Wouldn’t it be great if bugs didn’t like the scent of your indoor air?
Then they’d be happy to avoid your home!
These 4 essential oils that repel bugs can make the dream a reality. I’m using them in a diffuser blend, so their people-friendly, bug-busting scents can fill your indoor air and keep pests out of your space.
The main essential oil in this blend may surprise you. It’s Catnip! (Yup, the kitty crazy-maker!)
Catnip essential oil repels bugs—especially mosquitoes!
Some Catnip oils contain high percentages of nepetalactones, which have been shown in studies to repel flying insects, including mosquitoes. One study showed greater than 95% repellency!
In this blend, I’m combining a nepetalactone-rich Catnip with three other essential oils that repel bugs. I’ll talk a little more about each of those oils after the recipe.
“Keep Bugs Out with Catnip” Diffuser Blend
- 5 drops Catnip essential oil (Nepeta cataria)
- 2 drops Cedarwood essential oil (Juniperus virginiana)
- 2 drops Palmarosa essential oil (Cymbopogon martinii var motia)
- 1 drops Patchouli essential oil (Pogostemon cablin)
This blend has the floral, herbal scent of Catnip, layered with sweet, woodsy, earthy notes.
You’ve already learned why Catnip is so effective against pesky pests!
Let’s talk about the other essential oils that repel bugs in this diffuser blend.
Cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood is famously used in closets to keep moths away from clothes. You can find Cedarwood planks to hang on clothes hangers, spheres for drawers, and Cedarwood mist to protect your clothes. (Some closets are even made out of Cedarwood!)
And moths aren’t the only insects that don’t like Cedarwood. Mosquitoes, ants, fleas, flies, and spiders also tend to avoid it.
Cedarwood’s component cedrol likely plays a big role in making it so distasteful to bugs.
Palmarosa essential oil
Cymbopogon martinii var motia
Palmarosa contains geraniol, which has been shown to repel a variety of microbes, fungi, and pests—including mosquitoes.
Diffusing Palmarosa oil can also help purify your indoor air, reducing the presence of airborne microbes. You’ll love this oil if you sometimes come down with spring colds!
Patchouli essential oil
In one study, Patchouli was among the most effective of 38 essential oils studied for repelling mosquitoes! That explains why it’s such a popular natural bug repellent.
We can thank its main component patchoulol for this. Research shows it repels several species of insects.
What to do if you get a bug bite
On the occasion that I forget my bug repellent and I get a bite, I like using essential oils to calm the itch.
Try The Essential Itch Away Spray (from our blog!), made with aloe vera, lavender, peppermint and two other skins-soothing oils.
Reichert, W., Ejercito, J., Guda, T., Dong, X., Wu, Q., Ray, A., Simon, J.E. (2019) Repellent Assessment of Nepeta cataria Essential Oils and Isolated Nepetalactones on Aedes Aegypti. Sci Rep 9, 1524.
Peterson, C.J., Coats, J.R. (December 2011) Catnip Essential Oil and Its Nepetalactone Isomers as Repellents for Mosquitoes. Iowa State University, Entomology Publications.
Muller, G.C., Junnila, A., Butler, J., Kravchenko, V.D., Revay, E.E., Weiss, R.W., Schlein, Y. (2009) Efficacy of the botanical repellents geraniol, linalool, and citronella against mosquitoes. Journal of Vector Ecology. Jun; 34(1):2-8. Doi: 10.1111/j.1948-7134.2009.00002.x.
Trongtokit, Y., Rongsriyam, Y., Komalamisra, N., Apiwathnasorn, C. (2005) Comparative repellency of 38 essential oils against mosquito bites. Phytotherapy Research. Apr;19(4):303-9. doi:10.1002/ptr.1637.
Yi-Xi Feng, Yang Wang, Chun-Xue You, Shan-Shan Guo, Yue-Shen Du & Shu-Shan Du (2019) Bioactivities of patchoulol and phloroacetophenone from Pogostemon cablin essential oil against three insects, International Journal of Food Properties, 22:1, 1365-1374, DOI: 10.1080/10942912.2019.1648508
Topics: essential oil bug repellent, geraniol, Palmarosa essential oil, cedarwood essential oil, patchouli essential oil, diffuse essential oils, how to use catnip essential oil, cedrol, nepetalactones