peppermint, spearmint

Stink Bugs:  peppermint

Ticks: cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus,  geranium, lavender, lemongrass, orange, rosemary, sage, tea tree, thyme 

Wasps: black pepper, cinnamon, clove, geranium, lemongrass, peppermint

Weevils: cedarwood, eucalyptus, orange, patchouli, sandalwood

 

Top 10 essential oils to keep bugs away + lots of DIY recipes to repel bugs (homemade bug spray, natural mosquito repellent, rollerball recipe, mosquito candle, bug diffuser blend, and more) to get rid of spiders, ants, fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums, wasps, weevils, moths, cockroaches, bed bugs, beetles, aphids, chiggers, earwigs, fruit flies, head lice, silverfish and more. {easy essential oil recipes, natural DIY, doTERRA, Young Living, Plant Therapy}

 

How to get rid of bugs around your home naturally with essential oils

  • natural bug repellent (make your own DIY bug spray with essential oils) – click here for mosquito repellent recipe, fly spray, tick repellent, and more
  • rollerball recipe for bug repellents click here
  • bug-away lotion bar recipe click here
  • “Bugs Be Gone” diffuser blend click here
  • super easy-to-make bug repellent candles click here
  • natural spider repellent — Have you noticed spiders starting to build artistic creations around your home that rival Charlotte’s web?  Well, spiders hate the smell of peppermint, so simply use a little peppermint essential oil to encourage them to find a new home.  Mix 15 drops of peppermint essential oil and a cup of water in a spray bottle.  Shake well and then spray all around your home (inside and out) where spiders hang out or might enter your home.  get your baseboards, around doors, windows, porches, corners or rooms, etc.  Be careful to not use too much.  You don’t want to saturate your drywall and carpets.  The goal is not for them to be wet; that could cause mold to grow.  You just want to get the smell of peppermint into the area so that the spiders will relocate somewhere else.
  • to keep ants away– use cinnamon bark in addition to powdered cinnamon to get rid of ants! It messes up their pheromones and they get lost. So they lose their way and don’t infest further.
  • Cut down on the flies in your home– spray a mix of 8 oz water and 10 drops peppermint, 10 drops lavender, 10 drops orange, and 10 drops patchouli around the windows and doorways in your home.  Or you can also diffuse to keep flies away with this diffuser blend: 2 peppermint, 2 lavender, 1 orange, and 1 patchouli.
  • keep pantry bugs away — Wipe down shelves with a mix of white vinegar and a few drops of essential oil.  Citronella, eucalyptus, melaleuca (tea tree) and peppermint all work great!
  • make yourself a bug repelling diffuser bracelet — Simply braid cotton fabric or leather and wrap around your wrist.  Put a few drops of citronella, lemongrass, or lavender essential oils on the bracelet to help keep bugs at bay.
  • keep pests out of your home– you can add about 20 drops of essential oil to 4 oz of water and spray around the spots where you’ve seen the bugs and entrances to your home (windows, doorways, any gaps in baseboards, garages, etc). Or instead, you can put a few drops of essential oil on cotton balls and place those in similar spots where bugs are a problem.
  • fruit flies – The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to make a fruit fly trap.  Put about an inch of apple cider vinegar and xx drops xx essential oil in a small bowl or mug. Cover the bowl/mug with Saran Wrap and use a toothpick to poke holes in the Saran Wrap.  The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and essential oil solution, and then fly in through the small holes in the Saran Wrap, but won’t be able to find their way out.
  • how to keep bugs out of your garden – in a 32 oz spray bottle, combine 1.4 cup liquid Castile soap, 1 teaspoon sweet orange essential oil, and 1 teaspoon cedarwood essential, plus enough water to fill 32 oz spray bottle.  To use:  shake well and spray directly at bugs.
  • roaches – Try spraying or diffusing tea tree or eucalyptus around the room.  While ants and spiders using come in through windowsills/doorways, roaches don’t usually enter a home via windows. Instead roaches hitch rides on grocery bags, cardboard boxes, luggage, backpacks, etc.  Additionally, fill an 8 oz spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and 20 drops peppermint essential oil.  Shake well and spray this mixture around doorways, windowsills, under sinks, around baseboards, in kitchen, etc.  Do this often to keep the roaches away.
  • licemix a few drops of tea tree into your shampoo and conditioner.  Wash your hair as normal.
  • box elder bugs– fill a spray bottle with 1 oz dish soap and 1 quart water and add a drop of peppermint oil to the mix and spray the perimeter of the house or anywhere they are getting in.
  • essential oils for bed bugs – In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup of vodka with 20 drop lavender, 20 drops eucalyptus, and 10 drops tea tree.  Shake well to mix, then spray on and around bed.  Tip- if you’re traveling, take a small bottle of this with you.  When you get to hotel, spray your bed AND spray around your suitcase to try to get the little pests from hitching a ride home with you.

 

Did you get a bug bite and need to stop the itch?  Try these simple essential oil DIY anti-itch recipes:

 

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