Fight Off Winter Pests With These 5 Essential Oils

essential oils with lemons, oranges, and lavender flowers

The winter months bring a new set of bugs and pests, and it can be hard to safely manage the incoming infestation. Essential oils make great cleaners, and they also deter pesky insects. If you’re interested in using chemical-free bug control alternatives in your home this winter, give these simple solutions a try.

1. Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood oil not only smells nice and earthy, it keeps mosquitos, flies, silverfish, ants, ticks, lice, and fleas at bay. If you struggle with any of these around your home, reach for some cedarwood scents. You can diffuse this oil near doors and windows for airborne pests, and apply it topically to deter bugs like ticks and fleas. When you apply it topically, make sure to safely dilute it with a recommended carrier oil to protect your skin.

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2. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cold-weather spots can end up with lots of eight-legged friends bunking in for the winter, and cinnamon oil is a great way to say sayonara to spiders. Fill a spray bottle with cinnamon essential oil that's been slightly diluted with olive oil. Soak a cotton ball in this solution and place it near the creepy, crawly points of entry.

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This mixture also helps repel wasps, silverfish, earwigs, and bedbugs.

essential oils with cinnamon, orange, and pine

3. Citronella Essential Oil

Citronella candles are a popular but ineffective bug repellent—therapeutic grade essential oil is much more potent and powerful. Citronella is used to ward of mosquitoes as well as fleas, ticks, moths, and ants. You can diffuse citronella oil in an area where mosquitoes and other bugs are swarming, or you can apply it topically to keep the suckers from swooping in for a bite.

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4. Peppermint Essential Oil

If you only try one essential oil bug repellent, try peppermint. Peppermint wards of a host of bugs and can chase away the most curious of unwelcome guests. Take pure peppermint oil and dilute it in olive oil or fractionated coconut oil. Use the dilution guidelines that come with the oil. If the company doesn't suggest diluting the oil, you’re likely using an adulterated oil from a company that packs in chemical additives and fillers. If you don't plan on using the mixture on skin, you can mix it to be more powerful and potent.

Once diluted, take the solution and spray it around all doors and windows—any bug points of entry. Repeat this process once or twice a week in particularly bug-heavy months, and once a month in smaller seasons.

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essential oil with mint

5. Sweet Orange

When you hear the words sweet orange do you think of citrus or bug repellent? Sweet orange oil can help chase away even the fastest of roaches, which is a great solution for folks who don't want to use roach spray around their families. Mix sweet orange essential oil with a small amount of fractionated coconut oil and regularly spray in roach-infested areas. You can also apply this mixture to your skin and protect from lice, moths, weevils, ticks, and more. For safety, make the skincare solution less potent.

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Safety Tips

Remember to be careful when working with these powerful oils, especially around children. Keep oils out of reach and store all of them in a cool, dark cupboard in a tinted glass bottle. It's also important to work with pure, potent oils from companies that have GC/MS reports published on their products.

Warnings: If you get a potent oil in your eyes, rinse it out immediately. If you're pregnant or nursing, some essential oils are considered very dangerous, even to a small degree.

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