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Repelling the bugs with essential oils

I am convinced that my house is built on an ant hill. As much as I like Ant man, or Adam Ant having the little bugs everywhere is annoying. Ants dislike the aroma of Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) or (Cedrus atlantica), Citronella (Cymbopogon winteranus), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Peppermint (Mentha x peperita).

Use essential oils to repel ants,

ticks and other bugs.

Image by Sandeep Handa from Pixabay

In a 2023 study, although this study focused on blue oils, peppermint was used on fire ant mounds, which resulted in them leaving the area.

“Shah FM, Guddeti DK, Paudel P, Chen J, Li X-C, Khan IA, Ali A. Matricaria chamomilla Essential Oils: Repellency and Toxicity against Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecules. 2023; 28(14):5584.”

I have multiple recipes that are said to repel ants, bugs and rodents. Some repel them, some kill them…some seem overcomplicated-such as the one using herbs. To me using spearmint, catnip, lavender buds and citronella leaves to infuse is much more complicated than using essential oils in this case. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and Peppermint (Mentha x peperita) are natural insecticides.

Ant repellent
4 oz. bottle
1 Tbsp. alcohol (70% is ok).
1/2 tsp. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
1/2 tsp. Peppermint (Mentha x peperita)
water to fill bottle

This recipe kills ants on contact.

*I use expired oils to clean and in recipes such as these.

Check for Ticks

Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

It has been reported that ticks are going to be bad this year. I don’t know if this is worse than last year or not. I do know that almost every time I come in from the garden, my clothes get changed and I jump in the shower. Several people in the family have had ticks on them, just from being outside in the yard or around town.

In addition to checking for ticks…lol, it is a thing, spraying the bottom of your pants and your body with a repellent can’t hurt. The ant repellent recipe above would work.

A list that I have for bugs have the following repellents for ticks: catnip, cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemongrass, tea tree and thyme.
Let’s look at a few essential oils that can be used interchangeably for other insects.

Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) or Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) both are in the sesqueterpine chemical family. The botanical families of the two cedarwoods are different with the Cedarwood in the Cuppressaceae family and the Atlas cedarwood in the Pinacea family. For our purposes as an insect repellent, the oils can be used interchangeably.

Although peppermint repels 9 different types of insects, it does not repel ticks. Citronella repels 8 different types of insects according to one chart that I use, including ticks. It also repels mosquitos, fleas, ants, bees. gnats and spiders.

Add these essential oils to your sprays, salves or lotions for a bug free summer.

Happy blending.


God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Tim 1:7