Natural Insect Repellents

It’s kind of a given that you shouldn’t use too many chemicals in an area that your kids are going to be playing in. However, if you are someone like me who loves the outdoors but has an overwhelming fear of something that’s creepy and crawling with eight legs and a thousand soulless little eyes (a totally rational fear I might add), then you may be determined to use some sort of insect repellent in your garden and yard.

There are some natural ways to do this. I will say the only one I have tried personally is the first one (and that was just in my house and while camping, not necessarily on my garden yet). But! None the less, before going on with anymore gardening information I thought I would share some natural insect repellents that I have found:
My arch nemesis. There are several things that claim to repel spiders. I have read in multiple places and have tried in my own home using the smell of citrus. Apparently they don’t like it. Using lemon peels, orange peels, and lime peels is one way to harness this scent. Boil them in some water and put that water into a spray bottle. Spray all around your doors (or in this case your plants). In your garden you can actually just lay citrus peels out around your plants.
There are plenty of citrus essential oils to try as well, lemon I think being one of the strongest.
I have also seen some recipes that say adding vinegar to the lemon and water spray bottle idea will help to repel spiders. Unfortunately the small of vinegar makes me ill so I can’t test if this is effective.
Some other things that I have read:
Peppermint oil; for the same reason as citrus, the scent is unappealing
Cedar Chips; I’m not really sure why but I have seen using cedar chips can repeal them
Chestnuts; you just place chestnuts in a bowl and put on window seal ( I would assume this would work in a garden as well)

One natural way to repel mosquitos is to plant marigolds. BE ADVISED, they do attract bees, which I don’t think is a bad thing but if that’s another little bug you’re trying to stray from then not the best idea ( I know a lot of flowers do but marigolds are potentially even more appealing and they also attract spiders).

I’m one of the only people I know who does not enjoy the relaxing scent of lavender. Apparently mosquitos do not like the smell either. Planting lavender in your garden will help to repel them.


There is always the tried and true citronella. The candle wasn’t just dreamed up one day. Planting citronella can repel mosquitoes from your yard.



Japanese Beetles
Some repellent plants for Japanese beetles are catnip, chives, and rue.
Ehow has a short article on making a natural Japanese beetle spray. You’ll need baby oil, dishwashing soap, garlic, and a spray bottle. If you combine these repellent plants and use this spray then you should be beetle free!

If you know of some home remedies for insect repellents or natural ways to get insects out of your garden please share!


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