essential oils that kill gnats

Top 7 Essential Oils That Kill Gnats

In this article, we’ll be going over some of the most effective essential oils that kill gnats. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 natural gnat repellents and how to use them.

Gnats, especially the biting gnats, buffalo gnats, and fungus gnats, are just as annoying to humans as they’re destructive to your plants. If you’re not vigilant enough, an infestation can break out in just a few days and devour the roots of your plants.

What are Gnats?

Gnats refer to many small flies, including fruit flies, drain flies and fungus gnats. These can be biting or non-biting.

tea tree essential oils

Why Do You Have Gnats in Your House?

In search of human blood, some gnats will gravitate towards standing water and dampness in your abode during the summer months. As a result, you may spot them hovering around houseplants, moist soil, or flitting by garbage cans inside your home.

We have good news, though. You don’t have to turn to harsh chemicals and toxic repellents anymore. Essential oils are natural gnat repellents that are safe for kids and pets and effective against gnat infestation.

How Can Essential Oils Help Repel Gnats?

Essential Oils are derived from flowers, trees and herbs. They possess a potent aroma that is surprisingly pleasant to humans while repelling pesky bugs like gnats. Certain essential oils may irritate an insect’s eyes and mouth upon inhalation – causing them to flee far away from those smells!

essential oils for gnats

The Benefits of Using Essential Oils to Get Rid of Gnats

Saves Money

Essential oils are a natural and effective way to get rid of gnats from your home or garden. Not only do they provide a safe, non-toxic alternative to traditional chemical insecticides, but essential oils can also help repel gnats and other flying insects. Additionally, using essential oils is an easy way to keep these pesky pests away without spending a lot of money.

Repel Gnats Effectively

Essential oils work by masking the scents that attract gnats. The stronger scent of essential oil masks the odors produced by plants and other food sources, which helps keep gnats away from your home or garden. Additionally, many essential oils contain properties that have insecticidal and repellent effects, making them extremely effective at keeping gnats away.

Ideal for Indoor and Outdoor Use

Essential oils are also easy to use, requiring only a few drops to be mixed with water or oil and sprayed in the area where gnats are present. This makes them ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

Safe and Nontoxic

Finally, using essential oils to get rid of gnats is better for the environment than using harsh chemical pesticides. Essential oils are all-natural and don’t contain any harsh chemicals or toxins, which makes them safe for use around pets and children.

Top 7 Essential Oils | Best Gnat Repellents

All 5 essential oils can be mixed together in one solution. They work in conjugation with each other and produce an odor that’s considered unbearable to various types of insects.

1. Peppermint Essential Oil

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Peppermint oil is considered a powerful insecticide because of its primary ingredient, menthol. Menthol is considered biocidal, which means it’s effective in repelling insects like mosquitoes, mites, and, of course, gnats.

How To Use: Spray Bottle

To make a powerful peppermint oil solution, add two cups of water and a tablespoon of dish soap. Mix and add in a spray bottle, then apply 20-25 drops of peppermint oil.

The dish soap acts as an adhesive. This is essential to enable the solution to stick to the surfaces for a prolonged time.

Spray the solution in your garden, lawn, and inside your house if necessary. The peppermint spray natural solution should last for a couple of weeks, but you can spray once a week if you suffer from a gnat infestation.

Another way you can make a powerful gnat repellent is by adding vodka and witch hazel. This will help disperse the peppermint oil and make the scent stronger and long-lasting.

Peppermint oil is best mixed with eucalyptus oil, clove oil, and lemongrass oil.

2. Neem Essential Oil

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We recommend neem oil in all preparations because it’s a powerful organic insecticide. The compound is called Azadirachtin, and it’s known for its fungicidal and broad-spectrum insecticidal properties.

It’s especially powerful in repelling gnats but can also kill aphids, mealybugs, and other pesky insects.

How To Use

Neem oil can work as a spray, but we recommend drenching your garden’s soil with neem oil for better effect. Neem oil has a half-life of up to 22 days, which makes it ideal for the soil. This is why we consider neem oil one of the best remedies for fungus gnat infestations.

First, dilute 1 teaspoon of neem oil with two cups of water. Then, let the soil dry out completely so that the surface of the soil is brittle. Now, drench the soil with neem oil and make sure all the roots are covered.

You can also add dish soap and peppermint oil in a spray bottle and spray all the plants to repel the adult gnats. You should know that this method is highly effective, but it might take weeks, and sometimes months, for the gnats to disappear.

3. Tea Tree Essential Oil


Tea tree oil is another powerful insecticide. It contains 14 different terpenes and has a powerful camphoraceous odor.

This is why gnats dislike tea tree oil so much. In 2014, a study concluded that these essential oils have powerful insecticidal and repellent properties. It was able to kill 100% of the adult flies subjected to it and lasted for several hours.

The study also concluded that these essential oils are probably effective against several other types of insects and pests, and homeowners have backed up that claim. These essential oils are effective against gnats, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and various stinging insects.

