Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, not everyone loves essential oils! Now, before you jump to any conclusions that begin with, “See? I told you!” there really are some who dislike essential oils. Allow me to explain. Essential oils are a safe and natural solution for most any ailment. Humans love the aroma of essential oils; however, insects do not love essential oils. It would be safe to say most creepy, crawly pests hate essential oils!
The list below has some of the more common house and garden pests and the natural solutions that help keep them away. When you see more than one oil listed, try them individually to find the one that works in your situation.
Natural Pest Control in the Home
For large area inside the home, place four or five drops of the oil listed below in a small spray bottle and fill with water. Shake well and spray the area where you spotted the pests as well as any surrounding areas. Be sure to the area you suspect the pests might be originating. In some cases, it may be necessary to spray monthly.
To treat a small area inside the home, put 4 or 5 drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and wiped around the edge of the area where you see the insects. Then leave the cotton ball near the area. It may be necessary to repeat monthly.
Ants – Peppermint, Lemongrass
If the ants return after peppermint oil disperses, try lemongrass. Mix the lemongrass in a 4 to 1 ratio with coconut oil (for every four drops lemongrass, one drop of coconut oil). Make sure to wipe up any food and crumbs that might attract them. Then spray and wipe down the area with the lemongrass solution. The coconut oil keeps the oil aroma active longer.
Fleas – Peppermint, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lavender
Flies – Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary
Gnats – Patchouli, Spearmint
Lice – Cedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint
Moths – Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint
Natural Solutions in The Garden
If you find your garden infested, try the oils listed below for outside treatment of insects. Fill a mist spray bottle with 4 oz. of water, add the essential oil listed for specific insects along with a drop or two of liquid dishwashing soap and shake well. Mist the infested plant with the solution. (The dishwashing soap helps the solution stick to the plant.)
Use as little as possible, do not soak the plant. Several applications, a few days apart, may be necessary.
Aphids – Cedarwood, Spearmint
Beetles – Peppermint, Thyme
Black Flea Beetle – Peppermint, Lemongrass
Caterpillars – Spearmint or Peppermint
Cutworms – Thyme, Clary Sage
Mosquitoes – Lavender, Lemongrass
Nematodes – Clary Sage
Snails – Cedarwood, Patchouli
Ticks – Lemongrass, Thyme
Weevils – Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood
We humans may love essential oils, but insects definitely don’t!
What works for you? Send us your home essential oil remedies for pests, and we’ll share in future posts.