How to Deter Household Insects with Essential Oils

Use individual essential oils or blend them together to create safe, effective solutions that repel household insects and other bugs.

Commonly Used Essential Oils

  • Jojoba

  • Tea Tree

  • Pennyroyal

  • Lavender

  • Citronella

  • Eucalyptus

  • Peppermint

Blends of Essential Oils

You can create an effective solution from equal parts eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil. Also try mixing equal parts lavender oil and citronella oil.

To make a spray, blend together:

  • 1 part pennyroyal oil

  • 1 part tea tree oil

  • 1 part jojoba oil

  • 2 parts lavender oil

  • 4 parts citronella oil

Dispersing Oils in the Home

Spray the blend under sinks and around drainpipes. You can also soak strips of paper or cloth in the blended oils and hang them next to windows or doors.

Soak cotton balls in the blended oils and place inside windows. You can also use any of the essential oils separately—soak a cotton ball and place in any area where household insects can enter. For instance, pennyroyal oil is good for deterring spiders.

Soak cedar chips in the oils and place in closets to deter moths.

Drop peppermint oil any place you see any trails to repel them.

Keep in mind that essential oils can be dangerous if ingested. Take care not to use them in places where pets or children can get to them.