Caution should be exercised when using this oil. The concentrated oil can irritate the skin and is considered poisonous when ingested. It’s also highly toxic to dogs and cats.

Fill an essential oil diffuser with oil, light the fire below it and enjoy a calming atmosphere in your home with an oil diffuser and burner.

How To Use

Creating a diluted solution is just as easy as with the other essential oils. Add two cups of water and apply 10-15 drops of tea tree oil. You can add dish soap for better adhesion to the foliage.

It’s been reported that geranium oil significantly enhances the powerful odor of these essential oils, making them truly detestable to most kinds of pests and small bugs. They’re great at keeping gnats away. They smell incredible and have a calming, pain-numbing effect on humans.

4. Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil

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Eucalyptus oil comes from the tall and spectacular trees found in Australia’s evergreen forest. It has a wide range of uses, which is why almost everyone has probably heard of it before.

The wide spectrum of activities includes fungicidal, insecticidal, anti-microbial, acaricidal, and herbicidal properties. It can effectively repel gnats.

Eucalyptus oil should also be handled with care, as it causes skin irritation and can be toxic to animals in high doses.

How To Use

To make a powerful eucalyptus preparation, add 25-30 drops of oil to one cup of water. Soap and alcohol are welcome additions, but you don’t really need them.

Once you shake the solution well, spray it on the foliage and roots and reapply three times a week. Eucalyptus oil is powerful, and this will become apparent in the first few weeks as you see the number of pests dwindle. However, take note that eucalyptus oil is surprisingly flammable, so keep it away from any heat sources.

5. Rosemary Essential Oil

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Finally, rosemary essential oil contains cineole, pinene, and camphor. It’s one of people’s favorite essential oils.

It has powerful insecticidal properties. It shares the terpenes of several other essential oils. For example, cineole is primarily found in eucalyptus oil, and limonene is found in citrus oil.

Rosemary oil isn’t a popular choice in repelling insects, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Cornell University compared rosemary oil to 11 other essential oils and found that it was the most potent and lasted the longest.

Rosemary oil can repel gnats, but can also deter mosquitos and other stinging insects.

How To Use

Rosemary oil is best combined with other essential oils for better effect. We recommend choosing an oil with a camphoraceous odor and adding a few drops of neem oil as well.

Start by preparing one cup of water mixed with one teaspoon of dish detergent. Then, add 15-20 drops of rosemary oil and 10 drops of neem oil. Shake well before spraying so the oils aren’t separated from the vehicle.

You can also add geranium oil for an extra pungent smell. We especially love this preparation because it makes your garden smell amazing!

6. Geranium Essential Oil

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Geranium essential oil can also be used as a repellant to keep gnats away. It is believed that the potent chemical compounds found in geranium essential oil makes it a great essential oil against gnats.

How To Use

Mix one part of the essential oil with 10 parts of water and spray the solution around your house or yard. Be sure to avoid direct contact with skin, eyes, mouth, or any other sensitive areas. Additionally, it is important to read the label on your bottle of geranium oil to make sure you are using a high-quality product that will be safe and effective in warding off gnats.

7. Cedarwood Essential Oil

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Cedarwood essential oil is a popular alternative to chemical treatments for repelling gnats. Most insects hate its sweet smell, so it can effectively repel insects like biting gnats, biting midges, and other pesky gnats.

How To Use

Diffusing cedarwood oil is easy and beneficial for your wellbeing – simply add 18 drops of the cedarwood oil to 1 cup water, mix with a tablespoonful of liquid soap and you are ready! Or if you prefer, dilute the cedarwood essential oil with an equal amount of carrier oils such as olive or coconut oil before using a diffuser.

essential oils that kill gnat

Create Your Own Essential Oil Repellent or Gnat Spray

To craft a repellent from essential oils, select a carrier oil such as almond, coconut or olive.

Burn essential oils as candles or disperse them using humidifiers and diffusers for a subtler effect. The strong smell or soothing aroma will fill your home with a pleasant ambiance, while also serving as an efficient gnat deterrent. You’d have your house smelling great with no more gnats inside!

Alternatively, mix distilled water with alcohol and vodka along with essential oils for an even more potent mixture. If you’re looking for a carrier oil, sweet almond is the way to go; its scent is simply divine! And it can repel gnats effectively. Of course, you can always opt for avocado oil.

Gnat Repellent Essential Oils- Conclusion

So, there you go – the best essential oils for a homemade bug spray. All the essential oils that deter gnats mentioned above are incredibly effective insect repellents.

They can also be used against other insects like fruit flies as well as other tiny flying insects like drain flies. They’re also effective against gnat larvae and gnat eggs.

The diluted preparations shouldn’t cause any harm because of the absence of toxic chemicals. However, make sure to keep them away from kids and pets. If any preparation is ingested in large volumes, seek medical help immediately.

If you would like to try other options aside from fruit flies and gnat repellent essential oils, CLICK HERE to browse our selection of non-toxic pest control options!

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