Natural Bug Repellent for a Home

Updated April 17, 2017

Regardless of how insects find their way into your home, you should get them out as soon as you can, before they cause damage or reproduce. It is safest to avoid using chemical-based repellents. Natural bug repellents not only keep your home insect-free, they also keep your family, pets and furniture safe. Many natural and effective bug repellents are available to use inside your home.

Lemon Grass Oil

Lemon grass is a very versatile grass found growing in southeast Asia, India and Australia. It grows up to 8 feet high, although the average height is around 4 feet. Lemon grass oil is a natural and effective bug repellent. Products containing lemon grass oil are especially effective at deterring mosquitoes. This insect repellent is safe for users of all ages and works as both a personal and surrounding-area bug repellent.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

Lemon eucalyptus oil is a plant-based oil derived from eucalyptus leaves and twigs. This repellent is extremely effective against mosquitoes, gnats, flies and deer ticks. It generally has a protection time of two hours, although some repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil provide protection for up to six hours. Lemon eucalyptus oil is found in spray and lotion bug repellents. It has a pleasant odour and is safe to apply to the skin. Do not use lemon eucalyptus oil on children under 3 years old, as it causes eye irritation.


Eugenol is a natural liquid derived from cloves, basil and bay leaves. Although it has many applications, it is very effective at repelling insects such as moths, mosquitoes, spiders, fleas, crickets, flies, wasps and ants. Eugenol works by affecting a special insect neurotransmitter. This repellent is safe for human use and will not hurt your home or plants. Eugenol repellents are typically available as sprays and lotions.

Neem Oil

If you have indoor plants that are affected by insects, use neem oil to keep them from reproducing. Neem oil, extracted from azadirachtin trees, is a natural repellent against insects such as beetles, caterpillars, spider mites, grasshoppers, gnats and plant lice. Neem oil works very slowly, but effectively, in repelling insects, as it slowly controls the insects' digestive tracts. Over time, this leads to the insect not being able to successfully reproduce, since the insect stops feeding.

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About the Author

Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.