8 Irritating Pests Repelled by the Scent of Lemongrass

Macro shot of Northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens) sitting on human skin

Written by Alanna Davis

Published: May 21, 2024

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As temperatures begin to rise, people across the world get to enjoy all the wonderful benefits that spring and summer bring. Beach days, picnics, and the emergence of birds and butterflies are just some of the joys of these seasons. However, warmer weather also invites pest insects too. If you’re tired of dealing with them, you can use natural scents as effective insect repellents. Lemongrass is among the most popular of all, and using just a few drops of this essential oil has proven to keep a variety of pests far away. However, it is important to note that while this method is natural and generally safe, it may not be as effective as other commercial insect repellents. Let’s dive into eight annoying pests that are effectively repelled by the scent of lemongrass.

1. Mosquitos

Macro shot of Northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens) sitting on human skin

The family that mosquitos belong to is called



No one likes to see mosquitos around. Luckily, the strong scent of lemongrass disrupts the senses of these insects, making navigation difficult. A mixture of lemongrass essential oil and a carrier oil applied to the skin will act as a natural insect repellent.

2. Fleas


While living on an animal, a flea can live to be over three months old.

If you’re someone who has pets in your home, you might worry about them catching fleas. Luckily, lemongrass is highly effective on these annoying pests. According to Safe Wise, diffusing lemongrass in the home is also pet-safe, as long as it is done in moderation and the area is ventilated well.

3. Fruit Flies

fruit flies eating fruit

Fruit flies are commonly confused with drain flies.

Keeping fresh produce in the house is a staple for many. However, fruit flies can really kill its appeal altogether. Thankfully, these annoying scavengers stay far away from the scent of lemongrass within the home.

4. Cockroaches

A brown cockroach on a brown wooden background.

Shockingly, some cockroaches can live even after their head has been removed.

When you think of pest insects, chances are cockroaches are one of the first to come to mind. These insects disgust nearly everyone, but thankfully, they’re easily deterred by strong scents such as eucalyptus and lemongrass. Diffusing these essential oils within the home will prevent them from setting up camp.

5. Ticks

Crawling deer tick on human hairy skin background. Ixodes ricinus or scapularis. Dangerous parasitic mite on blurry pink texture. Disgusting biting insect. Encephalitis infection. Tick-borne diseases.

These insects transmit diseases such as Alpha-gal syndrome and Lyme disease.

Ticks are one of the most detested insects of all, and there is no question as to why. These bloodsucking insects can cause a myriad of medical issues if they’re able to bite, so it’s best to avoid them altogether if possible. Lemongrass essential oil mixed with water is an effective tick repellent.

6. Wasps

Wasps tend to become aggressive if they feel their nest is threatened.

Although wasps are important pollinators, many people would prefer if these insects stayed far away from their homes, and who can blame them? Mix lemongrass essential oil with vinegar and water and spray the outside of your home to discourage wasps from nesting there.

7. Spiders

common house spider on a smooth tile floor seen from ground level in a kitchen in a residential home

The scientific name for common house spiders is

Parasteatoda tepidariorum


Spiders can be divisive creatures: many people either love them or hate them. While having a spider in the home can be useful for taking care of other insects, many people would rather not deal with them at all. Diffusing lemongrass throughout the home will discourage them from coming inside. In addition, spraying surfaces where you’ve seen spiders before with lemongrass essential oil and water will be sure to keep them at bay.

8. Moths

Tineola bisselliella known as the common clothes moth, webbing clothes moth, or simply clothing moth. It is a pest of clothing in homes.

Webbing moths are famous for their ability to destroy the integrity of fabrics.

While some moths such as Luna moths and Atlas moths are quite popular and beautiful, others can be a pain in the neck. Some pest moths can damage clothing and furniture if left unchecked. Mix lemongrass essential oil with water, put it into a spray bottle, and spritz areas where you’ve seen these insects and they’ll be sure to disappear.

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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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