How to Use Essential Oils for Pest Control

As naturalists, we don’t need poisons to kill pests, but with essential oils for pest control we can repel them (and even sometimes kill them) with substances that are not only harmless to us but are actually healthful. Below is a list of oils that will solve most of your pest problems around the house.

How do you use them?

One way is to get a pistol-grip squirt bottle. Mix a few drops of the oil with some water, shake it up, and start firing. If you have bugs on your plants, like aphids on your roses, you can squirt the leaves and drive the bugs away with no harm to your plant. You can do the same with the other pests.

As for ants, you can smear a line of Peppermint or Spearmint across your kitchen counter or floor and the ants won’t cross it. If you already have a line of ants invading your house, just draw a line of oil across them and they will turn back; it is fun to watch. For flies: knock them dead right out of the air with one shot from your pistol grip.

Specific Oils for Specific Insects:

ANTS: Peppermint, Spearmint.

APHIDS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Peppermint, Spearmint.

BEETLES: Peppermint, Thyme.

CATERPILLARS: Spearmint, Peppermint.

CHIGGERS: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme.

CUTWORM: Thyme, Sage.

FLEAS: Peppermint, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lavender.

FLIES: Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage.

GNATS: Patchouli, Spearmint.

LICE: Cedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint.

MOSQUITOES: Lavender, Lemongrass.

MOTHS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint.

PLANT LICE: Peppermint, Spearmint.

SLUGS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Pine.

SNAILS: Cedarwood, Pine, Patchouli.

SPIDERS: Peppermint, Spearmint.

TICKS: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme.

WEEVILS: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood.

A Brown Recluse Spider Experiment
Seeing how squirting a Peppermint-water spray would kill flies in mid-air, I wondered what pure oil would do. So I did an experiment on a brown recluse spider. I captured a live one in a jar and carefully placed one drop of Peppermint on one side. The pure Peppermint repelled the spider, who crowded to the other side to avoid the oil. When I tipped the jar to force the spider to fall into the oil, it merely squirmed and got away, still repelled by the oil, but apparently not harmed. Then I put a drop of water with the oil and tipped the jar so that the spider slid into the water and oil together and, instantly, it shriveled up and died. Conclusion: The oil alone is an insect repellant. Combined with water, it is an insecticide.

Safe Insect Repellants
As far as repellants go, when you go into the woods and fields, put a little Lavender around your ankles, wrists, and waistband and you won’t have to worry about chiggers or ticks (or Lyme Disease, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever). Lemongrass, Sage or Thyme would work, too, but might irritate your skin so put it on your pant cuffs and shirtsleeves. As for your pets, you can put oils around their necks and backs, but watch to keep oils from around their eyes.

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I have recently given out my plant care tips to a lot of my clients who love to see my assorted plants. Some have actually brought their plants in for me to nurse back to health. My brother has me come in and take care of his plants at his stores. The truth is I’m really not that diligent when it comes to my plants. They just look great because I use a lot of Cinnamon. I use oil straight out of the bottle on houseplants that tend to get fungus or mold from my kids over-watering them. I used to water the oil down but this proved ineffective against hardy molds in a warm house in the winter. Now, they flourish beautifully. I also use Cinnamon powder (no sugar) mixed into the soil with some Cinnamon oil, or Clove oil around my rose bushes and my other outside plants to get rid of annoying insects and aphids that eat away at my plants. My roses and flowers are always hardy and pesticide free.

I recently got a quote for $850 to get rid of my termites and property. I put two bottles of each of the oils below in a bottle of V6 and the termites are all dead and gone. I figured that this is costly to buy the oils but it beats having to pay some exterminator to come and make my soil toxic. To me it was worth the shot. I’m glad I did it because I had the engineer come back to inspect for them because I was refinancing and wanted another loan to fix my house and my home is termite and carpenter ant free now.

Some of the oils used were Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, Lemongrass and a large bottle of carrier oil. I put the whole thing in a bottle and squirt it all around the perimeter of my house and doorstep or anywhere termites or carpenter ants would love to hide. I also keep a bottle hooked up to my hose to spray over the base of the property. I just have to upkeep it periodically. I use on my dogs and cats to keep off all the ticks and fleas. It works on my cats too.

Article by YLEO Representative


Spray yourself and your children with essential oils for pest control, your animals, and the air, and the flying insects should stay away from you.

A useful idea is to put water and about 10 drops of Peppermint oil in a spray bottle for essential oils for pest control. When you go outside, you can spray your clothes, your shoes and socks, and spray the area where you are, like a patio or deck.

One time before I knew about the oils, I was attacked at my garage door by 22 wasps. They stung me so bad I had to go to the hospital emergency room. I sat there in pain until they got to me and said to go home and put ice on the stings. And for this we had to pay a hospital emergency room bill.

The oils are great because they repel bees and wasps. I can sit on the back deck now and not be afraid. I take the spray bottle out with me and spray the air around me. If I spray a bee, it immediately flies away.

Prevention is best. If a person is in the yard cutting grass or doing yard work, spray your clothes first. You can spray your children too before they go out. If you do happen to get stung, use Lavender on the sting.

To keep spiders away, put Cinnamon and water in a spray bottle and spray around your house, basement, carpets, and closets. If you are bitten by a spider, use Oregano essential oil. This oil neutralizes the venom.