Essential oils and aromatherapy make excellent natural insect repellents as they are not chemically based and are not toxic for humans, animals and/or insects. Instead, natural insect repellents made from essential oils and aromatherapy blends deter insects and creepy crawlies from entering our homes and living spaces, rather than killing them.
Insects react to the scent and composition of the essential oils and will avoid them whenever possible.
The essential oils that work best against biting insects (mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas) are:
Cinnamon oil (for mosquitoes)
Lemon Eucalyptus or regular Eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, and lice)
Citronella oil (mosquitoes and biting flies)
Castor oil (mosquitoes)
Orange oil (fleas)
Rose Geranium (ticks and lice)
Another plant-derived substance, pyrethrum, is an insecticide. Pyrethrum comes from the flowers of the daisy Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium.
Natural Insect Repellent — COCKROACHES
Natural Insect Repellents to deter cockroaches made from essential oils and aromatherapy blends can be made by combining the following oils:
Clove, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Pine, Peppermint, Thyme and Tea Tree.
These essential oils are excellent to use as deterrents for cockroaches. A natural insect repellent blend can be made by simply combining two or more of these oils.
A dilution of these oils can be blended and put into a spray bottle to be used as a room spray.
Use Peppermint and Thyme essential oils to wipe down bench tops and inside cupboards to deter cockroaches.
Cotton balls can be sprinkled with these oils and placed in the corners of your cupboards.
The skin of cucumber contains a small amount of arsenic, so place small pieces in the corners of your cupboards.
Natural Insect Repellent — ANTS
Essential oils and aromatherapy blends work as deterrents for ants. A couple of drops of Peppermint and Clove oils can be put onto a cotton ball or tissue and placed where the ants are entering your home. Ants are quite inventive little beasties, so look for their alternative routes into your house and make sure you give it/them the same treatment.
Re-apply the oils as often as required.
Natural Insect Repellent – MOTHS and SILVERFISH
Lavender essential oil is the absolute best oil for keeping moths and silverfish out of your cupboards and away from your clothes and books and the like.
Hang Lavender potpourri in calico bags in your cupboards, drawers and book cases.
Lavender essential oil is great for preventing silverfish from breeding in clothes kept in storage or boxes of books.
Natural Insect Repellent – SANDFLIES and MOSQUITOES
Sand flies and mosquitoes are repelled and deterred by assorted essential oils and aromatherapy blends. They can be sprayed or rubbed onto the skin to prevent being bitten, and can be used outdoors and/or indoors. They are also safe to use on/with children.
3 drops Citronella
2 drops Cedarwood
2 drops Peppermint
3 drops Lavender
10 drops essential oil solubiliser
50ml water in a spray bottle
Simply blend and spray.
If you are bitten by an insect, apply 1 drop of undiluted Lavender to the bite as soon as possible to take the itch and inflammation out the bite and to heal the wound faster.
It is not only the insects who benefit from the use of essential oils and aromatherapy based natural insect repellents. By not using chemically-based, toxic poisons, we are not polluting the air that we breathe. The therapeutic benefits of the essential oils and aromatherapy affect us positively on all levels – the body and soul, mind and spirit.