Insects find homes to keep them cool during summer, so how do you keep bugs away from you? Summertime brings warm weather, outdoor activities, and, unfortunately, an increase in bugs. Whether it’s mosquitoes, flies, or ants, these pesky creatures can quickly ruin your summer fun. 

Maintaining a clean environment is the best way to keep the bugs at bay. There are some essential oils that can drive bugs away from your home, especially citronella.

This comprehensive guide will explore various effective strategies to keep bugs away from you during the summer months. From natural remedies to practical tips, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and discover how to enjoy a bug-free summer!

Understanding the Bug Menace

Before delving into the solutions, let’s take a moment to understand why bugs can be exceptionally bothersome during the summer months. Warmer temperatures and increased humidity create the perfect breeding grounds for many insects. Also, bugs are attracted to food, water, and human activity sources. Understanding these factors will help us implement effective bug-control strategies.

How Do You Keep Bugs Away From You In Summer?

Now, let’s explore practical ways to keep bugs at bay during summer. Following these tips lets you enjoy outdoor activities without constantly swatting or scratching.

Natural Remedies for Bug Repellent

Nature offers a treasure trove of options. These natural remedies are effective and safe for you and the environment. Here are some popular natural bug repellents:

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

Derived from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree, this essential oil is known for its bug-repellent solid properties. It contains a compound called PMD (para-menthane-3,8-diol), which is effective for mosquitoes. Dilute a few drops of lemon eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil, and apply it to your skin for natural bug protection.

Peppermint Oil

The refreshing scent of peppermint is loved by humans but loathed by bugs. Peppermint oil is a natural deterrent for insects, including mosquitoes, ants, and flies. Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and use it as a bug spray or create cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil to place in bug-prone areas.

Lavender Oil

Known for its calming properties, lavender oil also works wonders in repelling bugs—the pungent aroma of lavender masks the scents that attract insects. You can create your lavender bug-repellent spray by combining lavender oil with distilled water and witch hazel.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is renowned for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Still, it is also effective against bugs—dilute tea tree oil with water as a natural bug spray to keep pesky insects away. Be cautious with tea tree oil if you have pets, as it can be toxic to them in concentrated amounts.

Neem Oil

Neem oil, derived from the neem tree, has been used for centuries as a natural insect repellent. It contains compounds that disrupt insects’ feeding and reproductive systems, making it an effective bug deterrent. Mix neem oil with a carrier oil and apply it to your skin or create a neem oil spray for your surroundings.

Remember to perform a patch test before using any essential oil directly on your skin, and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or allergies.

Essential Oils That Repel Bugs

In addition to the natural remedies mentioned above, specific essential oils are known for their bug-repellent properties. These oils can be used individually or in combination to create customized bug repellents. Here are a few essential oils that are effective in keeping bugs away:

Citronella Oil

Citronella oil is one of the most well-known bug repellents. Its robust and citrus-like scent masks the scents that attract mosquitoes and other insects. You can find citronella candles, torches, and even citronella-infused bracelets to wear as a bug deterrent.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil, particularly the lemon eucalyptus variety, is highly effective in repelling mosquitoes. It contains PMD, a compound that interrupts the mosquito’s ability to locate and bite humans. You can use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser, create a spray, or apply it topically (diluted with carrier oil).

Geranium Oil

Geranium oil has a pleasant floral scent and is known to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and flies. It works by masking the odors that attract insects. Dilute geranium oil with carrier oil and apply it to your skin or create a spray around your living spaces.

Cedarwood Oil

Cedarwood oil has a woody and earthy aroma that bugs find repulsive. It is effective against mosquitoes, ants, and fleas. Use cedarwood oil in a diffuser, create a spray, or apply it topically (after diluting with carrier oil) to keep bugs at bay.

Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is derived from tropical grass and is known for its insect-repellent solid properties. It contains citral and geraniol, which insects find unpleasant. Dilute lemongrass oil with a carrier oil and apply it to your skin or create a spray for your surroundings.

These essential oils can be used individually or in combination to create personalized bug repellents. Experiment with different blends and find the scents that work best for you.

The Power of Citronella

When it comes to bug repellents, citronella deserves special mention. This natural ingredient has been used for generations to keep bugs away. Citronella is derived from the lemongrass plant and has a strong citrus-like scent that acts as a powerful mosquito deterrent.

You can find citronella candles, torches, and even citronella-infused bracelets on the market. The smoke and scent emitted by citronella products create a barrier that mosquitoes find difficult to penetrate, keeping them away from you and your outdoor activities.

To maximize the effectiveness of citronella, place candles or torches strategically around your outdoor space. The smoke will help create a bug-free zone where you can enjoy summer evenings without the constant annoyance of mosquitoes.

Mosquito-Repelling Plants

If you prefer a natural and aesthetically pleasing way to repel mosquitoes, consider incorporating mosquito-repelling plants into your garden or outdoor area. These plants contain natural compounds that mosquitoes find unappealing. Here are some mosquito-repelling plants you can consider:


Lavender repels mosquitoes and adds a delightful fragrance to your garden. Its purple flowers are visually appealing and can create a calm and inviting outdoor space. Place potted lavender plants near seating areas or hang dried lavender bundles to keep mosquitoes at bay.


Marigolds are known for their vibrant colors and strong aroma, which repels mosquitoes. Plant marigolds in your garden or place them in pots around your outdoor space to deter these pesky insects.


Rosemary is a versatile herb that is both culinary and mosquito-repellent. Its fragrant leaves contain compounds that mosquitoes dislike. Plant rosemary near doorways or use the branches as skewers when grilling to create a natural bug barrier.


