Essential Oils to Repel Insects

Essential Oils to Repel InsectsEssential Oils To Repel Insects:

Insects can be a right pain at this time of year.  I much prefer them outside the house to inside the house.  Earlier on today I was queuing in the bank when I felt something tickling my leg, I don’t know what sort of insect it was but it had a good chomp on my ankle and now I have a bite.  Luckily I had some Tea Tree oil in my handbag.  Meantime there are ants everywhere, not to mention flies which are coming through the open doors and windows during the good weather.  Not that I am complaining about the good weather you understand – us Brits have to take the good weather when we can, seeing as some years summer seems to pass us by.

Essential oils can be helpful to persuade pesky pests to go the other direction:


they don’t like Peppermint essential oil.  Arm yourself with some cotton wool balls onto which you have sprinkled a few drops of Peppermint and place them in the areas where you think they are coming in.  Generally ants follow the same trail so if you can spot where the trail is, put a couple of cotton wall balls on the trail.


I am not afraid of spiders, they don’t bother me, but my sister really doesn’t like them.  To keep spiders away put a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil onto cotton wool balls and place in your cupboards and clothes drawers or anywhere else spiders may lurk.


Keep moths out of your wardrobe by sprinkling a few drops of Frankincense, a few drops of Juniper and a few drops of Cedarwood onto cotton wool balls and place or hang on the clothes rail. You can also put the drops onto a piece of kitchen roll.

Insect Repelling Essential Oils for the house:

Prevention is better than cure, as they say, and in generally insects dislike lemongrass or citronella.  You can buy citronella candles.  A diffuser is a good idea as this method causes the essential oil droplets to become airborne reaching the whole room.  You can also use a plant sprayer and dilute the essential oils in water and spray liberally around the room avoiding polished surfaces.

Insect Repelling Essential Oils for the body:

If you are looking to put something on your skin to avoid insects then lavender is always a great choice.  The easiest way to use this is to put 30ml of massage oil such as sweet almond in a bottle and add 30 drops of lavender.  Use this lotion before you go out to repel insects whilst smelling nice at the same time.

One of my Aromatherapy bibles is this super book –  The Fragrant Pharmac by Valerie Ann Worwood. It is full of fantastic recipes and I will share a couple with you below:



Insect Repelling Blend:

  • Thyme 4 drops
  • Lemongrass 8 drops
  • Lavender 4 drops
  • Peppermint 4 drops

You can multiply these ingredients up to make a quantity, ie  x 4 (16 drops Thyme, 32 drops Lemongrass, 16 drops Lavender, 16 drops Peppermint) if you wish.  Place the blend into a small dark coloured bottle and shake. A dropper bottle is great if you have one.

Here are some ways to use the blend:

  • 2 drops on a cotton wall ball leave it somewhere near your bed at night time to repel mosquitoes.
  • Cut up lengths of ribbon or tissue paper and put one drop on each piece and hang around the area you are sitting – if you are outside on trees or balcony for instance, or above a window.
  • Use 2 drops in 1 dessertspoon of massage oil such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil for a body rub or add the neat essential oil to any unperfumed body lotion or cream.
  • Add 5 drops to 1 tablespoon of witchhazel and dilute in 4 tablespoons of water. Shake and splash on your body.  Always avoid eyes.  Alternatively you can use vodka instead of witchhazel!
  • Put a few drops in a diffuser.

Too late – already been bitten? 

When you are out and about it is easy to get bitten or stung by mosquitoes, horse flies, wasps, and other little beasties.  They can be irritating, itchy and hurt.  I always keep a bottle of lavender handy.  Make sure to remove the sting if applicable and apply neat lavender to the bite or sting.   You can do this with a cotton bud or just the tip of a clean finger.

If you suspect a tick bite, though, or if the bite looks infected it is best to seek medical advice.

Here’s a Disinfectant Wash blend you can create and keep handy:

Disinfectant Wash Blend

  • Lavender 10 drops
  • Thyme 20 drops
  • Eucalyptus 10 drops

Keep these in a dark coloured bottle (with a dropper if you have one) and when needed simply add a few drops to a bowl of luke warm water to wash/dab the affected area.  Again, keep out of eyes.

If you don’t have the blend ready made, then just add the following to a bowl of water:

  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 4 drops Thyme
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus

Also, you might like to refer to my Aromatherapy First Aid Kits blog for further reading.

All oils can be purchased through my online shop or from any reputable essential oil retailer.  Go for organic wherever you can. It’s worth paying a bit extra and the oils last for ages.

Once you are bitten by the essential oil bug (excuse the pun!) you will never look back.

Give it a go – let me know how you get on.

Thanks for reading.

Sue Sig