Essential Oils – Pest Control Benefits & Usage Tips
This article covers the common types of essential oils and ways they can be used, such as how lavender oil can be used on outdoor insects and tea tree oil is used to eliminate bed bugs.
There are many uses for essential oils, but the ability to use it as a natural pest control makes it great for those that want to avoid harsh toxic chemicals.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil may help repel insects outdoors, such as fleas. You can use lavender essential oil to protect both you and your pet from fleas while you are both outside. Simply make a spray bottle with lavender oil, witch hazel, and lemon and spray on both you and your pets.
Not only does lavender oil protect against fleas, but it’s also a natural mosquito repellent too. If you are using lavender oil as a mosquito repellent, it works best when you are combining it with citronella or other types of essential oils. This oil will also help protect you, your pets, and your plants from other insects such as moths.
You do not want to take lavender oil orally, as it’s best when used topically. Most people choose to use lavender oil in a spray form, especially if it’s being used as a pest control. You also should be diluting the lavender essential oil before you apply it to either you or your pets because concentrated lavender oil is considered harmful. The only downside to using the diluted lavender oil on your skin is that some reports of skin irritation have occurred.
There is a way to test to see if you’re allergic to lavender oil and this should be done before an all-over application occurs. Simply place a small amount of lavender oil on your inner forearm. You want to cover the area and let it dry, so using a bandage is best. It will take 24 hours or 48 hours to notice if you have an allergy to it. If you notice skin irritation after using lavender oil, you should stop using the product immediately.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Using tea tree essential oil may help eliminate bed bugs on direct contact, although it’s not likely to work if you have a severe bedbug infestation. In order to use this product safely, you need to dilute it down in spray form before you begin spraying it around your home. If the bedbugs are hidden within furniture, the box-spring, or in your mattress, it might be impossible to get them using tea tree oil spray.
Using tea tree oil can help with other insects as well, including flies and mosquitoes. You want to only use a diluted version of tea tree oil because it’s toxic to both adults and children. It’s also important that you don’t drink tea tree oil and only apply it moderately. Some people have reported that breathing in the tea tree oil overnight could cause people with asthma to have a worse attack.
In order to use this tea tree oil safely, you should be first testing it out on your skin to see if you have an allergy. This is done by placing a small amount of diluted oil on a place such as your inner forearm. Apply a bandage over the area and then allow the area to dry completely. Within 48 hours, if you don’t notice any bad reaction then you don’t have an allergy to the oil and can continue using the product for intended purposes.
If you are using tea tree oil for bedbugs, then you want to mix up to a 50 percent ratio of tea tree oil and water. Make sure to shake up the bottle before using it because you don’t want the water to just sit on top of the oil as it often will do. Most diluted essential oils use a carrier oil, such as almond oil, but for this purpose you want to use water instead.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is known to repel mosquitoes and works great as a natural alternative to harsh chemicals. You want to have a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil in order to help repel mosquitoes and it will work for up to three hours each time you apply it. It will work 95 percent of the time, which is better than many other mosquito repellents out there.
Before you begin using this diluted eucalyptus oil on your skin to prevent mosquitoes, you need to first test the oil on your skin to ensure you are not allergic to it. The same allergy test as above will work just fine. Put a small diluted amount on your skin, cover with a bandage, and wait up to 48 hours to see if an allergic reaction occurs.
It’s important when using lemon eucalyptus oil that you are diluting it with a carrier oil first to ensure safety. Most of the time the ratio is 1-ounce of carrier oil, such as almond oil, to 3-5 drops of essential eucalyptus oil. It’s always a good idea that once you have added both oils to shake up the bottle so that they are mixed together well before using this product.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is great because it may help repel rodents like mice and it also works great at repelling mosquitoes. In fact, peppermint essential oil is said to work just as good as DEET at repelling mosquitoes but it isn’t harmful or toxic like DEET.
Peppermint oil works great to repel rodents and other insects and animals and there’s a lot of different ways you can apply this oil depending on what your needs are around your home.
You can repel rodents and other insects by placing about five drops of peppermint essential oil on cotton balls. Place these cotton balls around your house to repel rodents and other insects. You want to make a trail around where the rodents are getting into your home, which might take a while to figure out.
The goal is that they will smell the peppermint before getting into your home. Replace the cotton balls with the peppermint oil on them about once a month for best results. You will notice the results almost immediately since rodents don’t like the smell of peppermint at all and will avoid your home at all costs.
You also can use peppermint plants to help repel insects and rodents so that they aren’t getting into your vegetables or other plants. Peppermint plants are great at deterring critters from eating the vegetables out of your garden and it makes the area smell nice too.
If you want to repel rodents from your home in a different way, you can make a water and peppermint oil mixture and put it into a spray bottle. It should be about 30 milliliters of peppermint oil to every 30 milliliters of water. Make sure you shake up the spray bottle before you begin using it. Spray this around the entry points of your home and around all of the floorboards for best results.
Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella essential oil is great at helping repel various insects and animals because it masks the scents and odors that entice the insects and animals in the first place. You’ve probably heard about citronella oil before as it’s a common ingredient used to help repel mosquitoes.
The main downside to citronella essential oil as a mosquito repellent is that it doesn’t last very long. You have to reapply the product multiple times per day if you are outside for long periods of time. After about 20 or 30 minutes, the citronella oil smell fades away and no longer will mask the scents so reapplying often is required.
You don’t want to inhale citronella oil or take it orally, as it’s meant to be used as a topical agent only. As with all other essential oils, you need to dilute this product down with a carrier oil before placing it onto the skin. This product also is not intended for children under 6-months, and you should do the skin allergy test before applying this product directly to your skin.
That means taking a small amount of oil and placing it onto your skin and then covering this area with a bandage. Wait around 48 hours to see if any allergic reaction is present. If you don’t notice any reaction then you are good to go and can use this product on your skin as a repellent. You only want to use up to a 10 percent concentration of citronella oil if you are using it as an insect and mosquito repellent.
One bad part about this product is that the insects have to be in really close range in order to smell it and turn away. If you are in an area outdoors where there’s a lot of mosquitoes, this product might not be the best option to keep you bite-free.