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Use Lemongrass Oil to Repel Bugs

Updated on December 19, 2011
natural lemongrass
natural lemongrass

A Natural Repellent

Lemongrass oil is a natural repellent that can be safely used to keep away mosquitoes. The many commercial repellents sold on the market today, contain chemicals that are dangerous - and when combined with other compounds, including whatever medicines you are taking, can cause neurotoxin reactions.

When used as an insect repellent, lemongrass oil has the added benefit of having a pleasant aroma.

Below is a Question and Answer list about lemongrass (sometimes spelled lemon grass):

Does the oil have other names?

Lemongrass oil is also known as Indian oil of verbena. The lemongrass plant itself (cymbopogon) is also known as silky heads, citronella grass, fever grass and more.

Wait, isn't lemongrass used for cooking?

Yes it is. As a tall perennial grass, lemongrass, native to the Philippines, has been widely used in Asian cuisines. Lemongrass has a citrus flavor, and in addition to being used fresh, it is also available dried and in powdered form. It is most often used as a tea, in soup and in curries.

How is it used as a repellent?

There are several ways to use lemongrass oil as a repellent.

- dilute in distilled water or rubbing alcohol. Before spraying directly on your skin, do a small patch test to check for skin irritation before spraying all over

- burn it in small lamps or candles to protect a larger outdoor area

- add a few drops to other cosmetics such as body lotions and liquid hand soap

- it can be mixed with other oils - like rosemary oil - to repel a wider range of insects.

You can accomplish two things if you decide to grow your own lemongrass

- you can use it in food preparation

- the plant will act as a natural repellent in the yard and you can chop the lower stalks of the plant and rub the juice onto your skin.

Where can I find the oil?

Order it online or find it in health-food stores

For information about other beneficial oils see the links below. Also see warning about using camphor to repel moths.


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    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 5 years ago from New York City

      I'm all about natural too MarleneB - which is why I couldn't wait to tell folks about your vodka and lavender repellent. Great stuff!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I am all for natural ways to do things and this is a great idea. I like the idea of growing it so that it repels the bugs throughout the yard.

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 5 years ago from New York City

      Thanks for the information!

    • profile image

      Indonesia Essential Oils 5 years ago

      You can find tips using essential oil as insect repellent in Indonesia Essential Oils blogspot..

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      I wonder how it would work to sow an entire lawn in this fabulous grass. Lots of mowing, I'm sure, and I think it might be pervasive, but would it be worth it?! :-)

    • CountryCityWoman profile image

      CountryCityWoman 6 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      Oooh love the plant - I am sure I will love the oil - and will certainly get some before all the mosquitoes show up. Whew!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Yay! Why on earth have we bought into the flood of chemicals as the solution instead of knowing they create another more serious problem. I'd like to grow lemon grass now because we can eat it, drink it and repel insects. What chemical can do that? Rated up!

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Excellent hub ! I like to use this lemon grass in my cooking esp in cooking curry chicken.

      Good to know that it repels mosquitoes since we get mosquitoes' visit quite often here.