Top 10 Essential Oils to Repel Bugs
Summer is coming and this usually also means bugs are coming our way. As essential oils are a natural and environmentally friendly alternative to the harmful bug repellents we can find in store, we wanted to share with you our 10 favourite essential oils that can be used for the same purpose.
Citronella is known as one of the best essential oils to repel bugs and in particular mosquitos. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, oil of citronella repels the bugs rather than killing them. It masks scents that are attractive to insects.
2. LEMON EUCALYPTUS
Known for its repulsive action, the essential oil of lemon eucalyptus has been the subject of numerous studies. According to the CDC, lemon eucalyptus is the most effective essential oil for a natural mosquito repellent. They even confirmed that it can be as effective as DEET. Citriodiol, a molecule in lemon eucalyptus oil, has been shown to be the only naturally occurring active ingredient that can be used as an official insect repellant in the United States and Europe.
Lemongrass, which is closely related to citronella, is a great natural insect repellent. It’s known to be an excellent repellent against mosquitos, fruit flies, ticks and many more. Lemongrass can, for example, help you making fruit fly traps. Put about 3cm of apple cider vinegar and 5-10 drops lemongrass essential oil in a small bowl. Cover it with paper or (used) plastic and poke holes in it with a toothpick. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and essential oil solution, and then fly in through the small holes, but won’t be able to find their way out.
Cedar closets are known to be great for keeping away moths. We also say that cedar mulch is amazing for keeping insects away from plants. The wood and oil from cedar are great natural insect repellents.
Insects don’t like the smell of cinnamon. Plus they don’t like the feel of powdered cinnamon. It’s especially known to repel ants and wasps.
The smell of peppermint repels the insects away. If you don’t mind the smell of peppermint, you can mix 15 drops of peppermint essential oil with a cup of water in a spray. Shake well and spray all-around your home in places where you mind find bugs.
7. TEA TREE
Tea Tree essential oil is in addition to its antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, also a great insect repellent and insecticide. It’s especially good at keeping bed bugs and hair lice away. For the lice, you could add a few drops of tea tree essential oil in your shampoo and conditioner.
8. SWEET ORANGE
Sweet orange has a very rich substance, about 90-95%, of limonene, which is found in its peel and zest. Limonene is known to be destructive to insects such as fleas, fire ants, mosquitoes and flies. Just the scent of oranges repels flies and mosquitoes.
Peppermint and spearmint are two very similar essential oils and thus can be used for the same purpose. Spearmint has a lower concentration of menthol, which makes it a safer and more suitable oil to use around children.
The smell of real lavender essential oil is so pleasant and soothing, but that’s not what it looks like to insects. In addition to its repellent action, it can also relieve a small mosquito bite thanks to its analgesic properties.