How to Keep Insects Away from Home Naturally? 6 Easy Home Remedies

No time to read now? Click here to download as a PDF.

If you’re wondering how to keep insects away from your home naturally, the solution may be closer than you think. 

These 6 easy home remedies help repel or eliminate bugs using everyday ingredients from your cupboard or garden.

These natural pest remedies might be what you need to avoid spraying toxic chemicals in your home or property. 

Try them as your first line of defense against unwanted bugs in your home. 

how to keep insects away from home naturally
Consider planting herbs and other plants that help repel bugs.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about how to keep insects away from home naturally, including:

  • Why Safe Remedies are Better than Chemicals
  • The Power of Mint
  • Honey?
  • Cinnamon Spice is Nice
  • Lavender – Purple Magic!
  • Lemon Balm
  • Fresh Cilantro Uses
  • Other Herbs & Plants that Repel Bugs
  • Final Thoughts on How to Keep Insects Away from Home Naturally

Effective and Safe Home Remedies for Pest Control That Doesn’t Involve Chemicals

It’s no wonder why more and more people prefer to live in a chemical-free home.

Most of us are aware and concerned about the risk of harmful chemicals in our homes, schools, and workplaces. 

So, if you’re among those actively looking for ways to eliminate or reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals wherever possible — kudos to you!

But when you’ve experienced that sinking feeling when you discover your home has been infested with creepy crawly insects, it’s tempting to reach for a can of Raid.

They say the best defense is a good offense—and that applies to unwanted bugs in your home, too.

In this case, you can take preventative measures to get rid of pests without using pesticides or other harmful chemicals.

Those who have a home garden know how good chickens are for keeping insect populations under control outdoors. 

While you might need to call in pest control to handle extensive, more established infestations inside your home, these natural solutions may just do the trick.

Related: 5 Expert Tips for Bug-Proofing Your Home

The Power of Mint to Naturally Repel Pests 

Mint (Mentha) is known as a natural insect repellent and has been used as such for centuries.

This perennial herb has a strong scent that ants, mosquitos, and mice don’t like. In fact, they will avoid it whenever possible. It can also help with other pests, like roaches, spiders and flies.

If you happen to have some mint in your herb garden, chances are you’ve got plenty. 

You can pot some up for your deck, or take clippings for sachets around the house to repel bugs.

Fun fact, you can also rub peppermint or spearmint leaves on your skin before going outside to repel bugs!

If you don’t have any growing, it’s an easy herb to grow.

Look to several types of mint that grow easily in USDA Zones 3 to 8:

  • Peppermint plant (Mentha piperita
  • Spearmint (Mentha spicata
  • Water mint (Mentha citrata
  • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium

Each of these mints has wonderful pest-repellent properties.

They are also vigorous spreaders.

For that reason, some gardeners plant them, pot-and-all, in the garden with the lip of the pot remaining an inch above the soil level. 

This keeps the roots from spreading.


Honey is one of the oldest and most widely used home remedies for various ailments.

It’s a natural antibiotic and antiseptic.

However, have you ever heard someone say honey is beneficial for repelling ants and other insects?

Well, you won’t hear that here, either. 

But the fact that honey is so attractive to pests makes it an excellent bait when paired with a toxic deterrent, like boric acid.

Boric acid, or hydrogen borate, is a fine powder found in the mineral sassolite. The ancient Greeks used it for cleaning and other reasons.

To use honey and boric acid together to eliminate ants, mix equal parts honey and boric acid in a small disposable cap (like from an old milk-jug). 

Then, place the cap where ants will find this sweet “treat.”

Once they do, let them have their fill because they will bring it back to the nest. 

Refill the cap with more liquid if the ants eat it all up.

Before long, your ant problem will be gone.

***An important word of caution here: Boric acid is poisonous to pets and humans so you must keep this out of their reach!

Using Cinnamon Spice to Repel Bugs

Cinnamon is another natural insect repellent. Most likely, you already have a bottle of this delightful spice in your pantry. 

While it’s wonderful for making delicious baked goods, it also repels cockroaches, fleas, flies, mosquitos, fruit flies, and other pests. 

So how do you use cinnamon to get rid of bugs?

Just sprinkle it around on your countertops and floors to keep pests from gaining a foothold in your home. 

Insects don’t like the way powdered cinnamon feels, and spiders in particular, don’t like the smell of it.

Another trick is to put whole cinnamon quills in corners and dark spaces where spiders generally lurk. That will drive them out! 

You can replace them every couple of months with a fresh piece of cinnamon.

