Essential Oils and Gardens


May Newsletter



Repel Insect Pests

There are a wide variety of essential oils which – with consistent use – can be used to repel unwanted insect pests from your garden.

Rosemary oil is a potent repellent for many types of pesky insects including flies, fleas and mosquitoes.  Rosemary is also great for deterring insect larvae like the cabbage looper caterpillar whose voracious appetite for juicy vegetable foliage can easily destroy entire crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and even some root veggies if left undisturbed.

Peppermint oil is an excellent natural insecticide which works on aphids, squash bugs, white flies, ants, beetles, and fleas, just to name a few.  Peppermint is also the best essential oil for repelling spiders.

Thyme oil works against biting insects like chiggers, ticks, and roaches.  Clove oil is another great deterrent for many flying insects.

To create a broad-spectrum all-natural insect repellent for plants, mix equal parts of rosemary, peppermint, thyme, and clove oils (about 10 drops of each) in a spray bottle filled with water.  Remember to shake well before each use.  Apply anywhere you want to get rid of skittering, creeping, crawling, or flying pests. (contact Natural by Kerri for any essential oil needs or aluminum bottles for making this item)


Stop Slugs and Snails
Cedarwood, Hyssop, and Pine are the best essential oils for keeping slugs off of your plants.  Mix about a teaspoon of your chosen oil(s) in a spray bottle filled with water.  Apply diluted oil in a ring around plants where slugs and snails like to visit.  Refresh as needed.


Dissuade Pets

Did you know that cats hate the smell of Rosemary?  If you can’t seem to keep the neighborhood tomcat from leaving his delightful presents amidst your herbs and veggies, try spraying your mulch with Rosemary oil diluted in water.
Alternately, you can add a few drops of Rosemary oil to a wide, shallow container partially filled with water.  Whisk vigorously to break up oil droplets then drop in strips of cloth or pieces of string.  Allow them to soak long enough to absorb all of the oil.  Tie strings between plants or around the garden perimeter.  Hang cloth strips between garden rows, around plants, or anywhere you know the cat likes to dig.  Refresh as needed.

Black Pepper (or any other pepper, for that matter) essential oil can also be used to deter larger mammals from your garden.  Dogs, in particular, with their sensitive noses will be turned away from the strong odor of pepper oil.  Apply using the same string / cloth method as with Rosemary oil (above).  Just keep in mind that over-use of this essential oil may make your garden less pleasant for humans as well.