Do Bugs Go Crazy for Lavender? Finding Out!

Do Bugs Go Crazy for Lavender? Finding Out!

Lavender is a popular herb that has been used for centuries. Originally discovered in the Mediterranean region, it is now grown and used all around the world. Its sweet fragrance and beautiful purple flowers make it a popular choice for decoration and aromatherapy. But did you know that lavender may also have insect-repellent properties? In this article, we explore the question, “Do bugs go crazy for lavender?” and explore the science behind this hypothesis.

What Bugs Can Lavender Repel?

Lavender has potent essential oils that contain chemicals that may be toxic or irritating to some insects. Some of the bugs that lavender may repel include:


Moths are notorious for damaging fabric and other materials. They are attracted to light, and can often be found flying around lamps and other light sources. However, lavender essential oil has been shown to repel moths. A study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that lavender essential oil was a potent natural insect repellent against clothes moths, making it a great alternative to conventional mothballs.


Mosquitoes are perhaps the most annoying insects. They are responsible for transmitting dangerous diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, making them a serious public health concern. Luckily, lavender essential oil may be an effective insect repellent against mosquitoes. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that a combination of lavender essential oil and vanillin (a compound found in vanilla extract) was more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, a popular synthetic insect spray.


Spiders may not be harmful to humans, but they can be quite terrifying. Lavender essential oil may be able to keep spiders away. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that lavender essential oil reduced the activity of two common spider species, the black widow and the brown recluse.

How Does Lavender Repel Bugs?

Lavender repels bugs through a number of mechanisms, including:

Masking Scent

The strong and pleasant scent of lavender may simply mask the scent of humans or other animals, making it harder for bugs to locate potential hosts.

Toxic Effect

The chemicals found in lavender essential oil may have a toxic effect on insects, disrupting their nervous systems or killing them outright.

Disrupting Pheromones

Insects communicate with chemicals called pheromones. Lavender essential oil may interfere with these chemical signals, making it harder for insects to find mates or food sources.

How to Use Lavender to Repel Bugs?

Lavender can be used in a variety of ways to repel bugs. Here are some methods you can try:

Essential Oil

Essential oil is the most potent form of lavender and can be used to make bug sprays, candles, and other insect-repellent products. Simply add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, and apply it to your skin or cloth.

Dried Lavender

Dried lavender can be placed inside sachets and placed in drawers or closets to repel moths and other insects. It can also be used as an ingredient in potpourri or other decorative arrangements.

Lavender Plants

Finally, you can plant lavender in your garden or in pots around your home to repel insects naturally. Lavender plants will attract bees and other pollinators, making them a great addition to any garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

– Can lavender repel bed bugs?

Lavender essential oil may be effective at repelling bed bugs, but more research is needed in this area.

– Can lavender repel cockroaches?

Some people claim that lavender can repel cockroaches, but there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.

– How often should I apply lavender essential oil to repel insects?

Lavender essential oil should be reapplied every few hours to maintain its effectiveness as an insect repellent.

– Are there any side effects of using lavender as an insect repellent?

Lavender is generally considered safe when used as an insect repellent, but some people may be allergic to the essential oil.


– Boo, H. J., et al. “Spider Repellent Activity of Lavender Essential Oil and Its Main Compounds Toward Two Common Spider Species.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 62.4 (2014): 937-941.
– Govere, John M., et al. “Efficacy of three insect repellents against the malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis.” Medical and Veterinary Entomology18.4 (2004): 429-432.
– Park, B. S., et al. “Essential oils as mosquito repellents: a review.” Journal of cosmetic science 60.3 (2009): 321-327.

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