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off-topic Non-chemical insect repellents


Business Member
I've been having problems with wasps and carpenter bees for a long time, and suddenly this week, flies.

After some research, I found some studies about the first two. Apparently carpenter bees don't like citrus. Wasps are repelled by peppermint, or a mix of lemongrass, geranium, and cloves. Today I just found a study that cinnamon oil kills and repels flies (the kill concentration is pretty heavy, over 5%).

I got some essential oils for the wasps. The shop didn't have clove oil so I made a tincture with my own cloves. I can report that the in areas I sprayed with this mix, I have not seen any wasps for 2 weeks now.

I tried orange extract for the bees. That didn't work, but it's what I had. Going to try again with actual oil.

Not much to report yet on the cinnamon, I just used it for the first time a few minutes ago. But the results so far have been quite satisfactory - a window screen that was swarming with flies for some reason now only has a handful remaining.

What have you found that works?


Extreme Member
Wasps have a strong sense of smell and dislike certain plants like peppermint, spearmint, basil, eucalyptus, cloves, geranium, thyme, citronella, bay leaves, and lemongrass. They're repelled by vinegar, cinnamon, coffee grounds, and sliced cucumber.

I've got 2 paper wasp nests in my greenhouse - tried lemon juice and putting half a lemon near the nests, that didn't make much of a difference, although they did go quiet for a couple days but they're still there :lol:

Bees don't like lavender oil, citronella oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, lemon, and lime.

I've found that when bees come down our chimney burning eucalyptus oil in the fireplace stops them.

I keep an apple mint plant outside the back door and rarely get bees/wasps/flies in the house, except the chimney bees.


Business Member
The three-oil mix and the mint were both a couple studies I found, I don't remember which universities though. Seems to line up with your list.

Cinnamon doesn't seem to be helping as well as it seemed at first for the flies.

I'll try some of those other suggestions for the bees, thanks!