Pest Guides

What Does Rosemary Repel?

What Does Rosemary Repel?

Rosemary is one of the most versatile herbs, making it an essential plant in any home garden. I have used its pest-repelling effects in various ways for a long time.

However, my reasoning behind hanging a few rosemary stems near our patio caught one of my friends by surprise, encouraging me to look further into the pest-deterring qualities of rosemary.

My research revealed a long list of pests that find rosemary repulsive.

It was a longer and more diverse list than I ever thought, so I thought of sharing it so that more people could use the pest-repelling qualities of rosemary.


The powerful, woody scent of rosemary repels all kinds of pests, including insects such as flies, mosquitos, critters such as ants, roaches, and slugs, and vermin, including rats and mice.

Let’s learn what pests rosemary repels and ways to use rosemary to keep pests away.

How Do Plants Repel Pests

How Do Plants Repel Pests

Most pests have an exceptional sense of smell, evolving over thousands of years, enabling them to identify food and threats.

This sensitivity to smells results in insects, critters, and vermin staying away from specific penetrating scents.

On the other hand, herbs and flowers have developed their defense mechanism, featuring globules containing essential oils with strong odors.

The essential oils evaporate from the globules, spreading aroma to ward off pests. Animals that are sensitive to smell find these scents overwhelming, so they avoid such herbs and flowers.

Rosemary is a herb renowned for its pest-repelling powers and many other uses.

Its scent is powerful, aromatic, and woody thanks to natural compounds such as carnosic acid, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid rosemary contains.

What Pests Does Rosemary Repel

What Pests Does Rosemary Repel

Rosemary is well-known as a herb for cooking and aromatherapy.

It also has another excellent use; to work as a pest-repellant. Here’s a list of pests repelled by the smell of rosemary:

  • Ants
  • Bed Bugs
  • Bees
  • Beetles
  • Cabbage Moths
  • Cockroaches
  • Fleas
  • Flies
  • Lice
  • Mice
  • Mosquitos
  • Rats
  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • Ticks
  • Wasps

How To Repel Pests Using Rosemary

How To Repel Pests Using Rosemary

I used rosemary in many ways to repel pests, depending on the type of pest I was dealing with and where I wanted its effects.

Here are some of the best ways to repel pests using the powerful aroma of rosemary:

1. DIY Rosemary Sprays

Diy Rosemary Sprays

Making homemade sprays using water and rosemary oil is an effective way to keep certain pests away.

Mixing 10 to 20 drops of rosemary oil with a cup of water creates a powerful pest-repellant spray that can be used on various surfaces both indoors and outdoors.

2. Using Rosemary Oil

Using Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil can be used in various ways other than making homemade sprays.

One effective method is to use a diffuser with a candle to spread the penetrating scent of rosemary around the house.

Diluting rosemary oil with water and using the mixture to wipe surfaces with a cloth or soak cotton before placing them in nooks and corners also helped keep certain pests away.


Although rosemary leaf is safe for consumption, ingesting higher concentrations or large amounts of rosemary oil can cause vomiting and stomach problems. Some people are also allergic to rosemary, resulting in skin irritations.

Always store rosemary oil away from children and pets since ingesting or direct contact with undiluted oil can cause health problems.

3. Hanging Rosemary Stems

Hanging Rosemary Stems

Another excellent way to use the bug-repelling qualities of rosemary is to hang rosemary stems around the household.

Hanging a freshly-cut rosemary stem keeps annoying insects such as mosquitos away while creating a relaxing atmosphere.

4. Growing Rosemary Plants

Growing Rosemary Plants

I decided to grow a few rosemary plants since I’m a massive fan of the aroma. Growing rosemary is easy, provided it is kept in warm surroundings.

Some of my rosemary plants thrived in pots of varying sizes, enabling me to place them wherever I needed the rosemary scent to work its magic.

Living in a warmer climate also meant that I could grow rosemary in my garden, especially around outdoor structures where we preferred to use it to help keep pests away.

I have also seen gardens with rosemary hedges without compromising their beauty.


Rosemary is a herb worth having around, especially when keeping pests away.

I successfully used rosemary to keep insects and vermins away, including flies, mosquitos, roaches, ants, and mice.

Using rosemary to repel pests is also easy, with various options at my disposal, including homemade sprays, rosemary oil, and stems, or placing potted rosemary plants around the house, making it one of my favorite herbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Rosemary Scent Repel Mosquitoes?

Yes, mosquitos tend to stay away from the powerful scent of rosemary.

Additionally, rosemary repels many insects and pests, including flies, ants, roaches, lice, bed bugs, ticks, fleas, snails, slugs, and vermin such as rats and mice.

Is Rosemary Oil an Insect Repellent?

Natural compounds in rosemary oil give it a pungent odor with bug-repelling qualities, especially insects such as ants, bed bugs, bees and wasps, beetles, cabbage moths, cockroaches, fleas, flies, lice, snails, and slugs.

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