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Natural Ways To Repel Insects

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If you hate creepy crawlies but hate toxic chemicals even more, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of natural ways to repel insects. Whether you want to prevent bugs from invading your garden or feasting on you, below you will find several ways to keep insects at bay.

Ditch the harmful chemicals! This article contains several NATURAL ways to repel insects so you can keep bugs at bay without harming your family or pets.

When I was walking the dog with my neighbor last week, I was bitten by insects (I assume mosquitoes) in three different spots.  This weekend was even worse. I worked out in the yard weeding and gardening and ended up with a number of mysterious insect bites. I also started to panic about bugs attacking my newly budding tomato and pepper plants.

Natural Ways to Repel Insects

There’s no shortage of bug repellents available at several local stores. Unfortunately, most of them contain dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer, damage to the nervous system, and ADHD. In addition, many of these pesticides and bug repellents are hazardous to the environment.

Consequently, I’ve spent a lot of time researching alternatives to chemical bug deterrents. Thankfully, there are a lot of options for those of us who want to avoid dangerous ingredients.

Prevent Bug Bites


To protect yourself from bug bites you can try:

  • Drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day.
  • Eating lots of garlic.
  • Taking a B1 vitamin supplement each day.

You can also make your own bug repellent with a few simple ingredients. First, choose a base. To fill a 5 oz spray bottle, use 1/3 cup of one of the following ingredients:

  • Witch Hazel
  • Alcohol
  • Oil (grapeseed or olive)

Then add 1½ teaspoons of an essential oil whose scent naturally repels insects. You can use more than one oil, but keep the total amount of oil in the mixture to 1½ teaspoons). Here is a list of the best choices:

  • Citronella
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Pennyroyal
  • Lavender
  • Rose Geranium
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Clove

Keep Bugs Out of the Garden

To keep insects away from your garden, plant some of these:

  • Basil
  • Peppermint
  • Bay Leaves
  • Lemongrass
  • Geraniums
  • Catnip

To keep mites from damaging your plants, combine one tablespoon of canola oil with a few drops of dish soap in one quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray the entire plant, including the undersides of the leaves.

To combat other insects and fungal disease, combine one tablespoon of cooking oil with two tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish soap in one quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray affected areas.

Natural Insect Repellents You Can Purchase

If you’re not the DIY type, here are some natural alternatives you can purchase:

Personal Use:

Gardening Use:

I hope you have luck with these natural alternatives. If you’ve used other natural repellents, please share them in the comments.




24 thoughts on “Natural Ways To Repel Insects”

  1. I would like to add that moth balls are also good in controlling pest. I tried it at home for roaches and rats. It’s very effective. I can only see few roaches now than before.

    • Great tip! I have heard they also work against snakes. Some of our neighbors used to put them under their porches to keep pests at bay. Thanks for the advice.

  2. I love using essential oils but never knew they helped with bugs!

  3. Great timely information – thank you for sharing! I guess I really have to get back into the ACV – I didn’t realize that helped.

  4. Mosquitoes don’t like my blood (woo hoo!!) but they do love my husband’s!! So, all these tips come in very handy, thanks!! I will make sure to plant tons of Basil in my garden to keep them at bay!

    • You are lucky! I am like your husband, they love me. I’m having a lot of luck with the witch hazel and peppermint oil though. I hope it works for your hubby.

  5. great advice and good to know. I’m going to make some of these. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Do this bug bites include mosquitos right? So I can share this to my family in the Philippines, where mosquito bites are very rampant due to a rainy season. Thanks for the response.

    • Yes, definitely! I’ve had a lot of luck with peppermint and lemon oils mixed with witch hazel.

  7. Awesome! I have Apple Cider Vinegar and I love garlic, too! This post is very helpful.

  8. I never knew garlic would keep the bugs off of me, time to eat more garlic.

    Thank you for the tips.

  9. wow, nice to know that having herbs can repel insects. gotta plant more of those in our backyard.

  10. I am so glad I saw this, I love the idea of making my own insect repellent especially when I can use oils and moisturize my skin while doing so. I run nightly so this is going to be such a big help.

  11. Thanks for the tips! I am allergic to mosquitoes and they love me so I am always battling them. I have used just about everything I know to keep them away from me. I will try the essential oils now.

  12. I have peppermint in my garden for this but need to make some body repellent

  13. We go through major bug issues in Laguna Beach during the Summer. At Whole Foods they recommend us to use a lemon scented something in our home. Works quite well.

    Garlic, I know has lots of benefits but it makes you breath smell pretty bad for a couple of days which my husband can’t stand. lol!

    • LOL! Yes, I suppose a few of these recommendations work equally well as human repellents.

  14. Great advice on how to keep insects at bay without using dangerous chemicals!!!

  15. I hate bugs, and they’re everywhere. I especially don’t like spiders. I need to try peppermint oil to see if that repels them. Thanks for sharing. You mentioned several things I had never heard before I need to try!

  16. Oh, this is so much better than the store bought solutions! My husband eats 3 match heads each day to keep the ticks off of him – I guess the sulfer does the trick. Maybe it’s the sulfer that makes him crazy thougyh . . .

    • The match heads is a new one to me. Hm, will have to look into sulfur as a repellent. I wonder if it’s safe to consume?


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