My dear friend Rachel, who lives in Florida where summer is well underway, asked me to write this post. Well, she asked me to send her a list of some natural insect repellents, and I thought it would make a good blog post. Since I’m pretty sure you don’t like bug bites either.

Essential oils that repel bugs

  • Lemon Eucalyptus (actually verified by the CDC)
  • Lemon Balm (You may have heard of citronella)
  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Tea tree
  • Clove
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Pennyroyal
  • Geranium

Delivery methods

  • You can add the oils to castile soap while you make it. Then wash with that soap before and after going outside.
  • You can add the essential oils to a carrier oil made from fruit or nuts, and rub it on your body. The carrier oil makes it spread better.
  • You can add the oils to water to make a spray, but remember to shake before spraying.

Some advice

  • Do not use these oils on kids under the age of 3, pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Less is better. Start with just a couple of drops per ounce, and increase to find your level of tolerance. But don’t add more than 10-15 drops per ounce.
  • Different oils work for different bugs, so a combination may be the best choice. Choose your oils and try them out, to see what works for you.
  • Do a patch test before you rub it all over your body, to make sure you won’t have an allergic reaction to the oils.
  • Make sure to get real essential oils, not synthetic or scent oils.
  • Remember that wearing perfume/deodorant might attract them to you.
  • Keep cool, they’re attracted to body heat and expelled carbon monoxide.
  • Wear covering clothes, especially in tick-infested areas. Long pants tucked into socks, and a long-sleeved shirt helps keep them off you. Cover as much of your skin as possible and choose a tightly woven fabric. The right clothes also help keep mosquitoes away from areas right in surface vessels, like your ankles, the back of your knees, and your wrists.
  • Wear the right colours. Did you know that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours? Keep it light, it also helps keep you cool.
  • Eating garlic also repels mosquitoes. Maybe because they’re like tiny vampires 🙂


  1. Dawn

    Great tips! I cannot stand bugs, yet they love me! 🙁 Good thing I love garlic. hahaha

    • Linda Ursin

      Thanks 🙂 Yes, it’s a good thing you love Garlic. For this, and a lot of other reeasons.

  2. Chris

    Great tips on alternative ways to deal with keeping away pests.

    • Linda Ursin

      Thanks 🙂 I hope they don’t give you too much problems this year

  3. Hope Wissel

    Great tips. Thanks for sharing. Hubby uses oils a lot in his pain management but it is nice hearing about some more practical uses.

    • Linda Ursin

      Thanks 🙂 Some of these do double duty for pain as well

  4. Reba Linker

    Great info – we have lavender in our yard – I had no idea it could be used as an insect repellant. Thanks, Linda!

    • Linda Ursin

      Thanks Reba 🙂 You can use it for lots of things

  5. Caren Myers

    Thanks for this, Linda. Has anyone tried to make fly spray/repellent for horses with essential oils? Do you have any recommendations for what oils repel what bugs? We have those tiny gnats that are biting the horses’s ears and bellies.

    • Linda Ursin

      If you search on Google, using the words natural bug spray for horses, you’ll find at least three recipes for horse spray with essential oils. I don’t know how well they work though.


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