Basil is a popular herb in many kitchens and doubles as a mosquito repellent. Its intense aroma can mask the scents that attract mosquitoes. Grow basil in pots near windows or outdoor seating areas to keep bugs away.

Citronella Grass

As mentioned earlier, citronella is a powerful mosquito repellent. Plant citronella grass in your garden or use it in pots to create a natural barrier against mosquitoes. Crush the leaves to release the fragrance and enhance the repellent effect.

By incorporating these mosquito-repelling plants into your outdoor spaces, you can create a beautiful and bug-free environment for summer.

Creating a Bug-Free Zone in Your Yard

If you want to take bug control to the next level, consider creating a bug-free zone in your yard. This designated area will provide a sanctuary to relax and enjoy outdoor activities without constantly swatting bugs away. Here’s how you can create a bug-free zone:

Install Bug Zappers

Bug zappers attract insects using ultraviolet light and then electrocute them. These devices are particularly effective for controlling flying insects like mosquitoes and flies. Install bug zappers strategically in your yard, away from seating areas, to lure bugs away from your desired space. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective use.

Set Up Mosquito Traps

Mosquito traps are another effective way to reduce mosquito populations in your yard. These traps work by attracting and capturing mosquitoes using a combination of light, heat, and carbon dioxide. Place mosquito traps where mosquitoes are most active, such as near-standing water or dense vegetation.

Use Outdoor Fans

Bugs, particularly mosquitoes, are not fans of moving air. Installing outdoor fans in your bug-free zone can help create a deterrent against flying insects. The breeze generated by the fans can make it difficult for bugs to fly, reducing their presence in the area.

Remove Standing Water

Standing water serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Regularly inspect your yard for containers or areas where water collects and remove or properly drain them. It includes flowerpots, birdbaths, buckets, and clogged gutters. By eliminating standing water, you can significantly reduce mosquito populations.

Keep Vegetation Trimmed

Overgrown vegetation provides shelter for bugs, allowing them to thrive in your yard. Regularly trim bushes, shrubs, and tall grass to minimize hiding spots for insects. It will make your yard less appealing to bugs and reduce their presence near your bug-free zone.

Consider Outdoor Netting

Consider installing outdoor netting or screens if you have a patio or outdoor seating area. These barriers can create a physical shield against bugs, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors without the annoyance of insects. Ensure the netting is properly secured and sealed to prevent bugs from entering.

By implementing these measures, you can transform a portion of your yard into a bug-free zone, providing a comfortable and enjoyable space for outdoor activities.

Maintaining a Clean and Tidy Environment

Keeping bugs away starts with maintaining a clean and tidy environment. Bugs are attracted to food, water, and shelter sources, so minimizing their access to these resources is key. Here are some tips for maintaining a clean and bug-free environment:

Clean Up Food and Drinks

Bugs are often attracted to leftover food and sugary drinks. Clean up spills and crumbs promptly, both indoors and outdoors. Avoid leaving open food containers or unsealed garbage bags in your yard, as these can attract flies and insects.

Secure Garbage Bins

Properly seal your garbage bins to prevent bugs from accessing the contents. Consider using bins with tight-fitting lids or even investing in pest-proof containers. Regularly empty the bins to avoid odors that may attract bugs.

Remove Clutter

Bugs thrive in cluttered areas, as it provides them with hiding spots and potential breeding grounds. Keep your yard free of debris, such as piles of leaves, woodpiles, and unused items. Regularly clean and organize storage areas to minimize bug-friendly environments.

Maintain a Clean Kitchen

Insects love to crawl around the kitchen due to food remnants and spills. Keep your kitchen clean by wiping countertops, sweeping the floor, and promptly washing dishes. Seal the food in airtight containers to prevent bugs from accessing them.

Regularly Clean Pet Areas

If you have pets, their food and water bowls can attract bugs. Clean and refill these bowls daily to prevent insects from being lured into your home. Also, regularly clean up pet waste in your yard, as it can attract flies and other pests.

Maintaining cleanliness and minimizing potential bug attractions can significantly reduce the presence of bugs in your environment.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are essential oils effective in repelling bugs?

Yes, essential oils are effective in repelling bugs. Oils like citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and neem contain natural compounds that insects find unpleasant. You can use them in various forms, such as sprays, lotions, or diffusers, to repel bugs and mosquitoes.

Can bug zappers to eliminate all bugs?

Bug zappers are particularly effective against flying insects like mosquitoes and flies. They use light to attract bugs and then electrocute them. While bug zappers can significantly reduce the population of flying insects in your yard, they may not eliminate all bugs, as some crawling insects or non-flying pests may not be attracted to the light.

Is it safe to use bug-repellent clothing and accessories?

Bug-repellent clothing and accessories are generally safe, and treated with synthetic or natural repellents like permethrin or essential oils. However, following the manufacturer’s instructions and washing or handling them is essential. Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to certain repellents, so it’s always a good idea to perform a patch test before using them extensively.


Enjoying the summer season doesn’t have to mean tolerating pesky bugs. By implementing a combination of natural remedies, maintaining a clean environment, using mosquito-repelling plants, creating bug-free zones, and wearing protective clothing, you can effectively keep bugs away from you in the summer. Remember to choose products and methods that align with your preferences and consider any sensitivities or allergies you may have.

Embrace the beauty of summer without the constant annoyance of bugs. With some preparation and the right strategies, you can create a bug-free environment to fully enjoy the outdoor activities and moments that make this season special. To top it all, do preventive pest control services in San Jose to ensure that bugs will stay out of your home.

Expel Exterminators LLC

(408) 417-1545

3622 Tuers Road San Jose, CA 95121

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