Tell Bugs To Bug Off: Natural Remedies To Repel Bugs

With warm weather, we again must fight bugs in the yard and home.  Here in Florida it’s almost a year round battle. If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do is spray your home or your family with horrible chemicals.

A. Essential Oils

For those of you interested in more natural remedies, certain essential oils repel a variety of bugs:

Cedarwood Himalayan   Cedarwood oil has been in use as a mosquito and insect repellent for a long time.

Cinnamon Leaf Oil

Citronella Oil classified as a bio pesticide by EPA

Geranium Bourbon can be used to repel ticks

Lemon eucalyptus oil is used for preventing mosquito and deer tick bites

Lavender Lavender has a strong scent that repels moths, flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. Use it fresh or dry some of the flowers to hang around the house or put in with your clothing to keep bugs out

Lemongrass repels bugs like mosquitoes and ants

Neem Carrier Oil   


Peppermint Oil  Repels many kinds of insects; see link for 20 uses

Tea Tree oil can prevent and treat bug bites    Tea Tree Oil (Lemon)  is a special variety of Tea Tree oil

B. Suggestions to Keep Bugs at Bay

Place essential oils such as lemongrass or citronella in a diffuser.  This will help keep away flying insects.

Soak cotton balls with lavender or peppermint oil and place in strategic areas in the home where you want to repel ants and other bugs. Make sure there are no tiny holes allowing bug entry to your home by surveying outside walls and windows. Ants can travel hundreds of miles inside your wall seeking entry.

Add a few drops of tea tree or lavender to water when cleaning floors and counters.  Eliminate standing water in your yard no matter how small as that is where mosquitoes breed.

Basil, Herbs, Food, Dew, Water Droplets, Dewdrops, Pot

Plant bug repelling plants in your yard and by your house entries. Six easy-to-find herbs readily available at most nurseries that are said to repel mosquitoes and other annoying insects include lavender, basil, lemongrass, lemon thyme, and mint. The smell from the fragrant herbs is the result of the distribution of tiny globules that contain oils. High temperatures, for example, can cause the globules to become volatile, evaporating the essential oils and turning them into vapors.  Have a few herbal plants on the porch around your door. For more information and names of ornamental flowers that repel insects, see Plants & Other Ideas That Repel  Insects.

Have pots of herbs like lavender and basil on tables at a cookout and around the deck or patio. They can be a decoration and a gift at outdoor parties.

C. Make or buy a natural insect repellent

The simplest spray I’ve seen  is peppermint and water. Add 4-5 drops of peppermint essential oil to water in a spray bottle. This also works to get rid of aphids in the garden.

For a heavy-duty insect repellent:

Natural Insect Repellent


  • 10 drops Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
  • 20 drops Cedar wood Himalayan Oil
  • 10 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 10 drops Peppermint Oil
  • 3 oz. Jojoba Golden Carrier Oil


  1. Combine oils together in a glass spritzer bottle.
  2. Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area, cuts and wounds.  Keep out of reach of children.  Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities. (Consult a medical professional before using essential oils during pregnancy. Essential oils should not be used if you have a compromised immune system. Ask your doctor first.)

Recipe courtesy of New Directions Aromatics

For other recipes and information for homemade insect repellent, check out the links below for recipes. When you make your own spray, I strongly recommend adding lemon eucalyptus oil if it is not in the recipe you choose. Tests show it as effective as DEET. It is the only natural oil rated that strongly.

  1. All Natural Homemade Insect Repellent @   Thank Your Body
  2. Homemade Insect Repellent @ DIY Natural
  3. How To Make An Easy Mosquito and Tick Repellent @ Adventures of Mel
  4. 4 Homemade Natural Mosquito & Insect Repellents  @ Good Housekeeping 

To Purchase Natural Repellents:

Repel HG-24109 Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent @  Amazon


Learning about the ways essential oils will protect your family while protecting the environment  Wishing you a bug free summer!


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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

28 thoughts to “Tell Bugs To Bug Off: Natural Remedies To Repel Bugs”

  1. Hi Carol, I much prefer using natural insect repellants and in the past have used citronella, peppermint and lavender essential oils. This year I am going one step further and have basil, lavender and two different types of mint plants and plan to keep some on the balcony and plant around the garden. I’ve never done it before, but have been told it should help so fingers crossed. I would like to get a lemongrass or some sort of citronella plant too, but have had no luck so far.

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.


    1. Check online for both plants as they are listed for example at Walmart. See if they can ship to your local store. Hope you have a great summer!

  2. Ich finde es wunderbar, dass Du einen gesunden Lebensstil ohne Chemikalien bevorzugst! Ich sehe das ganz genau so, und bemühe mich auch darum. Deshalb bin ich sehr froh über Deine Tipps und Rezepte um natürliche Insektenschutzmittel selbst zu machen! Vielen, vielen Dank dafür!!!
    Alles Liebe für Dich

  3. Ah bugs are one of those annoying things we encounter every year on our walks. Great to read of ways to stop them in their tracks. #GoingGreen

  4. We love to sit out on the deck and relax but sometimes the bugs have a different plan for us. I will make sure to get these oils and the herbs also. Thank you!

  5. Wonderful ideas, hints and tips, Carol! I really prefer to use natural products whenever I can and it’s lovely to have an arsenal of natural, fragrant ways to stop bugs ruining our enjoyment of the outdoors. Shared on the Hearth and Soul Facebook page. Thank you so much for being a part of Hearth and Soul.

  6. Thank you for sharing your wonderful post at #OverTheMoon. I look forward to what you will share next week! Like someone in person today! We hope you’ll come back again next Sunday when we open our doors at 6:00 PM EST. Pinned and tweeted!

  7. What a wonderfully informative post about naturally repelling insects and thank you for linking it up to #GoingGreenLinky ?? I will now see about if I can use geranium oil on the dog to help repel ticks as she gets them but they are so hard to find on her thick coat. Off to pin and share this so I can find it when it warms up and the biting insects return!

I love to make new friends and get to know you.

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