Essential Oils to Help Repel Bugs and Critters

If you’re anything like me you’ll be so happy to discover natural oily solutions to insects, bugs, and critters!

A lot of the pest repellents sold commercially have some pretty toxic nasties in them, so having essential oil recipes is a major win in my house.

I love doTERRA’s Terramour Outdoor blend for dealing with outdoor threats. The following essential oils are included in the blend: ylang ylang, cedarwood, lemon eucalyptus, litsea, arborvitae, and vanilla bean absolute. And it comes in a really useful spray as well as an oil blend prediluted with fractionated coconut oil.

Here are some other great recipes you can make yourself.


Ants HATE peppermint and tea tree essential oils… big yay! Add a few drops of peppermint and/or tea tree essential oil to a small spray bottle of water, shake, and spray around the entry points and affected areas of your house.

Another method you can try is to soak cotton wool balls with the oils, and place in them in those areas.

Ants also hate cinnamon and garlic, so you can try using cinnamon sticks and/or sliced garlic cloves in a similar way.


Bugs hate the smell of basil, so you can simply add about 20 drops of basil oil to a spray bottle with water, shake, and spray to help deter those pests.

Alternatively, try using lavender oil, which has been used historically to repel bugs both within the home and on the body. Using the oils in a diffuser can also help to repel ants and insects.

This is my all-time favourite ‘Bug Spray’ recipe: 

To a 250mls spray bottle, add:

  • 5 drops arborvitae essential oil
  • 10 drops Terrarmour Outdoor blend
  • 1 tablespoon of witch hazel
  • Top-up with water

Shake, and spray arms and legs.


Flies are adverse to lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint, and in particular, lemongrass essential oils.

Try heating up about 120mls water and add 20 drops of lemongrass oil, shake, and spray around your doors, windows, and wherever the flies settle.

This can be a super helpful way of dealing with the gazillion of fruit flies that seem to congregate! Spraying kitchen countertops and cupboards can help prevent them coming in in their massive numbers, and of course, your home’s going to smell gorgeous too.


Mosquitoes have been found to hate lemongrass, lemon, peppermint, vetiver, tea tree, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, and lavender oils.

To help repel them, try adding 35-40 drops of essential oils from list above to 500mls of water (with 1-2 tablespoons of witch hazel as an emulsifier), shake, and spray.


Ahhhhhhh, spiders! Spiders hate peppermint almost as much as I hate them!

And just as with the ant spray, add 10 to 15 drops of oil to about 300ms of water in a spray bottle, and spray around their entry points and those corners were they love to build webs. The more concentrated you make it, the more potent the mixture.

Tea tree can be effective against spiders too.


Ticks are a particularly unpleasant bug and a real problem in some areas. Here’s a recipe suggested on (but I haven’t tried this one).

  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 20 drops of essential oil – eucalyptus, peppermint, and citrus oils

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle, shake thoroughly, and spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors, and respray every 4 hours.

And always check skin and hair to make sure there are no ticks on your body when you come inside.


Do you have any other effective pesky pest repellent recipes? Let us know in the comments below x


To buy doTERRA essential oils, click here.

And if you get excited about helping others, want to make a positive impact in the world, and are interested in the doTERRA business opportunity, you can find more on joining the Healthy Happy Life Community here.


  • Yolanda

    Such a great handy article. Spring cleaning at the moment, so these methods will naturally help deter bugs as I go!

    April 30, 2018
    • admin

      Yay thats fab!!! x

      June 6, 2018

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