Repel Bugs Like a Pro with These Essential Oil Hacks

Tired of battling bugs with harsh chemicals that smell worse than the pests themselves? Say goodbye to unwanted guests the natural way! Essential oils are your new secret weapon in the fight against bugs.

These aromatic wonders not only make your home smell amazing but also send insects packing. Read on to discover how to repel bugs like a pro with these essential oil hacks that are as effective as they are pleasant.

Repel Bugs Naturally with Essential Oils

Repel Bugs Like a Pro with These Essential Oil Hacks

For centuries, people have used essential oils for their aromatic and therapeutic properties. But did you know they can also keep bugs at bay? Here’s how you can use eight essential oils to repel unwanted insects and arachnids naturally.

Check out this fantastic essential oil bug blend:

Destination Oils Bugs Away Essential Oil Blend- 15ml 100% Pure
  • 100% Pure Lemon, Lime, Pine Needle, Cypress, Citronella, and Tea Tree- not diluted with any carrier oils.
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  • 100% pure therapeutic grade aromatherapy quality and ready to be used aromatically or topically. Can also be used for massage, soap making, in your homemade beauty products and more. Ready for use in your essential oils diffuser too!
  • The Destination Oils line of highest quality essential oils are perfectly comparable to other much more expensive oils. Affordable and effective- the best combination!

Rosemary Oil

rosemary oil for pests

Rosemary oil adds a delightful scent to your home and acts as a potent bug repellent. Its strong, woody aroma confuses and repels many insects.

Reference source: Rosemary Oil as a pesticide: Cornell University


Mosquitoes are deterred by the scent of rosemary oil, making it an excellent choice for outdoor gatherings.


In our article on 10 smells that roaches hate, we highlighted rosemary oil first. When applied effectively, rosemary oil not only repels roaches but can also kill them.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies despise rosemary oil, making it an excellent way to repel fruit flies from your kitchen.

Clothing Moths

Clothing moths are known to avoid areas treated with rosemary oil, helping to keep your closet moth-free.

Cedar Oil

cedar oil for pests

Cedar oil’s earthy, woody scent is well-known for repelling insects. It’s a popular choice for use in closets and storage areas.

Reference source: Cedar’s Hidden Potential


Ants tend to avoid any areas treated with cedar oil. If ants invade a bird feeder, try soaking cotton in cedar oil and placing git around the perimeter.

House Flies

House flies are susceptible to cedar oil, making it a perfect natural alternative to nasty hanging sticky traps.


Cockroaches find the smell of cedar oil offensive, helping to keep these pests out of your home.


Ticks tend to avoid cedar oil. Soak a string in cedar oil and place it around your yard’s perimeter.

Lavender Oil

lavender oil for pests

Lavender oil is famed for its calming properties but is also an effective bug repellent.

Reference source: Lavender as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional pesticides


Moths dislike the scent of lavender oil, protecting your clothes and food from these damaging pests. Check out this for more pest-free pantry ideas.


Lavender oil repels mosquitoes, providing a soothing, bug-free environment. This 2002 study showcases how lavender oil can help in this fight.


Termites avoid wood treated with lavender oil. We linked to a study above that showcased how lavender oil can help reduce attacks by R. flavipes termites.

Citrus Oil

citrus oil for pests

Citrus oil, derived from oranges, lemons, and limes, is a bright, zesty oil many insects dislike. D-limonene is the acidic oil that does all of the repellent work when it comes to pests!


Citrus oil repels ants, making it an inexpensive, eco-friendly option to spray around the areas where you see them entering.

Garden Pests like Tomato Borer

Successful application of citrus oil can help deter and prevent garden pests. See this paper on Citrus peel essential oils and the Tomato Borer.


Fleas are deterred by the strong scent of citrus oil, making it useful for pet bedding and carpets. After you wash your pet’s bed, you can make a lemon peel spray and apply it every so often. Do not spray essential oils directly onto your pet’s fur.

Peppermint Oil

peppermint oil for pests

With its refreshing scent, peppermint oil is highly effective at repelling various pests. Its menthol content makes it a potent natural bug deterrent.


Mice find the scent of peppermint oil unbearable, helping to keep them out of your home. Applying peppermint oil around your thresholds, cabinets, and closets will help ensure that mice don’t set up shop. However, it won’t solve a mouse problem; it will just keep them away from specific areas.


Mosquitoes are repelled by peppermint oil, making it an excellent choice for outdoor areas.


Spiders are known to avoid peppermint oil, reducing the chance of webbing in your house.

Cinnamon Oil

cinnamon oil for pests

With its earthy and herbal aroma, Cinnamon oil acts as a naturally strong repellent for various insects, especially ants.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are repelled and killed by cinnamon oil. It’s important to mention that blends of rosemary, peppermint, thyme, and cinnamon essential oils were more effective in fumigation tests against bed bugs compared to using each oil separately. See this reference paper.


Cinnamon oil works just as well as non-eco-friendly mosquito sprays when combined with other essential oils (like geranium, peppermint, and lemongrass).

Reference: Cornell University paper on Cinnmaman oil for pest control.

Red Imported Fire Ant

The red fire ant will avoid the scent of cinnamon oil, making outdoor activities more enjoyable. Check out this reference on controlling fire ants with cinnamon oil.


German roaches dislike cinnamon oil, which is beneficial for kitchens. Here’s more information on cinnamon oil and its use to eliminate roaches.

Thyme Oil

thyme oil for pests

Thyme oil has a strong, spicy scent that keeps bugs at bay. It’s a great addition to your natural pest control arsenal, but you must be extremely careful around pets.

Reference: thyme oil profile from Cornell University


Thyme oil repels mosquitoes, helping to prevent bites during outdoor activities. Of all the essential oils, thyme oil is the most potent repellent, providing 91% protection for at least an hour.

Cabbage Worms

Cabbage worms avoid thyme oil, which helps protect your garden. This alternating crop is an excellent way to eliminate cabbage worms if you plant a few thyme plants near your cabbage.

Bed Bugs

The potent aroma of thyme oil deters bed bugs. Check out our article on things that bed bugs hate.

Lemongrass Oil

lemongrass oil for pests

With its fresh, citrusy scent, Lemongrass oil is a versatile and effective insect repellent. Its high citral content makes it particularly powerful.


Mosquitoes are strongly repelled by lemongrass oil, making it a staple for outdoor protection.


Flies avoid lemongrass oil, helping to keep your home free from these pests.


Ticks are deterred by the scent of lemongrass oil, reducing the risk of these pests latching onto you or your pets.

Using these essential oils can help you enjoy a bug-free environment without the need for harsh chemicals if you incorporate them into your daily routine for a naturally protected home.