April showers might bring May flowers, but May flowers bring June bugs! It goes without saying that bugs are beneficial, but we don’t always want them in our living spaces. We also don’t want nasty chemicals in our living spaces, nor do we want to harm nature with them. Here are some simple and effective solutions to repel unwanted insects from your home without killing them.
1 . Ants
Ants have such an effective colony in part due to the fact that they leave trails of pheromones between their nest and good food sources (ahem, your kitchen). This makes it so that even ants that have never visited your house can follow this trail. Fortunately for you, you’re about to learn that cinnamon disrupts this pheromone highway. A roadblock can be created with the powder, or a less messy spray can be made with the essential oil.
12 drops cinnamon bark (cassia) essential oil
1 ounce water
Mix ingredients in a small spray bottle. You really don’t need much. Spray wherever ants enter the house. Try to find the source, as they can travel around your roadblock. (Avoid spraying this on your skin as cinnamon is very potent. Cinnamon should be avoided by women who are pregnant.)
2 . Fruit Flies
Fruit flies lay their eggs all over fruit, then when they hatch they burrow inside it, feasting on the bacteria and yeast produced as the fruit ripens. Fruit fly populations in your kitchen can be reduced by simply rinsing your produce before putting it in the fruit bowl, to wash away unhatched eggs. These bugs basically live of fermenting foods, so keep overripe fruit in the fridge and things like compost, kombucha and wine covered when they’re out on the counter. You’ll definitely want to protect your wine from these buggers because they can introduce acetobacter bacteria and turn your wine into vinegar! Ew!
Fruit Fly Repellant
Place 3-4 drops of thyme essential oil on a cotton ball. Carefully place 1-3 cotton balls in your fruit bowl so that the oil isn’t touching fruit skins that will be eaten. Voila! Avoid touching the undiluted oil and instruct children to do the same.
3 . Flies and Gnats
It’s probably impossible to keep flying insects out of your house entirely during the summer. Air conditioning can help deter them, but we spend a lot of time with the windows open because the fresh air is so revitalizing. This blend can be diffused in the home, or made into a spray for use outdoors.
House Fly Repellant
15 drops palmarosa essential oil
12 drops geranium essential oil
9 drops lemon essential oil
6 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops tea tree essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a 1/2 oz dropper bottle and top with water. Use a dropperful in a tealight diffuser to repel flies and make the house smell wonderful! Alternately, mix all ingredients in a 2 oz spray bottle, top with witch hazel extract and use as an insect repellant outdoors. (All of these oils have no known contraindications in pregnancy or with children.)
Don’t want to make your own bug spray? Check out INSECT DEFLECT, our all natural, chemical-free bug repellant made with oils shown to repel gnats, mosquitos, flies, ticks and more…
Looking for a good source to buy essential oils? Visit our friends at Artisan Aromatics for pure, therapeutic quality oils you can trust.