Pest Guides

What Bugs Does Oregano Repel?

What Bugs Does Oregano Repel?

Oregano is one of the most famous herbs used in various dishes — from pizzas to pasta, casseroles, soups, and more. But did you know it also works as an insect repellent?

Most homeowners have used oregano to protect their backyard gardens and furniture. One spray of anything oregano-scented, and you can expect your room to be bug-free.


Oregano is one of the best natural bug repellents you can use, especially when you don’t want to use materials with chemical substances. This herb has been proven to repel the following pests:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Fleas
  • Cockroaches
  • Bed bugs
  • Houseflies

Nobody likes experiencing a pest infestation, so we have developed this guide. Let’s talk about how you can use oregano to repel bugs.

The Composition of Oregano

The Composition Of Oregano

Oregano, an herb belonging to the Lamiaceae family, is a natural insecticide.

Aside from effectively killing bugs, oregano prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs and inhibits larval development. This herb contains a-terpinene, thymol, and carvacrol, which are chemical substances most insects hate.

However, some ladybugs and bees find oregano’s scent exciting, especially during pollination. This is why you’ll often see these bugs around oregano plants at that time of the year.

Moreover, oregano is also susceptible to rare insect species, including leafhoppers, aphids, and spider mites.

Also, because oregano is a natural insect repellent, you don’t need to worry about its harmful environmental effects.

Oregano is much better and more environmentally friendly than store-bought insecticides with chemicals and toxins.

Oregano’s Repellency Index

Oregano's Repellency Index

You should know its repellency index if you use oregano as a natural repellent.

After spraying the herb to desired areas, expect it to take effect within three hours.

Then, oregano’s repellency index slowly drops to 80%. And after 24 hours, its effect is only at 24%.

What does this indicate?

You should spray oregano at least every 24 to 48 hours for its effects to be continuous.

Steps To Use Oregano as an Insect Repellent

Steps To Use Oregano As An Insect Repellent

If you desire to try using oregano to repel insects and bugs in your backyard garden, here are the materials you will need:

  • Gardening gloves
  • Rolling pin
  • Pillowcase
  • Personal protective equipment (goggles, surgical face mask, long-sleeved top, and pants)
  • Detergent or any dish soap

You will also need a spray bottle and a filter to transfer the mixture before spraying.

Step 1: Harvesting the Plant

Harvesting The Plant

The first thing you should do is to have a mature oregano plant in your garden, ready for harvesting.

After wearing your gardening gloves, harvest about four to five oregano stems and leaves.

We recommend harvesting for a strong repellent when the herb’s buds have already formed before transforming into adult flowers.

Step 2: Extracting Oregano Juices

Extracting Oregano Juices

Place the harvested leaves and stems in your pillowcase.

Smash them using a log or a mallet, and have a rolling pin roll them over to extract all plant juices.

You can also turn the entire pillowcase over to ensure you extract all plant juices you will use to create the repellent.

Step 3: Submerging With Water

Submerging With Water

If you feel all plant juices are already extracted, remove the smashed leaves and stems from the pillowcase.

Get a large bowl or a container, and place everything there, including the pillowcase.

Then, pour water until everything is fully submerged.

After submerging the leaves and stems, place the entire container outside overnight.

This will allow oregano to be exposed to sunlight and steep. You can also stir the mixture now and then throughout the night.

Step 4: Making the Mixture

Testing The Mixture

The day after steeping the leaves and stems, it’s time to make the main solution that will serve as your insect repellent.

Oregano oils are strong, so don’t forget to wear your gloves, face mask, goggles, and clothes to cover your limbs.

Get a teaspoon of your detergent or dish soap, and mix it with the oregano stems and leaves with water.

This allows oregano oils to fully dissipate throughout the water.

Then, grab a filter and a clean container, where you’ll pour the mixture to separate water from the plant materials.

Step 5: Testing the Mixture

Kill Bugs With Oregano

When you have separated the water from the plant material, pour the water mixture into a clean spray bottle.

It’s time to test whether the mixture works. You can spray a few on the plant leaves in your garden.

You will know if the solution’s successful when you see bugs flying fast to escape the scent.

If it works, you can spray your other plants and even certain areas inside your house.

Utilizing Oregano Oil

Utilizing Oregano Oil

You can also purchase a ready-made oregano oil from the market and use it as a natural bug repellent.

There are various ways to take advantage of oregano oil and use it to prevent getting bitten or invaded by various bugs at home.

  1. Mix five drops of oregano oil with coconut or olive oil (at least two tablespoons), and rub the mixture against your skin.
  2. Use oregano oil as your diffuser at home. Use six drops of oregano oil in your diffuser and let the scent scatter through your room.
  3. Four to six drops of oregano oil mixed with 250 ml of water in a small spray bottle is a convenient way to have a natural repellent ready wherever you go.

Kill Bugs With Oregano

Oregano can be your best friend in making various dishes taste and smell a hundred times better. But you can also depend on it to repel certain bugs at home.

This herb is natural, so you don’t need to worry about its harmful environmental effects.

You can also use oregano oils as a diffuser to ensure your room is free of pests.

Don’t forget to try our method of using oregano as a natural bug repellent!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Oregano Need To Stay Safe From Spider Mites and Loofhoopers?

Spider mites and Loofhoopers are only some of the few insects attracted to oregano’s scent. To protect your herb plants from such pests, plant them near onions, garlic, and chives.

Can Oregano Also Repel Rodents?

Like most pests, rodents also have a keen sense of smell. This means oregano is also proven to be effective in driving rodents away.

Most homeowners utilize oregano as a protective herb against rodents that love infesting dark areas at home.

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