Top 7 Essential Oils for Bugs

. 2 min read

Can you use essential oils for bugs? Insects flying around your kitchen and house are annoying. Pests in your garden and around your property can seem almost impossible to get rid of. In fact, you may be so fed up you are ready to poison your house with some kind of toxic bug-spray or use pesticides to eliminate unwanted insects. There is a better way.

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Top 7 Essential Oils for Bugs

Seven of the top essential oils you can use in your fly spray concoctions include citronella, pine, peppermint, lavender, patchouli, sandalwood and rosemary.

  • citronella: Not only does citronella help to repel flies in your garden, according to Winger, but also ants, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, moths, nematodes and ticks.
  • pine: Veteran campers know that pinecones can be used to repel mosquitoes. Pine has also been known to keep fleas and ticks away.
  • lavender: While it attracts beneficial bees in its foliate state, as an essential oil lavender can be strengthened with other oils to effectively repel mosquitoes.
  • peppermint: In her book, Natural Homestead, Winger credits peppermint oil as an effective non-toxic repellent for “ants, aphids, bean beetle, flies, lice, moths, beetles, spiders [and] squash bugs”.
  • patchouli This essential oil is effective in inhibiting the onset of bed bugs, ants, fleas, lice and other creeping and crawling creatures.In the garden, Winger recommends it for repelling gnats, snails, weevils and wooly aphids.
  • sandalwood: In the garden, Winger recommends sandalwood for keeping weevils and aphids at bay. It has also been known for its properties to repel mosquitoes.
  • rosemary: This essential oil can be used as an ingredient in a spray that is used to repel flies, which is one of Winger’s uses of rosemary oil.

Rosemary Vinegar Fly Spray

Jill Winger recommends the following recipe in her book, Natural Homestead:

2 cups raw apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
20 drops rosemary essential oil
10 drops lemongrass essential oil
10 drops cilantro essential oil
10 drops melaleuca essential oil
3 drops natural liquid dish soap (not castile soap)

Winger advises combining the ingredients in a spray bottle and applying frequently. For homesteaders, this is extremely valuable information. In her book, Winger provides recipes like this as well as more than 40 others for homesteaders and those who are interested in using natural essential oils around the home.


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