Essential Oil Bug Spray for Plants

By Jessica Fuller / October 6, 2017
Essential Oil Bug Spray for Plants

I’ve covered some useful, interesting, and beneficial ways to use essential oils on the blog. Just check essential oils for skin conditions, sinusitis, sore muscles, etc.

Oil uses are mostly health related, but there are also some practical uses too such as making an essential oil bug spray for plants.

Bugs and pests can ruin your best flowers, vegetables, and be a real nuisance. Using chemicals and harsh bug repellents can also cause damage, and potentially be toxic to you and your pets.

Essential oils provide that safe, natural alternative. As they do with a lot of health and wellness applications, which is why I love using essential oils.

Below is a list of commonly found bugs and the most effective oils, as well as some ways you can use essential oils to repel them and keep them away from your plants.

Insect Repellent Essential Oils List

Bug/InsectEssential Oils
AntsCitronella, orange, cedarwood, spearmint, peppermint.
AphidsCedarwood, orange, spearmint, peppermint.
BeetlesCedarwood, orange, spearmint, peppermint, thyme.
CaterpillarsCedarwood, orange, spearmint, peppermint.
ChiggersCedarwood, lavender, lemongrass, orange, thyme.
Fire antsLemongrass, peppermint, rosemary.
FleasCedarwood, citronella, lavender, lemongrass, orange, peppermint.
GnatsCedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, orange, spearmint, peppermint.
MidgesCedarwood, chamomile, cinnamon, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint.
MosquitoesCedarwood, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, orange, peppermint, thyme.
MothsCedarwood, citronella, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, orange.
CockroachesCedarwood, cinnamon, eucalyptus, orange, thyme.
SlugsCedarwood, garlic, orange, peppermint, spearmint.
SnailsCedarwood, garlic, orange, peppermint, spearmint.
SpidersCitrus, lime, orange, peppermint, spearmint, lavender.
TicksLavender, lemongrass, oregano, thyme.

Best Essential Oils for Killing Bugs

As you can see from the list of oils and their effects on pests cedarwood, orange, peppermint, and spearmint are really effective across most bugs.

This is because:

Cedarwood – Actually blocks a compound called octopamine in bugs and insects. This, in turn, causes some respiratory and heart problems and kills them unless they get away quickly.

Orange – The compound D-limonene in orange essential oil is the ingredient that causes death by dissolving them. Not as gruesome as it sounds, but it does the job very effectively.

Peppermint and spearmint – These two smell fresh and pleasant to us, but bugs absolutely hate the smell. It’s far too strong for them and the compounds in these oils

What You Need to Make a Bug Repelling Essential Oil Mix

There are just a few things to get started:

  • 1 x Empty spray bottle (just use a bottle you’ve previously emptied or you can easily buy one.)
  • Selection of essential oils, or at the very least 1 or 2 of the best, such as cedarwood, orange, peppermint, and spearmint.
  • Some soap mixture.
  • Water

Give all of the above a little mix and you have yourself a lovely scented, but deadly bug and insect repelling mixture.

How to Use Essential Oils to Keep Bugs off Your Plants

Spray your mixture directly onto bugs and their nests near your plants. Don’t overdo the spray directly onto your plants, but it’s fine to shoot a fine mist all over the area.

It works wonders on ant’s nests too. Ants hate this mixture and will carry it into their nests and spread it around for you.

You can try adding different oils or different amounts going forward when you see how effective the mixture is.

How to Use Essential Oils to Stop Slugs and Snails Eating Your Plants

There is nothing worse than checking on your plants and seeing that familiar slimy trail leading up to them and damages leaves for vegetables.

I had a huge problem with slugs eating my tomatoes this year when I was away traveling, but I got even once I was back and into a routine.

I used a mixture with cedarwood and garlic and poured it in a ring around my tomato plants. There was only one way for the slugs and snails to get to the plants, and that was directly over the mixture.

I found it put an immediate stop to them munching on my tomato plants. But I did need to renew the circle of mixture every few days. I guess slugs are pretty stubborn.

About the author

Jessica Fuller

I started studying and experimenting with alternative medicine, different massage techniques, and alternative therapies after graduating. I also love travelling and writing, so I found a way to combine all my loves - blogging!

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