Using Essential Oils to Repel Insects

Using Essential Oils to Repel Insects

Part of my morning commute to work involves a 20 minute walk from Glasgow Central, and a few Fridays ago, despite it only being 20C at the time (8:30am) by the time I reached the office, I collapsed into my chair and declared myself the worst Australian ever.

I was clearly born in the wrong country if I struggle at 20C!

Every now and then I think about perhaps moving back to Sydney, but then when we experience weather like we did here in Glasgow last week with a top of 27C I laugh at my silly ideas and continue my countdown to winter.

A lot of us Aussies consider moving back home at some point during our time here in the UK, despite the harsh summers we all grew up with. The lifestyle is amazing, the food is delicious, and there’s always air-conditioning to beat the heat, if needs be.

But the one thing most Aussies seem to forget is the sheer volume of insects we have to battle throughout the warmer months.

It’s not fun.

Here in Scotland, there’s not as many insects making their way around, but they’re still definitely on the radar, especially now the weather is warming up. Midges are an especially big problem here in Scotland come summer, and my flat seems to attract wasps!

Wasps are not fun.

Although it’s all good and fine having a bottle of insect killer within reach, if you’ve small children of pets a more natural solution is preferable.

Essential oils and other pantry items are great for helping either trap or deter insects, and rather than having the horrid smell of fly spray or other toxic chemicals lingering around the home.

There are dozens of natural solutions to repel and trap insects that are bothering you, and a lot of these essential oils I mention below can also be used to repel other insects on the list (like Lavender Oil) however I’ve chosen my favourite solutions that are quick and easy, as well as being pet, child and adult friendly, and will leave your home smelling amazing!

Midges or Mosquitos

What Will I Need?

Lavender Oil
Distlled water

Dilute 1/2 tsp lavender oil in 1 cup water. Spritz yourself with Lavender Water to help keep biting insects at bay. Also, applying a small spot of lavender essential oil to a bite will help relieve irritation.

Fruit Flies

What Will I Need?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Dish Soap

Fill a small jar with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, add a few squirts of dish soap and stir. Place the jar next to your fruit bowl, and the fruit flies will be attracted to the ACV, and get caught by the dishsoap and die.

Wasps and Hornets

What Will I Need?

Peppermint oil

Dilute 1/2 tbsp peppermint oil in 1 cup water, and spray the edges of windows throughout the day to repel wasps, or can also be sprayed on the wasp for a more fatal solution. Remember – never attack or attempt to remove a wasp nest during the day!

House/Blow Flies

What Will I Need?

Lemongrass oil

Dilute 1 tbsp lemongrass oil in 1/2 cup water, and spray around your home to repel house flies and blow flies.


What Will I Need?

White Vinger
Citrus Oil (orange or lemon)

Mix together 1/2 cup white vinegar, ½ cup water and 1 tsp citrus oil and spray crevices and cornices around your home to prevent spiders.


What Will I Need?

Dry bay leaves
Cedar chips

Places bunches of dry bay leaves, or cedar chips in the areas you’re seeing (or expecting) roach activity. These will help keep roaches away

What are your favourite natural solutions for keepin insects at bay? Let me know in the comments!