Get Out, BUG!

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You can get rid of pesky insects and prevent them from invading your home by using essential oils as aromatherapy. There is a whole range of herbal and fruit smells that particular insects avoid. 

Pesticides may be harmful to you and your children in the long run as they are packed with chemicals that are detrimental to your health. So how do you get rid of insects such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, sandflies and other nuisance critters?

Essential oils from plants are the answer. An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. They are natural products and make excellent natural insect repellents. They are not chemically based and are not toxic for humans, animals and/or insects.  Instead, natural insect repellents made from essential oils and aromatherapy blends deter insects from entering our homes and living spaces, rather than killing them. Insects react to the scent and composition of the essential oils and will avoid them whenever possible.

Aromatherapy and essential oils are very useful if you have pets and want to fend off ticks and fleas which the animals may have attracted from outside your home.

Avoid any smells that are sweet or perfume-like because they attract most insects.

You can either mix these essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spray the solution on carpets, rugs, mattresses and garbage areas or heat these oils in water with a candle as in aromatherapy spa use. Do both for effective results. You can also simply drop a few essential oils neat but they can be expensive for use on their own.


Essential oil blend plus water spray – 10 to 20 drops of peppermint, spearmint, thyme and sage mixed with water deters ants, flies, beetles and spiders. Everyday bugs in the kitchen and bathroom can be taken care of with a spray a few drops of the oil, neat, onto rugs or near drains where bugs might enter the home.

– draw a line of peppermint oil across their paths (completely confusing their scent trails) or sprinkle two or three drops onto any ant nests in the house.

Moths and silverfish
– lavender. Put a few drops of lavender oil onto cotton balls and place them in closets, book shelves and cupboards to ward off moths and silverfish.

Flea and tick repellent for pets
– peppermint, lemongrass, spearmint and lavender repel fleas while ticks cannot tolerate lavender, lemongrass, sage
and thyme.

Human lice
– cedarwood, peppermint, tea tree and spearmint.

These essential oils work best against biting insects such as mosquitoes, flies, ticks and fleas:

Cinnamon oil – mosquitoes

Lemon eucalyptus or regular eucalyptus oil  – mosquitoes, ticks and lice

Citronella oil – mosquitoes and biting flies

Castor oil – mosquitoes

Orange oil – fleas

Rose geranium – ticks and lice

Rosemary oil – flies, ticks

Lemongrass oil – mosquitoes, ticks and sandflies

Cedar oil – mosquitoes, ticks

Peppermint oil – ants


How we hate cockroaches! Get rid of them by combining two or more of the following oils:

Clove, lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, pine, peppermint, thyme and tea tree.

These essential oils are excellent deterrents for cockroaches.  A natural insect repellent blend can be made by simply combining two or more of these oils. A dilution of these oils can be blended and put into a spray bottle to be used as a room spray.


1. Do not confuse perfume oils from essential oils. Perfume oils are man-made synthetic concoctions and do not offer the same benefits and effectiveness as essential oils. An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants.

2. Not cheap. Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true. Many essential oils are derived from rare plants or resins. A supplier whose prices are much lower than the competition might be selling adulterated or synthetic essential oils.

3. Buy essential oils from reputable companies and avoid getting them at street fairs, souvenir shops and street vendors.

4. Store your essential oils in bottles of dark cobalt blue or amber glass and in a cool, dark place.

5. Read the instructions on the essential oil carefully. They may effect certain medical conditions and pregnancy.

6. Do some research about the different plants that make essential oils from lemongrass to lavender. Where do they come from and why are certain essential oils more expensive than others?

7. Expensive oils. Extraction from some plants may be a long and complex process, resulting in a cost of time and money, and consequently a higher selling price.

8. Rose (rosa damascena) oil is one of the most expensive as it takes 60,000 rose petals to make an ounce of essential oil.

9. Melissa (Melissa officinalis) has a high cost resulting in the need for 3.5 to 7.5 tons of plant material to produce 500g of essential oil. It is considered one of the most powerfully medicinal essential oils in all of aromatherapy, with a pleasant sweet, herbaceous aroma. Many so-called melissa oils are actually a blend of citronella and lemongrass so if it is too cheap it is not melissa oil. Bugs aside, melissa oil is a mild sedative in small doses, and is calming and uplifting. It is said to be extremely useful in cases of emotional shock, grief, fear and anger.

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