Essential Oils and Bugs : How to Keep Them Away

Bugs PicThe combination of essential oils and bugs will leave a lot of people baffled. But the truth is that essential oils and bugs indeed go together, as essential oils can be used to kill or at least keep bugs at bay.

If your home has been invaded by creepy crawlies, you may be tempted to reach for the most toxic bug spray around to blast them to kingdom come. However, using insect repellent around your living spaces should not be your only line of defense, especially since bug spray can harm you as well. Instead, consider using essential oils bug repellent.

Essential Oils and Bugs: Why Opt for Natural Insect Repellents

In addition to having a pungent and strong odor that is not meant to be anywhere near your nose, conventional insect repellents can actually harm people who have serious allergies. Even if you are not allergic to their ingredients, mainstream repellents contain harmful ingredients such as DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Strong enough to melt plastic upon application, this ingredient has reportedly caused a number of health concerns including tremors, impaired brain cell function, seizures, hives, and hypotension. If one single ingredient can do this, imagine how much damage others can cause you. So, before you go on a killing spree Ghostbusters-style, we suggest you put down the Proton Pack and grab the nearest bottle of Patchouli.

Essential Oils and Bugs: Special Oils for Specific Bugs

Insects hate essential oils and will avoid them like the plague. Use them around your home and all insects will mark it as a no-go zone despite how warm it seems or how much food they can scrape there. If you want to make sure that specific bugs do not make their way to your home or cause you discomfort or harm, you will need to use individual oils that repel them.

For Mosquitoes

Mosquito PicWhether you want to protect a pregnant mother-to-be from the cause of the zika virus or prevent yourself from scratching your skin off, essential oils can help while ensuring your safety. The following oils can help.

  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Citronella
  • Cinnamon
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Rue

If you would rather mix it up a little, a study published by The American Mosquito Control Association found that a blend of geranium oil and peppermint oil is great at keeping mosquitoes at bay.

For Flies

If flies are a concern and you hate having them buzz around your head, use the following oils to literally get them to buzz off.

  • Lavender
  • Tansy
  • Peppermint
  • Rue
  • Citronella

For Ants

ants picAnts are a nuisance, especially during summer. To prevent them from colonizing your home and avoid getting bitten by those scary pincers, stock up on the following essential oils.

  • Spearmint
  • Citronella
  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Pennyroyal

For Fleas

Pet owners must be shaking their heads at the moment, remembering the last time they had fleas torment them and their fur babies. Well, you can save both from repeating this experience using the following oils (ask your vet about Fido though):

  • Rue
  • Lemongrass
  • Tansy
  • Lavender
  • Citronella

Essential Oils and Bugs: All-Purpose Anti-Bug Essential Oil Blends

If you have more than one type of creepy crawler residing with you, you can deter those unwanted visitors from invading your clean and cozy living spaces by using one of these two amazing anti-bug essential oil blends.

Peppermint Bug Repellent

Peppermint is quite effective against mosquitoes whereas the scent of citrus oils is disliked by moths. So, using this blend near windows will stop the insects from flying in.

How to Make It:

You will need 10 drops of Citronella oil and 3 drops of Peppermint oil. Mix these oils well and either spray them around or let a few drops fall onto the floor at equal distances.

Lavender Bug Repellent

The Lavender bug repellent actually smells incredible. Add a fresh citrusy scent and you will feel cleansed and relaxed. And the cherry on top? Bugs hate it!

How to Make It:

You can quickly create a great blend by mixing 5 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of citronella oil.

Essential Oils and Bugs: Anti-Bug Sprays and Lotions 

Essential oils spray for anti bugsIf you want to be extra sure about your safety, you can use essential oils to create sprays and lotions that you can use on your skin. These are especially beneficial if you plan on going out for long or have a camping trip coming up. However, remember to dilute the essential oils used in the following recipes. Neat application on skin is NOT a good idea as it will irritate and harm the skin.

Homemade Gentle Bug Repellent Spray

This spray is meant to be applied onto your skin just like a regular, store-bought formula. Its formula is gentle enough to be used by kids or even pets. What You Need:

  • A spray bottle—8 oz. or 10 oz. in size
  • Witch hazel
  • Water
  • Essential oil (Lemongrass, Lavender, Peppermint, Clove, Lemon, Eucalyptus or Tea tree)

How to Make It:

Mix equal parts of witch hazel and water. Add in 15 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Spray onto arms, legs, back, and neck.

Note:

  1. Eucalyptus and lemon will irritate the skin of younger kid, so opt for other oils.
  2. Lemon, eucalyptus and tea tree are perfectly safe for older kids and pets.
  3. For pets, spray a little bit on their legs, around the collar and the end of the tail. Another great trick for pets is to apply a drop of undiluted eucalyptus, tea tree or citronella oil onto their collars to discourage fleas or ticks from biting them or infesting their collars.

