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How to Use Essential Oils for Pest Control

If you want to avoid toxic pesticides, you can use essential oils for pest control. This article looks at pests in the home. For the garden, see Garden Pest Control. For personal use, see essential oils that repel insects.

Ants | Essential Oils for Pest Control

Here's an all-purpose household bug spray you can spray where you have a bug problem:

  • 50 drops (1/2 teaspoon) peppermint essential oil
  • 50 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 25 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  1. Place oils and vinegar in a blender and mix.
  2. Pour mixture into a spray bottle.
  3. Shake well before each use.

You can adapt this recipe to deal with specific pests by substituting essential oils mentioned in the next section.

Source: Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Dummies

Essential Oils for Pest Control

Here are suggestions for using essential oils for pest control to deal with specific bugs.

Essential Oils for Roaches

To use essential oils to drive away cockroaches, mix 5 drops cypress and 10 drops peppermint in 1/2 cup salt water in a spray bottle. Shake well and then spray roaches and the area they infest. 

Other essential oils for roaches: angelica, eucalyptus, or sage.

Essential Oils for Spiders

Use peppermint, spearmint, or a citrus (lemon, orange, etc.) to repel spiders. Mix 10 to 20 drops of an essential oil in 1/2 cup salt water. Spray on spiders.

Essential Oils for Bed Bugs

If you find bedbugs, use the following blend to help get rid of them:

  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 6 drops eucalyptus blue essential oil
  • 10 drops palo santo essential oil
  • 1/2 cup distilled water 

Combine ingredients in a dark glass spray bottle. Shake well. Spray on bedding.

Essential Oils for Flies and Fruit Flies

To repel flies, combine the following ingredients in a dark glass spray bottle:

  • 7 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 7 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1/4 cup distilled water

Shake well. Spray on area you want to keep free of flies.

Other essential oils for flies: anise, bay laurel, cedarwood, clove, eucalyptus, or orange.

If you need essential oils for fruit flies, they dislike the scent of basil, clove, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint, according to Family Handyman. Try diffusing one of those essential oils.

Essential Oils for Ants

To repel ants, put a few drops of one of the following essential oils on cotton balls or small sponge pieces:

  • Spruce
  • Spearmint
  • Pine
  • Peppermint
  • Orange

Place the cotton balls or sponge where ants enter the house. Replace the balls once a week.

Silverfish Repellent

Put eucalyptus citriadora or eucalyptus radiata essential oil on cedar chips or cotton balls and place them in closets or drawers.

Essential Oils to Repel Moths

Use this mixture in your closet to keep out moths:

  1. Combine 2 cups of cedar chips and 2 cups of lavender buds in a glass bowl.
  2. Add 3 drops lemon, 5 drops cedarwood, and 5 drops lavender essential oils.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Place mixture in basket and set in closet or make sachets and hang in closet.

Another option is to place 5 drops each of cedarwood and clove essential oils on each of two cotton balls. Place them in a small mesh bag, and hang it in the closet. 

Other essential oils that may help repel moths include hyssop, peppermint, and spearmint. You can place a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and place them where needed, making sure they don't touch your clothing.

Aromatherapy Moth Repellent Sachets

  • 1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 8 squares of fabric cut with pinking shears, each about 6 inches square
  • 8 pieces of string or ribbon, each about 6 inches long
  1. Add the essential oils to the lavender flowers in a glass jar with a lid.
  2. Let the covered jar sit for a day or two to give the flowers time to absorb the scent of the oils.
  3. Place a heaping teaspoon of the lavender flower mixture on each piece of fabric.
  4. Tie the fabric into a sachet using the string.
  5. Place the sachets where you need them.

Sachet Recipe Source: Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Dummies

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