Natural Alternative: “Green” Bug Repellents

Go green with natural alternatives to toxic pesticidesYou can “go green” when it comes to bug repellants, too!

Poisons are not necessary or the only answer when it comes to making your skin, home or garden a turn off to bugs.

There are some natural remedies that you can use to repel noisy and bothersome insects without taking a chance on toxic repellents.

DEET is a poison! It’s something you would never want to put on your skin… and especially not for a child!

Let’s look at a few ways you can keep obnoxious insects from invading your home – and your body — and go with green alternatives for the environment and our health:


  • Place mint tea bags or crushed cloves near the ants’ starting point.
  • Spray the ants with a small amount of soapy water.
  • Draw a line of chalk at the ants’ entry point.  The ants won’t cross the line.
  • If ants are attacking your trees, wrap the trunk with paper and then put “sticky goo” (purchased at a gardening center) on the paper.


  • Spray cedar oil spray, sprayed on carpets, floors and in your pet’s bedding.
  • d-Limonene, produced by the citrus industry, can be sprayed safely to prevent fleas.
  • Diatomaceous earth or powdered pyrethrum (purchased at an herb shop) can be sprinkled on your pet’s clean bedding and carpets in your home.
  • Herbs such as rosemary, citronella, wormwood and pennyroyal are natural treatments for fleas.


  • Rubbing alcohol, applied to the skin, can repel mosquitoes.
  • Plant marigolds at your entrance and around a deck or patio.
  • Clove oil is effective against mosquitoes, but use it sparingly as it may irritate the skin.
  • Citronella (rose geranium), eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and cedar oil are some of the most common organic or natural insect repellents.


  • Citronella, diluted in oil (such as almond oil) can be rubbed on your skin to keep almost any flying insects away.
  • Herbs such as basil, mint and tansy repel flies.
  • The smell of pennyroyal oil is effective in repelling flies.To make an organic spray:
  • Mix a combination of white wine vinegar and water and add some or all of the herbs, citronella, eucalyptus, lavender or tea tree oils. Then, add to a liquid detergent in a spray bottle and shake well.

Try some of these home remedies to repel insects before purchasing the more expensive and extremely harmful products that contain toxic chemicals.

The natural way is the best way to go for ourselves, our loved ones and our planet. Go Green!

See our information on all-natural mosquito repellant >>

See our RECIPES for all-natural herbal insect repellants >>

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  1. I’m so glad I read your blog post today! We are actually having an ant issue. I’m going to start off by drawing a chalk line on the cement steps right in front of the back door.

    Keep the great posts coming!

    • Hi Jeff! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you’ll “report back” on the effectiveness of the chalk line. 😉

  2. Hi, Some good tips here. Ants are a big issue here in Brisbane Australia, and they seem to defy most attempts to get rid of them. I’m not sure how chalk would work as they are everywhere. I certainly don’t like using chemicals – so it is good to read your ideas. Thanks. Di

  3. Hi Deb,

    I love natural alternatives and thanks for the tips with ants. We had ant issues just a few days ago and the idea of drawing a line of chalk is very interesting.

    For mosquitoes, I have been using citronella. Here is Italy they sell citronella candles which are nicer alternatives.

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