Peppermint and Cinnamon smell delicious to us, however it seems they are ‘like garlic to a vampire’ for all sorts of creepy crawlies around the house. Many other essential oils also appear to confuse certain bugs’ sense receptors, so you may find that a little trial and error may help you perfect your best repellents for different invaders.

For convenience we’re going to prepare different spray bottles for different purposes. We’ll be using a few drops of essential oil diluted with distilled water and alcohol for spritzing; with distilled water and liquid soap for cleaning; with distilled water and alcohol or white vinegar for cleaning surfaces and spraying fabrics.

Always shake, shake, shake the bottle to distribute the oils before spraying.

You can also make up batches of repellent creams with coconut oil and store the mixture in a sealed jar in a cool, dark cupboard space.

NOTE: These repellents should not be relied on in areas where insects are known to carry dangerous diseases such as yellow fever, malaria or Lyme disease.

Kitchen Bug Repellent Essential Oils Recipe

Bugs like our groceries, but they don’t really like essential oils or white vinegar. I mostly use 10% Cleaning Vinegar for cleaning and 5% for sprays. Try both to see what works best in your situation.

Combine the two in a kitchen spray to keep the bugs out. A 3:1 water to vinegar solution works well.

  • 4 drops Cedarwood essential oil
  • 4 drops Tea Tree essential oil
  • 4 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 4 drops Sage essential oil

Ant Repellent Essential Oils Recipe

Ants are more determined and industrious than your average bug, so you may need this additional kitchen spray recipe to deter them from marching away with your cupcake ingredients.

Make a 3:1 water to vinegar solution as above. Add and always shake to mix when using.

  • 6 drops Black Pepper essential oil
  • 6 drops Cinnamon essential oil
  • 4 drops Clove essential oil
  • 4 drops Rosemary essential oil

Roach Repellent Essential Oils Recipe

Roaches! Really ick! Assuming you already have drain traps in all your sinks, you can also prepare a kitchen spray with a teaspoon of liquid soap dissolved in water, with the addition of some of the citrusy and herby aromas that roaches avoid. Spray in roach-friendly hiding places like your garbage pail.

  • 5 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops Orange essential oil
  • 5 drops Thyme essential oil
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

Bed Bug Repellent Essential Oils Recipe

Bed bugs are hard to detect, and even harder (and expensive) to get rid of once they’ve set up base camp in your mattress or couch. Deter them with a water and alcohol spray solution containing the essential oils* of their mortal enemies Thyme, Clove and Lemongrass.

  • 7 drops Thyme essential oil
  • 7 drops Lemongrass essential oil
  • 6 drops Clove essential oil

*Do not use in a baby, infant or child’s bed

Silverfish Repellent Essential Oils Recipe

Shudder! Silverfish are the creepiest of unwelcome guests, but luckily these shiny villains have an aversion to Cinnamon and Lavender. Dilute these essential oils in water in a spray bottle, and spray around baseboards* and inside cupboards.

  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops Cinnamon essential oil

*Be mindful if you have infants crawling around. Not safe!

Spider Repellent Essential Oils Recipe

Spiders do a lot of good rather than harm, and are natural bug repellents or captors! For those like me who are paralyzed with fear at the very thought of our eight-legged friends (I have stories), the news that spiders dislike citrus and mint will be most welcome. Again, a simple water spray in their favorite web spots will send them spinning.

  • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops Lemon Essential oil
  • 5 drops Lime essential oil
  • 5 drops Orange essential oil

House Fly Repellent Essential Oils Recipe

Need to protect that summer buffet you prepped in your kitchen from pesky house flies? Use these essential oils in a weak water and alcohol solution, and spray the air, not you.

  • 6 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops Lemongrass essential oil
  • 4 drops Basil essential oil
  • 2 drops Cinnamon essential oil
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus essential oil


  • Oil and water don’t mix. We are not using a Solubol with these sprays, so continue to shake, shake, shake as spraying.
  • Do not make huge quantities as there is no preservative. Make enough for your sprays. If the liquid turns cloudy, it’s time to remake.
  • Oxygen, light, and heat will oxidize EOs. Store in cool, dark cupboard.
  • EOs have shelf lives. They go bad and oxidize at different times based on their chemical constituents. Go to and scroll to June 19th to see the effects of oxidized Tea Tree oil on a foot/toe!
  • Be mindful of babies, infants, young children and elders. Perhaps they could be in another space when you are spraying.
  • Also be mindful of crawling infants as the EOs will land on the floor eventually.
  • Make sure that windows are open for fresh air.
  • These recipes are for sprays only.
  • Safety First!
  • Questions? Ask a qualified Aromatherapist.