What’s The Problem?
Insects, bugs, critters, pests, whatever you call them, can be a day destroyer at any time of year, but certainly more so in the warm months -- and some places, such as the topics, are warm 24/7 365!
So be it ants round the house, mosquitoes wherever you are -- don’t they just love to follow you around -- fleas on pets or their eggs and pupa hiding in fabrics, we need to take them on, keep them away, and our lives as bug free as possible.
Unwanted bugs can cause real problems, they can make us sick, keep certain areas around our own properties off limits and just generally negatively affect our quality of life.
Keep It Natural. Keep It Safe
We need to take on the bug hoards wherever we find them being a pest, and we often do so by employing the use of manufactured chemicals. Yet, and this may well come as a surprise, it has been found that many products on sale -- either in shops or online -- are simply unsafe to spray around your home or to apply on the skin.
These solutions are obviously not a good way to keep bugs at bay and away. Who wants chemicals that can harm us anywhere near where we live, sleep or eat? Exactly, and we certainly don’t want to be absorbing them through the skin. Not on us, our pets, and most definitely not on our kids.
Yet, as nature would have it, there are of course natural products and natural ways to keep bugs at bay and away. These approaches include really simple ideas such as planting herbs or using essential oils in a careful and well-practiced way. Of course, if used incorrectly, or “over used” they too can become a problem, but with safe and proven guidelines you will experience a far more pleasant time in the warmer months of the year and be able to claim your living space back as your own. The pests will know you mean business and finally pack up and move on, hopefully never to come back!
So, as you will find below, we have put together a list of eleven types of essentials oils that really are effective at making sure insects don’t come bothering you either in, around, or outside your home.
Also, by using natures very own products as a barrier to unwanted guest you can rest easy, as you won’t have filled the environment with synthetic chemicals which can cause so much harm to the wildlife in and around your property. This of course includes you, your family and pets, which can be particularly sensitive to any of the thousands of synthetic chemicals we use.
11 Essential Oils And How To Use Them
The oils discussed below are listed in no particular order; however, these 11 are ones that have been proven over time and experience to be the most effective at keeping either most, if not many, or one particular targeted insect away. Some of them have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years and so obviously have a proven track record of being effective. For your convenience we’ve broken the 11 up into two parts: The Top 5 Essential Oils then Six Further Oils Commonly Used In Bug Deterrence.
Please enjoy finding out which-oil-does-what-to-which-insect and once read up and informed you will undoubtedly have fewer insects intent on ruining your day. With fewer bugs about as you’re doing chores, entertaining guests at a barbecue, or trying to get forty winks with the windows open, life will just be so much better!
All of the listed oils are easy to source and buy, either in your local store or online. You may well even find some of the herbs and plants growing around where you live, and so you can make your own sprays and deterrents.
It should be noted right from the offset that consumed any essential oil can have toxic effects, so the following sprays, and solutions should never be ingested unless under the supervision of a medical professional. Never self-administer any substance without professional medical guidance.
First in order: The Top 5 Essential Oils
1. Lemongrass Oil
Many of us can’t get enough of the aroma of lemongrass; it seems to find a place within us that makes us feel relaxed. Yet, fortunately for us, insects tend to want to steer well clear of it. It’s good when something bugs bugs. Insects will want to stay way over there and beyond any perimeter that has lemongrass oil spread around. As you may well know lemongrass is closely related to citronella, which most of us know effortlessly repels insects.
Just read on and take a look at what this wonder grass does, especially when in oil form. It will help to keep away mosquitoes, stop fleas, deter fruit flies, and moths will simply never be seen.
It’s a great way to not only keep these pesky pests way but I can’t really think of anything more relaxing then sitting within the soft aromas of a lemongrass filled air. Plus, what a bonus, even beyond anyone’s hopes, mosquitoes absolutely detest lemongrass. That seals it for most people, as mosquitoes are by far the most annoying, dangerous, health-threatening insects on the planet. Anything that keeps one of our most dangerous insects at bay and away is a winner for sure.
Lemongrass can be used as is in the garden as a plant, or bought in its oil form and made into a spray when mixed with water. Alternatively you can drip a few drops here and there around structures such as decking, or into absorbent materials such as cushions etc. and set up a lemongrass barrier.
As with any other product, you can find lemongrass on the shelves of local stores or on the digital shelves of your favorite online market place. Always be sure to shop around to get the best price!
2. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil also really hits the mark, delivering a consistent bulls eye in our battle against insects. It seems to be have been given one mission: Make insects hate you. In this task peppermint delivers time and time again as insects stay away. Most bugs, whatever they are, seem to take a distinct dislike to this most common of oils. It’s just a great way to say, “Hey, insects, I have your number!”
Just take a look at what it brings to the party: Peppermint oil has been shown to repel ants, fleas, flies, lice, moths, spiders and more, and even rodents if you have a rat or mouse problem.
Use it diluted with water in order to make a mix that can be sprayed, three to five drops in a water filled spray will be more than enough to use on clothes, skin and other surfaces.
Another winning way to use peppermint as part of your insect defence system is to place 10 to 15 drops of it into absorbent materials -- one reader suggested cotton balls -- then place the material in and around your property. This is especially true of those areas where ants can be an issue, such as in the kitchen -- or any picnic or barbecue area outside -- basically anywhere ants can find food. So now instead of letting them have easy access to gourmet leftovers, give them peppermint instead and you can be sure they won’t stick around for dessert.
Peppermint oil is available in brick-and-mortar stores and online.
3. Citronella Oil
Citronella, every single professional bug person you ever speak to will always eventually bring up this staple of natural bug defence. Citronella candles have been a staple on back decks and picnic tables for decades to keep mosquitoes and other biting bugs away and at bay.
In addition to burning candles, citronella oil can also be used in insect repellent sprays and oils. There is one school of thought, however, that says candles -- as they let of carbon dioxide when burning -- can actually attract certain insects, so perhaps try with one candle to see if this theory holds true for where you live before you bulk buy!
Citronella oil will help repel mosquitoes, fleas, flies, moths, and many other insects.
A spray application will always work; even for the freshening up of a home it’s a great way to enjoy its aroma. In spray form it’s also the easiest and most effective way to apply to the skin and/or clothing when used as an insect repellent.
In order to do a DIY (Do It Yourself) spray, follow these simple instructions:
Add citronella oil to water that you’ve poured into a spray bottle. Many -- including the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) -- recommend around 10 to 15 drops per ounce (28 milliliters) of water.
You can also add a dispersing agent such to your solution, as essential oils don’t dissolve in water. Solubol is an excellent solution for dispersing essential oils throughout water or hydrosols evenly. It has a very mild aroma. Solubol works really well to blend drops of essential oils into water, but be sure to shake the bottle well before every time you decide on a spraying mission.
If applying to the skin or clothing -- in spray form -- citronella needs to be reapplied often in order to be an effective mosquito repellent. It can provide protection for up to three hours if it is combined with vanillin -- and if you’re not sweating or “showered” in a rainstorm.
Pin down and secure your stash of citronella oil either online or on the high street and enjoy a bug free day!
4. Orange Oil
It is pretty well known that as a rule of thumb insects are none too keen on citrus. It makes them stay away and keeps them at bay and that’s nothing but a good thing. So, deciding on the essential oil of orange as a way to take on unwanted guests is always going to be a great choice for repelling insects in your home. Plus, and this may come as a surprise, it is actually underestimated by most people. Maybe you know how effective it is, but ask your friends and/or family and they may well say that they’ve never thought of using it as a bug repellent.
Orange oil is produced by cells within the rind of oranges, and -- in contrast to most essential oils -- it is extracted as a by-product of orange juice production by centrifugation, producing a cold-pressed oil. So, seeing as there’s so much orange juice about, there’s plenty of orange oil about too, and you can, if you have the inclination, make your own. Though you would have to eat a whole lot of oranges in order to get enough rinds together to squish and squash.
Orange oil is especially effective at keeping ants away, as well as other household pests such as crickets and spiders. Orange oil is also effective against biting or stinging insects such as wasps, fleas, lice and ticks.
As one of the most mass-produced essential oils you are never going to have a problem finding a purchase point for this undervalued insect repellent. Don’t forget to spread the word to friends and relatives about all of the great natural approaches there are to protection against insects.
5. Lavender Oil
Often referred to as the “oil for everything” lavender oil -- unsurprisingly -- is also a great way to keep insects at bay and away. They really do turn their noses up at it and will buzz off somewhere else.
You can use lavender to remove fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and chiggers from your work and relax environment. It is also great at soothing bug bites as it naturally reduces inflammation, lessens pain, and cleans the surface of the skin. What a fantastic oil it is. Sprinkle a few drops around the place, onto absorbent surfaces, or into rain protected spots, and enjoy a bug free day.
Yet, as with anything, there are precautions. Be aware that it can cause skin irritation and even allergic reactions in some people. If you become nauseas, start vomiting, or develop a headache after using lavender discontinue use immediately. Always do a sport test on the back of your hand, or behind your knee if you don’t want an unsightly reaction to be in view, to see if you are lavender friendly or not.
As a mass produced essential oil it can be found on just about any high street and you’ll always find it available online. It also makes for a great garden plant and its aroma -- throughout the months it flowers -- are really smoothing, not only that, the insects and bugs that dislike it will stay well clear of your space.
Six Further Oils Commonly Used In Bug Deterrence
Although not as widely used as the Top Five Essentil Oils the following six also have a soild history of delivering results.
1. Eucalyptus Lemon Oil
Eucalyptus oil is a great tool to have in your anti-pest arsenal, but even better is its lemon form. This is a real insect barrier that should be better known. Eucalyptus lemon or Eucalyptus citriodora is a wonderful way to keep bugs in line. They really do not like it one single bit.
