Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Insects Out of Your Home

5 Best Essential Oils for Natural Insect Repellent from Lavender Backyard Garden, NZ Lavender Farm

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Using natural ways to repel insects offers numerous benefits, both for your health and the environment. Unlike chemical insecticides, natural methods are non-toxic and pose no risk of harmful exposure to you, your family, or pets. Additionally, natural repellents are often biodegradable and safer for beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. By opting for natural solutions, you can effectively control pests while minimising your ecological footprint and creating a healthier living environment for all.

Natural Ways to Repel Insects: Safeguarding Your Home and Family

To repel insects effectively, consider using natural methods that are safe for both humans and the environment. Here are some simple yet effective ways to repel insects naturally:

  1. Essential Oils: Essential oils contain aromatic compounds that are often disagreeable or irritating to pests, making them less likely to inhabit areas where these scents are prevalent. The efficacy of essential oils can depend on factors such as the type of insect, the concentration of the oil used, and environmental conditions. Some essential oils, such as citronella, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus, are particularly renowned for their insect-repelling properties. These oils can be diluted in water and sprayed around your home or applied directly to your skin to provide personal protection against insects.
  2. Herbs and Plants: Utilising herbs and plants is an effective and natural method for repelling insects around your home. By planting varieties such as citronella grass, basil, marigolds, lavender, and rosemary, you create a natural barrier against unwanted pests. These plants emit fragrances that insects find unpleasant, effectively discouraging their presence. Enhance your insect defense by placing dried herb sachets in drawers or closets to deter insects like moths from invading your living spaces.
  3. Screens and Seals: Keep insects out by installing tight-fitting screens on windows and doors, and seal any cracks or openings in walls, floors, and foundations to prevent their entry. Additionally, minimise outdoor lighting, as insects are attracted to light sources, which can inadvertently draw them indoors.
  4. Cleanliness: Maintaining cleanliness is crucial in keeping insects at bay. Ensure your home remains free of food crumbs, spills, and standing water, as these can attract pests. Regularly emptying garbage cans and promptly cleaning up pet food spills will discourage insects from lingering. Consider using biodegradable cleaner products, such as enzyme-based solutions, to effectively clean your home while minimizing environmental impact.
  5. Natural Repellent Products: Consider using natural insect repellent products, such as citronella candles, mosquito coils made from natural ingredients, and herbal insect repellent sprays.
  6. Remove Standing Water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so eliminate any sources of standing water around your home, such as clogged gutters, birdbaths, and flowerpot saucers.

By incorporating these natural methods into your insect control routine, you can effectively repel insects while minimizing your exposure to harmful chemicals.

Five Essential Oils to Repel Insects

Utilizing essential oils as insect repellents in the summer offers a natural alternative to chemical-based solutions like DEET. These essential oils, such as citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint, possess insect-repelling properties that can effectively deter bugs while emitting pleasant fragrances. By opting for essential oil-based insect repellents, you can protect your family from pests without exposing them to potentially harmful chemicals commonly found in traditional bug sprays.

1. Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella essential oil, extracted from the leaves and stems of various lemongrass species, is a natural insect repellent with proven effectiveness against mosquitoes and other flying insects. While it needs frequent reapplication, combining it with vanillin can extend protection for up to three hours. However, caution is advised for those with sensitive skin, as direct application may cause allergic reactions.

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil, extracted through distillation from the flower spikes of lavender, is renowned for its therapeutic benefits in aromatherapy. Notably, it possesses healing properties effective in preventing and soothing insect bites and stings. Additionally, the distinct scent of lavender serves as a natural moth repellent, effectively deterring moths and insects.

Our lavender farm specialises in cultivating Lavandin lavender, known for its unique scent features that naturally repel bugs. This makes our lavender essential oil an ideal choice for both preventing insect bites and providing relief from their discomfort.

3. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil, extracted from the leaves of the Australian tea tree, boasts anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Its camphor-like odor contains terpenes that effectively repel insects, particularly flies. Additionally, it soothes bug bites and alleviates itching, making it a versatile choice for natural insect repellent and skin care.

4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is obtained by steam distillation from the leaves of selected Eucalyptus species. It has a history of wild application including mosquitoes repellent. In the U.S., eucalyptus oil was approved in 1958 as an insecticide and miticide.

5. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil, extracted from the flowering tops of the plant through steam distillation, is not just a culinary herb but also a powerful insect repellent. Our lavender farm proudly cultivates our unique rosemary essential oil, sourced from the Tucan Blue variety.

Renowned for its vigorous growth and rich oil content, Tucan Blue Rosemary provides a potent source of essential oil. Its refreshing scent, reminiscent of freshly harvested rosemary, carries therapeutic properties that enhance its effectiveness as a repellent.

Using Essential Oils to Repel Bugs: Effective Strategies for a Bug-Free Home

There are several ways to use essential oil products to keep bugs away from your home:

  1. Diffusers: Add a few drops of insect-repelling essential oils like citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint to a diffuser and let it disperse the scent throughout your home.
  2. Sprays: Create your own natural insect repellent spray by diluting essential oils with water or witch hazel in a spray bottle. Spray around doorways, windows, and other entry points to deter bugs.
  3. Cotton Balls: Soak cotton balls in essential oils and place them in strategic locations around your home, such as near windows, vents, or in closets, to repel insects.
  4. Clothing and Linens: Add a few drops of essential oil to a damp cloth or a dryer sheet and toss it in your dryer with your clothes or linens to infuse them with bug-repelling scent.
  5. Sachets: Fill small sachets or pouches with dried herbs like lavender, rosemary, or mint, or with cotton balls soaked in essential oils, and place them in drawers, closets, or under furniture to repel bugs.
  6. Cleaning Products: Use cleaning products infused with insect-repelling essential oils, or add a few drops of essential oil to your homemade cleaning solutions to keep bugs away while cleaning your home.

Remember to use caution and proper dilution when using essential oils, especially around pets and children, and always do a patch test before applying to fabrics or surfaces.

We are a lavender herb farm in New Zealand, we grow lavender and rosemary, produce essential oils, dried herb products and design skincare and body products. If you would like to learn more about our farm click here to discover our farm.


Health Warning

Though essential oils can be beneficial to your health, you should always consult with your doctor before trying them directly to your skin. Check to see if essential oils will interfere with your diabetes or blood thinner medication.

    Back to blog