As the heat increases, the ants, spiders, beetles and other bugs begin to attempt the trek indoors. You need a natural insect repellent. Attracted by the cooler air, and even pushed more quickly by spring and summer thunderstorms, the little invaders come into our homes to flee from the storms. While there are dozens of different recipes and ideas floating around the Internet for natural insect repellent, there are also some essential oil facts that will help us.
Whatever we spray in our homes lingers. The pyrethrins used in most sprays to kill insects with most indoor and outdoor sprays can cause life-threatening conditions when breathed in.
- Respiratory distress
- Neurological effects
These are just a few causes of spraying pyrethrins around our families. Likewise, the film left behind presents a problem with crawling and young children who may obtain the poison on their hands, toys and other objects and then put them in their mouths. When you have young children in the house, or even someone who is immune compromised, using synthetic sprays just isn’t safe.
Natural is always better, and an insect-free home can be obtained with the following natural herbs distilled into essential oils.
Essential Oils that are a natural insect repellent.
Peppermint oil works wonders at repelling insects. It kills fleas both in your home and on your pets. Generally speaking, peppermint oil is known to repel gnats, flies and mosquitoes.
Citronella is well-known for its use in store-bought candles and other “safe” products to repel insects. Most bugs do not like the smell of it.
This lemon-smelling grass-like herb distilled into an essential oil both kills insects and repels them. It works best on mosquitoes and flies.
Eucalyptus, which comes from the eucalyptus tree, has a minty odor to it, and also repels insects quite well. This addition is typically known to repel gnats, mosquitoes and ticks.
Lavender oil comes from the lavender herb, and is well-known for its characteristic fragrance, but also repels bugs. Lavender is the most nontoxic herb used here, and works best on flies and mosquitoes.
Cedarwood is another insect repellent, and also repels insects. Cedarwood works best on flies.
Thyme is another herb used to repel insects with its odor. It is best used on flies and mosquitoes.
Safety Tips and Warnings:
- Spray nontoxic oils in areas where children may be crawling or picking up toys and placing them in their mouths.
- Check for the effects of essential oils around a pregnant or nursing woman in the home.
- Use oils that target the most bothersome insects in your home.
- Seal all possible cracks or openings in doors and windows to ensure the best results.
Natural Insect Repellent: Bug Zapper
- Purchase a $1 spray bottle from Dollar Tree (They are just my favorite.)
- Fill the bottle with 1/2 cup of water
- Add 1/4 cup of vinegar
- 10 drops of peppermint oil
- 10 drops of two of the following: citronella oil, lemongrass, thyme, lavender, or cedarwood essential oils.
- Add 1/4 cup of any nontoxic liquid soap (helps the spray to stick to surfaces)
- 2 tsps of Borax (optional)
Bug Zapper Recipe
- Fill your spray bottle with the water and vinegar.
- Add the Borax here, if using.
- Add the essential oils to the liquid. (I prefer to use a funnel)
- Add the liquid soap.
- Swirl contents, try not to overshake to keep it from soaping too much. (This will clog up the sprayer)
- Spray around door frames and windows, and along baseboards. Allow it to dry.
- Respray after if necessary.
100% homemade, 100% organic, 100% green and 100% cheap!