Eucalyptus lemon will work hard to repel mosquitoes and ticks, and there is even a name brand insect repellent on the market using this oil. Perhaps one reason that it is not so widely known, or used, is it’s cost. It can be more expensive than other oils and that will obviously keep its popularity restricted.
2. Cedarwood Oil
Cedarwood essential oil is a very aromatic oil that will repel fleas, ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, lice, and gnats, but to name a few and it should be noted that fleas absolutely detest cedar!
3. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary essential oil can help you repel insects from your property and from your garden. It is effective against flies, mosquitoes, and ants.
4. Basil Oil
Basil as an essential oil is also a really solid natural insect repellent. It will work hard to keep flies, mosquitoes, and mites at bay and away. Make a solution as explained for other sprays or drip a few direct drops into spaces and places that are going to be effective at keeping the aroma for as long as possible.
5. Geranium Oil
Geranium essential oil is a favorite for an increasing number of people due to its therapeutic properties, and although not quite in the same usage leagues as the Top Five, it is also increasingly being used as a bug repellent.
Geranium oil has been found to be effective against wasps, ticks, lice, gnats, flies, and mosquitoes. That’s quite some firepower!
6. Catnip Oil
Catnip essential oil is effective against mosquitoes and ticks, with some studies even claiming to have found it even more effective than DEET.
Essential Oils: A Barrier of Protection
Can anyone really think of anything more annoyingly avoidable than bug bites? They can be incredibly itchy, become infected, and even see a person become seriously ill. Well, although all of us most likely know what to do to prevent being bitten, here’s a quick reminder of how:
Cream: Mix your essential oils with carrier oils, or even just mix it into an unscented natural lotion base, then rub it on the skin to create a barrier that repels insects. This is simple, effective and cheap.
Oil: You can dilute your chosen essential oils into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and spray or rub it on your skin before going outside.
Spray: The simplest and most effective way to apply a homemade bug repellent to the skin is to spray it. Homemade bug sprays are usually made in a base of witch hazel or plant enzymes as opposed to water or oil. Use a spray bottle to apply any solution to your body and/or clothes. It is also always great to spray absorbent materials such as cushions, curtains, and even carpets. Do be sure that any oil used is not going to stain or discolour any fabrics or surfaces.
Essential Oils: Keeping Homes Bug Free
There they are, that line of ants snaking through your house into the kitchen, come on guys go feed somewhere else! Then there’s wolf spiders or worse nestled in the dark corners, just waiting for you to put a hand into the dark… All pretty annoying, if not scary stuff, so let’s have a look at keeping unwanted guests outside. Where they are not only safer -- as we won’t be trying to kill them -- but that’s where they belong.
Essential oils: How to repel bugs from your home:
Sprays: You can make a spray similar to the homemade bug spray above and spray it on furniture, sheets, carpets, etc. Take care of pets and the spaces in which they eat, sleep and play, always make sure you are using pet friendly oils.
Cotton Balls/Strips: Place a few drops of oils on cotton balls or strips and place them strategically around your home, focus on the entry points where ants, spiders, and crickets may be entering your house.
Diffusing: Diffusing is pretty simple and a popular approach for many people -- place a few drops of your chosen oils in your diffuser and turn it on. That’s all you have to do!
Also, as written above, you can sprinkle essential oils outside your home in places where they won’t be so readily washed away by the rain and where insects are likely to make a stab at getting in. Rubbing an essential oil along a windows frame or across a door’s edge can really be an effective way of keeping insects out.
Plant Them and They Shall Not Come
As you know essential oils come from plants, so it’s only natural that the same plants can keep insects at bay and away. It just makes sense that if you have some space, even a pot or a planter into which you can grow some plants that you populate at least some of them with these fantastic bug repelling herbs, and flowers.
Plant these essential bug deterrents throughout your garden; especially in places you spend time. For example place them in pots under, on, or around your deck or porch. Stock up on lavender, basil, catnip, rosemary, lemongrass and any other plant proven to be an insect deterrent. Take on the bugs and pests that would otherwise spoil your day -- or entire spring and summer -- and refuse to become a victim of pest infestations because -- as this article shows -- there are natural solutions to be bug and even rodent free!
We hope you’ve now got a really firm grip on the essentials of how to keep certain bugs and mammals out of your immediate environment, and remember, prevention is always better than cure. Never let a space be attractive to the bugs and pests you want to keep away.
No matter the kind of pests that are invading your life, we have it covered. Explore the site and find all the answers you need. Our Pest Removal FAQ has articles about getting rid of every kind of pest you can imagine. And if you still have questions, contact us: We’ll do our very best to help.
For example, if you’re having problems with squirrels check out this page. Got a birds problem? Click here. Whatever your pest problem, we have detailed information that will help you tackle the issue head on with clear, easy to understand steps that work.
Hello, my name is Chris and I am a pest control expert. Got a question? Worried about insects, rats, bats? Well, worry no more, sit back, relax and read our site as my team and I share everything we know about pest control with you.
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