Using Essential Oils to Keep Bugs Away

a mosquito sits on the center of a daisy

With rugged coastlines, pristine mountains, and abundant lakes and streams, Maine is a natural treasure, and this natural beauty is why we love living here. But one thing that can drive us a little insane are ticks, mosquitos, brown tail moths, and black flies. Yes, the "defenders of the wilderness" are a biting nuisance to outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. 


We love using essential oils to help keep these bugs at bay and have created our Camp Soap with these pesky little bugs in mind. Essential oils can be a natural and effective alternative to chemical-based insect repellents. Here are a few reasons why it can be beneficial.


Hands are touching a base of a calendula blossom.  There are three flowers in bloom that hands are near an orange one and there are two slightly ope buds to the top and lower left of the hands in this garden.


 Why Use Essential Oils to Keep Bugs Away?


  • Natural and Chemical Free: Essential oils are derived from plants and contain the concentrated essence of their natural compounds. Unlike commercial insect repellents that may contain harsh ingredients and potentially harmful chemicals, essential oils provide a natural and chemical-free option.


  • Pleasant Aroma: Many essential oils have lovely fragrances that can help mask the human scent that attracts bugs. While we may find certain scents appealing, bugs are often repelled by them, making essential oils a natural choice for warding off pesky and biting insects.


Three herbs: Lavender, eucalyptus, and catmint


  • Repellent Properties: Various essential oils have been found to possess insect-repellent properties. For example, citronella, lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils deter mosquitoes, flies, and other insects. These oils contain compounds that bugs find unpleasant, discouraging them from approaching.


  • Versatility and Accessibility: Essential oils are readily available and can be easily incorporated into various products— like soap and body sprays! We use high quality, pure essential oils and add them into the very end of the soap making process. Because essential oils are volatile in nature and dissipate easily, this protects the oils from the higher temperatures of the lye solution and ensures maximum concentration in the finished bar. They are a wonderful alternative to chemical scents and work beautifully in the soap. 



rose geranium spritzer and camp soap



  • Additional Benefits: Some essential oils have benefits beyond repelling insects. For instance, lavender oil is known for its calming properties, while eucalyptus oil can provide a refreshing and invigorating effect. Using essential oils for bug repellency allows you to enjoy their potential therapeutic benefits simultaneously.


It is important to note that while essential oils can effectively repel bugs, their efficacy and duration may vary. Conducting a patch test before applying any essential oil directly on your skin and following proper dilution guidelines is advisable. Additionally, it's advisable to consider individual sensitivities and allergies and recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils. 


two amber bottles lay on their sides surrounded by herbs and oils



To create a natural barrier around your home, try planting these fragrant herbs around your yard or in containers on your deck and porch. Herbs like basil, lavender, catnip, rosemary, lemongrass, and rose geranium create beautiful herb gardens, look lovely in containers, and help mitigate the number of biting bugs in your yard.



potted herbs



Essential oils are not only effective for keeping bugs away, but they have multiple uses and benefits in many other areas of our lives. Learning these uses and incorporating the different oils into our daily routines can bring us enjoyment and support a sustainable lifestyle for ourselves and our families. 




illustration of a goat



More Posts

1 comment

  • Author image
    Debbie Szarka: January 13, 2024

    Thanks for all this information Tanya. I’m always looking for something besides Ben’s for bugs

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing