6 Irritating Pests Repelled by the Scent of Lavender

Written by Em Casalena
Updated: October 19, 2023
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Lavender, with its charming purple blooms and soothing aroma, wields a potent secret power: pest-repellent prowess. This unassuming herb possesses an arsenal of natural defenses that can send unwanted intruders packing.

Lavender’s magic lies in its ability to deter a variety of bothersome creatures. From the minuscule mosquitoes that buzz relentlessly in summer evenings to the cunning spiders that stealthily raid our homes, lavender stands as a formidable sentinel. It’s a fragrant fortress against the relentless advance of pests. Let’s look at some pests that lavender can repel and how to use lavender effectively as a repellant. Remember, using undiluted lavender essential oil can be dangerous, so make sure you know how to use it by referencing this guide!

1. Fleas

Fleas are small, blood-sucking insects that may cause havoc in your house and put both humans’ and pets’ health in danger. In addition to giving people unpleasant bites, these bugs can spread illness and trigger allergic responses. Lavender is a natural medication that can aid in preventing a flea infestation.

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Lavender has been utilized for its medicinal and pest-repelling capabilities for generations and is famous for its fragrant purple blossoms and fresh aroma. Its capacity to ward against fleas is one of its outstanding qualities.

Fleas are highly sensitive to scent, and they find the strong aroma of lavender repugnant. Planting lavender in your garden or placing sachets of dried lavender around your home can deter fleas from entering. You can also use lavender essential oil diluted with water to create a homemade flea spray for your pets. Spritzing this solution on your pet’s bedding or fur can help keep fleas at bay.

The Dangers of Fleas for Humans and Animals

Fleas are not just a nuisance; they can be dangerous. They scratch and hurt both humans and animals as they feast on blood. Flea infestations can, in extreme situations, cause skin infections, anemia, and even spread illnesses like typhus and tapeworms.

Fortunately, fleas multiply quickly, making it difficult to get rid of an infestation once it starts in your house. Flea females can produce hundreds of eggs in a short period, creating an infestation that never ends.

Lavender is a useful addition to any house because of its capacity to ward off spiders, providing a pleasant and practical response to the problems these arachnids present. You may benefit from its calming perfume and attractive appearance while enjoying a spider-free home by using this fragrant plant.

Cat scratching fleas

Fleas can cause excessive itching and irritation in pets as well as humans if their pet cat or dog has an infestation.


2. Spiders

In addition to being a welcome addition to landscapes and homes, lavender has developed a reputation as a natural spider deterrent. This fragrant plant has qualities that repel spiders, making it a reliable and secure solution to keep these arachnids away.

Spiders can be unwelcome guests in our homes for various reasons. While most spider species are harmless and even beneficial by controlling insect populations, some, like the black widow and brown recluse, can pose serious health risks with their venomous bites. Additionally, even non-venomous spiders can be a source of discomfort and fear for many individuals. Their unsightly webs can accumulate in corners, windowsills, and other crevices, giving homes an unkempt appearance. For these reasons, people often seek ways to deter spiders from invading their living spaces.

Lavender’s spider-repelling properties are rooted in its strong scent, which contains compounds like linalool and linalyl acetate. Spiders are sensitive to smells and dislike the overwhelming aroma of lavender. Placing lavender plants or sachets with dried lavender around your home, particularly in areas prone to spider activity, can discourage them from setting up webs and nests.

Lavender also reduces the hazards connected with hazardous chemicals by acting as a natural, chemical-free substitute for industrial pesticides. It is not only a lovely addition to the atmosphere of your house but also an environmentally beneficial decision.

black widow

While most spiders are just a harmless nuisance, venomous spiders like the black widow can be extremely dangerous if they are infesting your home.

©Jay Ondreicka/Shutterstock.com

3. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes, with their itchy and potentially disease-carrying bites, are unwelcome guests in our homes and gardens, making lavender a valuable addition to our pest-control arsenal.

These creatures are not just irritating; they pose several risks to our health and comfort. Female mosquitoes, which are responsible for the itchy bites we experience, can transmit diseases like malaria, Zika virus, and West Nile virus. These diseases can have serious consequences for our well-being, making mosquito prevention a top priority, especially in regions where mosquito-borne illnesses are prevalent.

When it comes to home comfort, mosquitoes can disrupt peaceful evenings and outdoor gatherings with their persistent buzzing and biting. Inside our homes, they find their way through open windows and doors, making it difficult to enjoy a mosquito-free environment. Their presence can lead to sleepless nights and discomfort, and their itchy bites can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some individuals.

Lavender, however, provides a natural and aesthetically pleasing solution to this problem. Its strong scent, containing compounds like linalool and eucalyptol, repels mosquitoes effectively. Planting lavender in your garden or placing dried lavender sachets around your home can create a barrier that deters mosquitoes from entering your living spaces.

You may enjoy a mosquito-free home and garden without using chemical-based repellents by utilizing the power of lavender. This increases your comfort while lowering your risk of contracting any potential diseases carried by mosquitoes. Lavender is an excellent addition to any place because of its aesthetic and practical benefits, providing you and your loved ones with a comfortable and mosquito-free atmosphere.

mosquito on an arm

Mosquitoes can be carriers of diseases like malaria, Zika virus, and West Nile virus that are very dangerous to human beings.

©Surachai Pung/Shutterstock.com

4. Flies

Flies are commonly found in homes and outdoor spaces. They can pose several risks and are nuisances, making lavender an invaluable addition to your pest control strategy.

Flies may carry bacteria that cause disease on their bodies and spread these infections to anything they land on, including our food, making them more than just a mere annoyance. This contamination poses a serious health risk to people by causing foodborne diseases. Furthermore, flies are known for growing in unclean areas like animal feces and decomposing organic matter, making their presence in houses unpleasant and disturbing.

Having flies buzzing around your home can disrupt your peace and comfort. Their incessant buzzing sound can be irritating, and their persistent attempts to land on food and surfaces can be unappetizing and unhygienic. Furthermore, flies can multiply rapidly, leading to an infestation that can be challenging to eradicate.

Lavender, with its strong, pleasant scent containing compounds like linalool and camphor, acts as a natural fly repellent. Placing lavender plants or sachets with dried lavender in and around your home can help deter flies from entering your living spaces. This natural and chemical-free approach not only keeps your home fly-free but also adds a touch of beauty and relaxation to your environment, thanks to lavender’s calming fragrance.


Flies are known for being very unsanitary creatures that can spread bacteria that can cause foodborne diseases.

©Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

5. Ants

Ants, while seemingly harmless, can become a considerable nuisance, and in some cases, a health hazard, making lavender a valuable addition to your pest management toolkit.

These insects are drawn to our homes by the promise of food, particularly sugary and greasy substances. While individual ants may not pose a direct danger, they operate in colonies, and a large infestation can contaminate your food, leading to foodborne illnesses. Some ant species, like the aggressive red imported fire ant, can deliver painful stings, causing discomfort and allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Additionally, ants can undermine the structural integrity of your home by tunneling through wood and other materials.

Having ants inside your home can disrupt your daily life. They march in long, organized lines, making it seem as if they are everywhere. Their presence in your kitchen, pantry, or dining area can be unsightly and unhygienic. Ants can also damage household items by nesting in them, further adding to the inconvenience and potential financial costs.

Lavender serves as a natural ant repellent due to its strong scent, which contains compounds like linalool and linalyl acetate that ants find displeasing. Placing lavender plants or sachets with dried lavender near entry points, such as doors and windows, can create a barrier that deters ants from infiltrating your living spaces.

Lavender’s ability to repel ants offers a useful and aesthetically pleasant answer to the problems these insects cause. You may enjoy an ant-free environment while lowering the dangers, annoyances, and interruptions connected with ant infestations by adding lavender to your home.

Ant colony

Ants are not inherently dangerous, but some species can have a painful bite and others can infest homes very quickly.


6. Ticks

Ticks, while small in size, can pose significant health risks. This makes lavender a valuable addition to your tick-prevention strategies.

Ticks are known carriers of various diseases, the most notorious being Lyme disease. When a tick attaches itself to a human or animal host, it can transmit pathogens that cause these illnesses. Lyme disease, in particular, can lead to severe symptoms, including joint pain, fatigue, and neurological problems if left untreated. Ticks also carry other diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and anaplasmosis, which can have serious health implications.

Ticks are often encountered outdoors, especially in wooded areas, tall grasses, and gardens. However, they can hitch a ride inside your home on pets or clothing, putting you and your family at risk. Once indoors, ticks can establish infestations, creating a persistent problem.

Lavender, with its distinctive aroma and natural tick-repelling properties, serves as a protective shield against these arachnids. The scent of lavender, containing compounds like linalool and camphor, is unpleasant to ticks, deterring them from approaching areas where lavender is present. Planting lavender in your garden or using lavender-based products in your home can help reduce the risk of tick encounters.

Blacklegged tick

The tiny but dangerous black-legged tick can transmit Lyme disease to humans. If not properly treated, Lyme disease can spread to the heart and nervous system and become quite dangerous.

©iStock.com/Ladislav Kubeš

How to Safely and Effectively Use Lavender Against Pests

1. Rub An Oil Concoction Onto Your Pet for Fleas

As mentioned earlier, lavender can effectively repel fleas. To protect your pets from fleas, mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil. Gently rub this mixture onto your pet’s fur, avoiding sensitive areas like their eyes and mouth. You can also add a drop or two of lavender oil to their bedding for added protection.

2. Planting Lavender in Your Garden

Planting lavender in your garden can create a natural barrier against pests. The strong scent of lavender acts as a deterrent, making it less likely for insects to invade your outdoor space. Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil, and space the lavender plants about 12 to 18 inches apart. Regularly prune the plants to encourage healthy growth and optimal fragrance.

Blooming violet lavender plant in garden

Planting lavender plants around your property is probably the most effective way to use this herb to fight off pests that are plaguing your crops or backyard.

©ivanoel28/iStock via Getty Images

3. Creating Lavender Sachets

Pests can be repelled in the home simply and effectively with lavender sachets. In locations where bugs are a frequent annoyance, such as closets, drawers, and pantry shelves, stuff little fabric pouches with dried lavender buds and store them there. In addition to deterring insects, lavender sachets provide your living areas with a lovely smell.

4. Make Lavender Essential Oil Sprays

Lavender essential oil can be a potent weapon against pests. To create a DIY lavender oil repellent spray, mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with clean water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spritz the solution in areas where you’ve seen pests, like windowsills, doorways, or around pet bedding. Remember to shake the bottle before each use, as oil and water can separate.

animal repellent

Commercial repellants (pictured) can be used to deter pests, but using a homemade lavender essential oil spray is a much more economical way to repel pests both outdoors and indoors.

©Nicole Glass Photography/Shutterstock.com

5. Lavender in Potpourri

Creating potpourri with dried lavender flowers and other fragrant herbs can add a pleasant aroma to your home while keeping pests away. Place bowls of lavender potpourri in various rooms to deter insects like moths and flies.

6. Lavender in Repellent Candles

Lavender-scented candles can serve a dual purpose by providing ambient lighting and repelling pests. Look for candles made with lavender essential oil or add a few drops of lavender oil to plain candles. Burn these candles in outdoor spaces to keep mosquitoes and other flying insects at bay.

Safety Precautions

While lavender is generally safe for pest control, it’s important to exercise caution when using essential oils, especially around children and pets. Essential oils should never be used topically or ingested undiluted. If you’re unsure about using lavender to repel pests, get advice from a professional pest management specialist or your veterinarian.

You can keep your home pest-free and odor-free by including lavender in your pest management regimen. When applied appropriately, these techniques may be both safe and efficient for dealing with interior or outdoor pests.

Summary of Irritating Pests Repelled by the Scent of Lavender

#Pests It RepelsHow to Use Lavender
1FleasRub An Oil Concoction Onto Your Pet for Fleas
2SpidersPlanting Lavender in Your Garden
3MosquitoesCreating Lavender Sachets
4FliesMake Lavender Essential Oil Sprays
5AntsLavender in Potpourri
6TicksLavender in Repellent Candles

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Kristen Prahl/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Em Casalena is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on plants, gardening, and sustainability. Em has been writing and researching about plants for nearly a decade and is a proud Southwest Institute of Healing Arts graduate and certified Urban Farming instructor. Em is a resident of Arizona and enjoys learning about eco-conscious living, thrifting at local shops, and caring for their Siamese cat Vladimir.

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