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Scents That Bugs Hate

Bugs are notorious for crashing your outdoor festivities and invading homes. Many things can attract pests to your space. However, there are things that can deter them too. Some scents drive bugs crazy and will help to keep them away. We’ve made a list of scents that bugs hate.



You may enjoy adding herbs to your dishes, but some bugs can’t stand the smell of them. Rosemary, thyme, basil, and mint have scents that bugs dislike. Mosquitoes, cockroaches, and stinging insects try to avoid these herbs.



Many pests don’t want anything to do with vinegar. It’s known to help repel ants, spiders, and other pests. You can also use vinegar to remove scent trails created by foraging ants. This can confuse ants and make it harder for them to return to your home. 

Flowers & Other Plants


Several flowers naturally repel pests with their fragrance. Chrysanthemums, petunias, and marigolds have repellent properties. Citronella grass and lemongrass can deter pests too. Not only will these plants add a pop of color to your outdoor space, they can also help keep bugs away.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is a staple ingredient in baking, but some bugs hate its smell. Pure vanilla extract is said to repel mosquitoes. However, if the extract contains sugar, it will have the opposite effect. Many bugs are attracted to sugar and its sticky residue. 


Cinnamon sticks

You may love the smell of spices, but some bugs would disagree with you. Cinnamon, clove, and pepper have distinct scents that bugs don’t like. Silverfish and ants have a tendency of avoiding cinnamon. Certain plant pests, like aphids, aren’t fond of cloves. 

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Natural essential oils can be extracted from herbs and other plants. These oils have the same repellent properties as plants. Clove, peppermint, thyme, rosemary, and citronella oil are just a few essential oils that can help keep bugs away. 

Plant-Based Insecticide Sprays

Ant & Roach Killer, Home Bug Spray, Flying Insect Killer

When correctly combined, plant essential oils are an effective solution for pest problems. That’s why we use them in our Maggie’s Farm products. Our plant-based insecticide sprays kill pests on contact and provide residual repellency. Since essential oils are the active ingredients, they’re a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.

Knowing what bugs dislike can help keep them out of your home and yard. From herbs to spices, there are several scents that bugs don’t want to smell. If pests have invaded your space, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.


  • Very helpful and informative

  • Thanks for the info. It is very helpful

    Bonnie Wheeler

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