Just remember to keep it dry, because powdered and whole cinnamon will leave a stain if it becomes wet. 

You can also use cinnamon in your outdoor garden to repel garden pests. Simply sprinkle cinnamon on the soil around your plants to keep pests out. 

Cinnamon is a great way to repel mice and rats from your home, too.

Fragrant Lavender – Not So Nice for Pests

lavender - natural insect repellent
Lavender may smell nice to you, but not to bugs.

Lavender (Lavandula) is a fragrant herb useful for various things: calming you down, helping you sleep better, and even repelling mosquitoes and getting rid of pests. 

The lovely scent comes from essential oils in the lavender plant’s leaves. Interestingly, the oil contains a substance called linalool, which has a similar effect on mosquitoes as DEET. 

This is another herb you can grow in your garden. 

They love full sun and well-drained soil, but don’t over-water it. 

Aside from pruning it, lavender pretty-much thrives on neglect.

Most lavender grows well in USDA Zones 5a to 9a. The exception is Spanish Lavender (Lavendula stoechas), which is hardy only in Zones 7 to 9.

To use lavender to repel pests, put lavender sachets in your dresser drawers and closets. They will make your clothes smell nice and keep moths from destroying them. 

Lavender can also repel mice and other pests from your home. 

For that reason, sprinkle some lavender around your home. Put it under your sink, in your pantry, and in other places where pests like to live.

Lemon Balm: A Mint Family Favorite

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a fragrant herb that is actually in the mint family. Likewise, it’s highly effective at repelling pests. 

This is another herb with a long history. In the Middle Ages, lemon balm was used as a calming remedy, to reduce stress, lessen insomnia, and relieve indigestion.

Its lemony flavor makes it a good choice for cooking with fish, poultry, and vegetables. 

Plus it’s a fun garnish for a summer cocktail, too!

You can grow lemon balm around your home or garden to discourage pests. 

Then, harvest the leaves and put them where roaches and spiders would likely hide. That includes under your sink, in your pantry, and near your garage.

You can also put some lemon balm leaves in saucers or shallow jars and place them in discrete places. Doing so will help repel moths and other pests that like to make their home in your furniture. 

Plus, lemon balm smells very clean and fresh!

Cilantro for Pest Control

Cilantro has a strong, distinctive smell that will keep pests away from your home, garden, and even your food. 

Growing cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) indoors can be tricky, but it’s easy to grow outdoors in pots. It needs really sandy, well-draining soil. 

Just don’t let it dry out.

It’s a great addition to salsa, tacos, salads, or as a garnish – unless you’re one of the estimated 4-14% of the population that thinks it tastes soapy. (I think it’s delicious.)

You can plant cilantro in the ground or in pots around your home and garden. 

Another great option is to grow cilantro in window planters to keep pests away. 

In the vegetable garden, cilantro will repel potato beetles and spider mites. Whether or not cilantro repels aphids is unclear.

But if not, you’ve got the makings of a great summer dish!

Other Common Herbs & Plants that Repel Bugs

rosemary - natural pest deterent
Rosemary is an excellent choice for repelling certain moths, flies, and mosquitos.

You’ll find several other plants and herbs that help repel bugs. 

In addition to those above, the following also naturally repel pests to varying degrees in your garden:

  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum) – repels mosquitoes and houseflies, when crushed
  • Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) – discourages aphids, Japanese beetles, mites, and rabbits 
  • Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus) – oil repels mosquitos
  • Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus) – repels mosquitoes, no see ums, and more when bruised or burned
  • Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) – oil repels mosquitos and house flies
  • Marigolds (Tagetes) – repels mosquitoes, cabbage worms, whiteflies, and rabbits
  • Mums (Chrysanthemums) – repels ants, fleas, Japanese beetles, ticks, and others, contains Pyrethrin
  • Petunias – repels aphids, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, tomato worms, others
  • Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) – repels cabbage moths, flies, mosquitos

Each is a lovely garden plant in its own right, too!

Final Thoughts on How to Keep Insects Away from Home Naturally

Let’s face it: It’s unpleasant when insects and other pests are in your home.

But don’t sign-up for toxic treatments and chemical sprays just yet. After all, sometimes the treatment may be worse than the problem.

Now that you know how to keep insects away from home naturally, you’ve got options.

Instead, reach for a fistful of lavender or cinnamon sticks, and see if you can encourage your pests to find a new place to live – naturally.

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.

Next Steps

For more tips on transforming your home into a trouble-free sanctuary, read these articles next: