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Are Bugs Invading Your Home and Garden? Use Aromatherapy Essential Oils to Drive Them Away!

Updated on January 27, 2014
Don't use toxic chemicals to kill bugs! Try aromatherapy instead!
Don't use toxic chemicals to kill bugs! Try aromatherapy instead!

I am not a psychic; however, I bet I know what you are thinking! What in the world does aromatherapy have to do with bugs?  After all, when most people think of aromatherapy they think of calming scents and a bubble bath, NOT of ants, flies and cockroaches. Yuck! Nonetheless, aromatherapy offers many different ways to keep bugs not only out of your house but your garden as well! Who knew!?

 I don't know about you but when I find bugs in my home I immediately reach for the bug spray. Unfortunately, most bug sprays that are sold today contain toxic pesticides; pesticides that have no business around you, your children or your pets! Thankfully there are essential aromatherapy oils that you can use that will send those pesky bugs running and flying for the hills!


Bugs hate citronella!
Bugs hate citronella!

Insects, in a sense, are nature's aromatherapists. As funny as that may sound it is true! Many bugs rely on their sense of smell in order to survive. Not only do most bugs use their sense of smell to locate a mate thanks to chemical signals called pheromones, they also use it to locate food. It is a fact that many bugs fly for miles to track down a scent. So what does aromatherapy have going for it? You guessed it…FRAGRANCE! A strong aroma can actually create a shield and throw off insects that are searching for a food source in your home or garden.

While throwing off bugs is great, a better way to deal with them is to make them angry; so angry that they leave and never come back! How? By using scents that they HATE! A great example of a scent that most bugs detest is citronella. Just go into any lawn and garden store in the spring and you will find shelves loaded with citronella candles. Citronella has been scientifically tested and confirmed to be an all natural bug repellant.


Home Sweet Home

When it comes to getting rid of bugs in your home using aromatherapy it is important to understand that different scents work on different bugs. For example, though peppermint will send ants packing, it won't get rid of flies. Therefore, you should get to know which scents work best on which insects. There is a "general" aromatherapy mixture that you can blend together and keep on hand for "bug emergencies" however, once you are familiar with which bugs hate which scents, you can add or subtract ingredients accordingly.


So you have ants in your pants…oops, I mean house. Thankfully ants are fairly easy to attack because, for lack of better words, they stick together. In fact ants almost always travel in regimented lines. So what aromatherapy scent will get rid of ants once and for all? Well, there are several, however, the essential oils that seem to work the best when it comes to angering and getting rid of ants are peppermint, camphor and cinnamon. By spraying these scents along their trails, the ants will become confused, lose their scent and eventually, disappear! If you don't know where the ant trails begin and end, don't worry as you can also drop small amounts of these essential oils on small pieces of sponge and place them where you believe the ants are entering your home. It is important that you "refresh" the sponge pieces with new oil every few weeks.


Unlike ants, flies are more difficult to get rid of. Why? Well for one thing, they are small and they fly…fast! Who hasn't run around a room with a fly swatter only to damage the walls… never actually killing the pesky insect you were chasing in the first place!? It's almost as if flies enjoy taunting us…laughing as we swat away like clumsy clowns.  Aromatherapy to the rescue! Since it wouldn't be practical to spray your entire home with the aromatherapy scents that flies hate (that would be A LOT of spraying) what you can do is use dried aromatherapy alternatives! For example, flies absolutely hate the scent of anise. Therefore, the next time you are at the craft store or shopping on-line, purchase some dried anise and then hang it around your front door and windows (wherever you suspect the flies are entering). If you don't happen to know HOW the flies are getting into your home, simply place the dried anise in areas where they are most likely to land. Other dried alternatives you can use include bay laurel, cloves, eucalyptus and orange.


The NASTY cockroach!
The NASTY cockroach!


I don't know about you…but cockroaches give me the chills. I can't stand to even think about them…much less live with them in my home! Thankfully there are several aromatherapy essential oils that cockroaches HATE! Eucalyptus, peppermint, sage and angelica will send roaches running (hopefully OUT of your house!).  Roaches love damp dark spaces so be sure to spray the basement, storage room and of course, the kitchen cabinets.


In the Garden

If you have a garden then you know firsthand how annoying insects can be. Well allow me to let you in on a little secret; bugs don't care about your flowers or your vegetables. All they want is a free meal! Bugs are downright rude. They eat, don't clean up after themselves and leave a huge mess behind for you to deal with. If you are sick and tired of having your garden destroyed by bugs why not fight back by using aromatherapy!

Herbs to the Rescue!

Did you know that most insects HATE the scent of growing herbs!? Well they do! Herbs are a great and inexpensive way to protect your garden from hungry insects.  First of all it is important to identify exactly what type of insects you are dealing with. By doing so you can then figure out which herbs will keep them away once and for all! Below is a table that shows you what herbs annoy what pests.

Beautiful Basil!
Beautiful Basil!

If you wish, you can also use the herbs that you have planted to make a homemade pesticide. Simply cut a few sprigs from your herb plants and toss them into a blender. Next, add a very small amount of water and vinegar (just enough to make a thin consistency). Once you are done blending, simply strain the mixture into a spray bottle. Done! You now have a homemade, all natural insect repellant. You can also use the essential oils derived from these herbs to make your spray as well. One of the best places you can buy essential oils is the internet, of course! The Aromatherapy Place, for example, is a wonderful, online store that sells anything and everything having to do with aromatherapy!

In my mind there is no doubt about it…bugs are annoying pests! Whether inside your home or out in your garden, bugs can do a lot of damage in a small amount of time. Thankfully there is an all natural alternative when it comes to getting rid of various insects. Though most people don't associate aromatherapy with pest control, it's about time they do as the less we use pesticides and other toxic chemicals the better off our planet will be! If you are new to the world of aromatherapy, please visit AromaWeb! There you will find all types of information including essential oil profiles, recipes and books! Good luck and here's to the sweet, sweet smells of a pest free garden!

If you have a few moments to spare, please visit some of my other Aromatherapy Hub Pages. Thank you!

Basil, Bay and Lemon Balm, Oh My! Herbs YOU Can Grow and Use in a Variety of Aromatherapy Projects!

Aromatherapy! Grow Your Own Herb Garden and Add Beautiful Scents to Your Life!


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I do agree with all the ideas you have introduced on your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very quick for beginners. May just you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

    • longlongway profile image


      4 years ago

      I use essential oils to repel mosquitos and moths, but not some of these other things. Thanks for the tips!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      There is another oil here that is not mentioned against roaches. Young Living suggests to use:

      10 Drops of Peppermint

      5 Drops of Cypress in

      1/2 cup of salt

      Add Water (2 to 3 cups) depending on strength,

      Spray where they live.

      You can also diffuse oils (use only a cold air diffuser) or saturate cotton balls or cedar chips (for use in closets and draws.

      Mosquito repellent: palo santo, Lemon, Idaho tansy, citronella

      Moth Repellent: Patchouli, Palo Santo

      Hourse Fly repellent: Idaho Tansy, Citronella

      Aphids Prellent: Mix 10 drops spearmint and 15 drops orange in 2 quarts salt water, shake well, and spray on plants.

      Silver Fish repellent: Eucalyptus (radiata), Thieves Essential oil. (Young Living Brand)

      These work awesome, I use them in my Garden and also in my home (NYC) where we see a lot of Roaches.

      Stephen Ruggieri @ gmail . com

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Excellent hub! I like the idea of using aromatherapy on pests! There have been times when I reached for the handy bottle of Windex or something stronger, only to watch them writhe in agony. I have some of these oils. It seems much more useful than deadly chemicals sprayed around the house. Thanks for sharing this info!


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