 Powerful DIY Bug Repellent Spray

The recipe below  will help you create a powerful spray that will remain effective even if you go into wooded areas or hiking trails.

What You Need:

  • A spray bottle—8 oz. or 10 oz. in size
  • Witch hazel
  • Water
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Essential oil (Lemon, Rosemary, Citronella, Eucalyptus or Tea tree)

How to Make It:

Mix water and witch hazel in a 2:80 ratio. Add in about a teaspoonful of the glycerin, mix well and finally mix in 30 drops of the essential oil you like. Spray all over exposed body parts and you will remain protected against bites. This formula is pretty strong, if you experience any irritation or redness of skin, discontinue use and go for gentler options.

Strong Bug Repellent Lotion (For Grown-ups)

This recipe is better suited for adults and older kids because it contains liquid soap. Smaller kids might accidentally touch their skin and then their mouths, ingesting the soap.

What You Need:

  • Liquid Castile soap—1/3 cup
  • Essential oil—30 drops (Tea tree, citrus or eucalyptus)

How to Make It:

Simply mix well and apply onto arms, legs, neck and exposed body parts. Use this when going on hikes through woods or insect-infested gardens.

All Natural Bug Repelling Lotion (Kid-Friendly Version)

If you prefer lotions instead of sprays, this is a great option. It is a gentle two-ingredient formula that is suitable for kids as well and is one of the best options in essential oils and bugs killer series.

What You Need:

  • Coconut oil—1/3 cup
  • Essential oil—15 drops (Peppermint, Lavender or Clove)

How to Make It:

Mix the two ingredients together and slather onto arms, legs and any other body parts that may be exposed. It will keep the bugs away and the coconut oil will act as a great moisturizer.

Essential Oils and Bugs: Ingenious Ways to Use Essential Oils around Your Home and Garden

Aside from protecting you from the attacks of insects, essential oils can be used around the house to repel them from your house. And if you have a garden, you will definitely appreciate their use since they will not harm your pants. Here are some ways to get the most of their anti-bug properties. .

Bug Sprays

bugs spray picSprays can be a convenient way to deal with bugs, especially since they spread to a wider region within seconds. Besides, they are easier to bottle and store for later use.

Cotton Wool

Use 2 to 3 drops of essential oil to soak a cotton ball and place this in specific nooks and corners of the house where insects are likely to gather. Use more than one cotton ball if you want. Be sure to place them near any small holes the insects are using as entrances into your home.

Hanging Strips

This is a very useful way to disperse essential oils over a large area. If the creepy crawlies have taken over a large area, use this method to get rid of them. Another great idea is to put a few drops of essential oil onto pretty ribbons and hang them from open windows. You can create a pretty and artistic arrangement that combines aesthetics and function. The slight breeze will waft in the scent of the essential oil and at the same time keep the insects away.

Strings and Thin Ropes

This is an easy method which can be used in outdoor areas and even indoors if you place the string strategically along walls. Soak thin (but strong) string in essential oil and tape it or hang it where bugs are getting in.

Plastic Cartons

Limited to use in gardens, this method targets all pests and insects which move on the ground. It is even effective against mice, snails, or other neighborhood pets that you want to keep away from your precious plants.

Take a plastic container (an old yogurt container is perfect), bury it in the soil such that its top part is at the same level with the soil. Put 4 drops of any anti-bug essential oil. You should use strongly-scented essential oils such as spearmint, thyme or eucalyptus as their strong aroma will keep snails, mice, rats and other large pets from roaming about the area. If you want to keep dogs away from the area, avoid using Lavender. Dogs actually like its aroma. Similarly, cats will not mind orange essential oil even though they dislike the scent of oranges.

Green Cleaners with Insect-Repelling Powers

Another way which you can naturally incorporate the bug-repelling power into your everyday cleaning routine is to make your own essential oil cleaning products. These all-natural cleaning products contain no harmful chemicals and will keep away bugs and insects from your kitchen and rooms.

Extra Tips to Stay Bug-Free

In addition to using essential oil sprays, lotions, etc. on yourself and around your home and garden, you need to take a few extra measures to be absolutely bite- and disease-free. Here are some valuable tips you should remember and follow.

  • Do not eat tropical fruits very often. They end up making your sweat smell fragrant and attractive to insects. If you plan on going on a camping trip, increase your garlic consumption or drink a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water to alter the body’s pH levels.
  • Stay away from dark colors. Wear light colored clothing and cover your head.
  • Try to avoid using perfume, deodorant, or hairspray that has a sweet or fruity scent.
  • If possible, avoid going outside at times when insect activity is at high levels, such as early morning or sunset.
  • Install mosquito nets around play areas and beds to keep your kids safe at all times.
  • Remain in screened-in areas most of the time if possible.

While essential oils are famously used in beauty products, they can indeed help in other things as well. This Essential Oils and Bugs article will help you control bugs without much trouble.

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