Spring is finally here! Most of us have been waiting for the warmer weather to arrive. It’s time to open the windows, uncover the patio furniture, and enjoy the fresh air. Unfortunately, along with the warmer, fresh air, comes the mosquitos and other creepy crawlies. It’s bad enough that we have to deal with these pests while trying to enjoy our time outdoors, but they don’t seem content with staying outside. How can we get rid of bugs in our homes and our outdoor spaces without spraying pesticides?

The answer is essential oils. Essential oils are a natural and safe way to repel most bugs, from mosquitos to dust mites. Some oils naturally deter bugs, while others will kill them. You can make a DIY bug spray to use on yourself instead of DEET, and to use around your home and outdoor spaces, as well.

To help you get started, I’ll include two DIY essential oil bug spray recipes to use on your body and around your home.

The following 10 essential oils can be used to efficiently deter bugs.



Bug Repellant



10 Best Essential Oils To Ward Off Bugs!  


1. Basil Essential Oil

Basil is good to use in damp climates─if you live near a pond or lake, or are vacationing near water─as it repels mosquitos effectively.

Basil is good for mixing with a carrier oil and applying directly to the skin to stop mosquitos from biting you. This method will also heal bites that you might already have.

Then, spray a blend with basil oil on patio furniture and outdoor walls, screens, and surfaces to deter insects from coming into your space. You can also spray it on your clothing as 100 percent pure essential oils will not stain clothing.

Basil essential oil can also be used to control dust mites when sprayed around your home. It’s ideal for people who have allergies, as well.

If you have a screened-in porch or want to stop mosquitos from coming indoors, vaporize it in a room diffuser.


2. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil not only repels most bugs but it can also disrupt the reproductive cycles of many mites, which makes it useful for dealing with an infestation. As a bonus, it is also suitable for treating bug bites and is a natural antiseptic, as well.

Lavender essential oil can be used in body sprays, in room diffusers, and dropped onto cotton balls to be put in drawers and corners.

Create a mist with lavender essential oil and distilled water to spray on bed linens, furniture, and curtains to help ward away bugs in your bedroom and other rooms of your home.

Additionally, you can make beautiful, scented sachets to put in drawers or baskets around your home.


3. Clove Essential Oil

A study performed in 2005 found that clove essential oil has a longer duration of repelling mosquitos than other essential oils. Use it alone in a room diffuser, or create a mixture with your favorite oils.

To use as a body rub, add a carrier oil, or add water to create a body/room spray.


4. Thyme Essential Oil

Another study shows that thyme essential oil is a potent fly deterrent. This is a great essential oil to use to ward off pests if you live on farm or areas where black flies and house flies are a problem. Thyme has also been studied for its use to deter mosquitos and performed well.

Again, use thyme in a mixture with other essential oils and spray around your home/outdoor spaces, with a carrier oil to use as a body spray/rub,  or use it alone on a cotton ball or in a room diffuser.


5. Peppermint Essential Oil

Because of its menthol content, peppermint is a natural pesticide, and most bugs hate its scent. What’s great about peppermint essential oil is that it will kill most bugs as well as deter them.  In fact, this study shows that peppermint essential oil kills mosquito larvae for up to 24 hours.

Peppermint has a pleasant, minty scent that can be used all over the home and as a body spray. It mixes well with other essential oils, as well.


6. Tea Tree Essential Oil 

Tea tree essential oil is a powerhouse oil. Not only is it an effective astringent, deodorizer, and air purifier, but it is also naturally antiparasitic.

This essential oil is capable of killing or repressing the growth of parasites such as leeches, fleas, ticks, and even lice.

This natural anti-parasitic is an outstanding option for people and pets because of its capability to stop the growth of fleas, ticks, and lice. Therefore, if you are a hiker, hunter, fisherman, or just enjoy spending time in the woods a lot, tea tree is good to add to your body and clothing as an all-natural insect repellent.

Tea tree oil is also a powerful treatment for soothing the itch and pain of mosquito bites, as well.


7. Eucalyptus Essential Oil 

Eucalyptus essential oil is good for deterring sandflies, as well as many other flying pests. Use it in a room diffuser for the best results to keep flying insects out of your home or away from your outdoor space.


8. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon oil is added to many OTC, chemical-laced insecticides because it is a powerful insecticide ingredient. In fact, lemon has been known to deter pests for many centuries. What’s great about lemon essential oil is that it has a delicate, clean, fresh scent─perfect for the summer.

Add lemon essential oil to your bug sprays and also add it to your cleaning supplies and laundry soap to help ward off bugs!

Additionally, you can add fresh lemon peels to your indoor or outdoor fires to help ward off mosquitos and other flying insects!

Be aware that lemon essential oil is phototoxic. Therefore, be careful when applying it to your skin and heading out into the sunlight. It could cause you to burn easily.


9. Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil is another oil with that awesome, summery, citrusy scent! And, bergamot is a natural mood booster! Therefore, what’s better to add to your natural insecticide?

It is important to note that like lemon essential oil and other citrus based oils, bergamot is phototoxic. Therefore, be careful if you use it on your skin and go out into the sunlight. A better solution is to spray bergamot onto your clothes.

Bergamot does not only deter bugs, but it is also a soothing oil to use on insect bites or stings that you might already have.


10. Geranium Essential Oil

I know, with its flowery scent, you might think that geranium attracts bugs instead of deterring them. However, that is not the case.  A study done in 2003 discovered that this refreshing smelling oil to be highly effective in destroying larval, pupal, and adult growth of mosquitos.

Because of its fresh, flowery scent, this essential oil is good for diffusing around your home or cottage. Try adding a few drops to cotton balls and placing it in outdoor areas, as well. Adding it to body sprays or lotions will have you smelling summery while warding off those pesky insects!



Essential oils ward off bugs such as bees.



Final Thoughts

Here are two DIY recipes to use either as a bug spray for your home, outdoor spaces, or as a body spray. To use this recipe as a body oil, substitute the vinegar with a carrier oil and leave out the water. Or, use it in a room diffuser without the vinegar, water, or carrier oil.


DIY Bug Spray #1

  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 6 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 6 drops lime essential oil
  • 2 ounces distilled or purified water
  • 2 ounces white vinegar (best if using on clothing, furniture, bedding, or curtains) or apple cider vinegar (can use on the body). (Optional)


DIY Bug Spray #2

  • 15 drops basil essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 6 drop geranium essential oil
  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 ounces distilled or purified water
  • 2 ounces of white or apple cider vinegar (Optional)


You can substitute out any of these oils for one of your favorites, as well. Create small sample blends until you find your perfect scent!


If you found this information useful, please share it with your family and friends so that they too can use essential oils to ward off bugs!

What essential oils do you use to ward off creepy crawlies? Let us know in the comments below; we’d love to hear from you!


Robin and the Zen team.



Zen Sports Balm

Essential oils not only ward off bugs, but they can prevent aches and pains, as well! Take a look at how Zen Sports Balm can help to relieve your aches and pains, as our pain-relieving formulas are made with only all-natural ingredients, such as essential oils. Don’t let pain stop you! Which formula is best for you? See now! 




Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.

Cover Photo Source– Pixabay.com