Deploying natural deterrents such as garlic cloves, onion slices, and essential oils can keep insects at bay. Sealing up cracks and gaps, particularly under doors, can prevent their access to your space. For those with a garden, planting bug-repellent flora such as Chrysanthemums, Lavender, or Marigolds can naturally ward off ants and mosquitoes. In contrast, an herb garden with mint and basil offers additional protection.

For a more immediate natural pest control solution, a homemade spray consisting of distilled white vinegar, water, and a mix of tea tree and lavender essential oils can be applied to skin and clothing to repel insects when outdoors. Alternatively, setting up citronella candles around outdoor living areas can create a bug-resistant ambiance, allowing you to enjoy the night without the annoyance of buzzing intruders. These practical and environmentally friendly measures ensure nightly peace without harsh chemicals.

What Keeps Bugs Away at Night?

While some insects play crucial roles in the ecosystem, their presence can be less pleasant during nighttime activities or when they invade our living spaces. The whine of a mosquito or the sight of ants marching in can disrupt the peace. However, not all hope is lost; natural methods and simple home remedies are available to keep these nighttime critters at bay. 

From strategically placing certain plants to using essential oils and barrier methods to homemade repellent sprays, we can create a bug-free zone without harsh chemicals. Let’s explore these nature-friendly tactics that promise serene nights free from the buzz and bother of unwelcome insects.

  1. Natural repellents: Place onion slices, garlic cloves, or other spices and herbs near doors to repel bugs. Spraying vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or essential oils around doorways is also a reliable deterrent. Sealing gaps under doors can also prevent bugs from entering your home​​.
  2. Planting specific plants: Planting Chrysanthemums can help keep ants away. For mosquitoes, Marigolds or Lavender are effective. Planting an herb garden with mint and basil can also repel insects​​.
  3. Homemade insect repellent spray: A spray made from distilled white vinegar, water, and essential oils such as tea tree and lavender can be applied to clothing and skin to repel insects when outside​​.
  4. Diatomaceous earth: Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around window frames and on potting soil of potted plants can keep bugs from entering through windows. It’s safe for use around bees and plants​​.
  5. Citronella candles: Strategically placing citronella candles outdoors can be particularly effective at night. These candles are available in various styles that can serve as part of your outdoor decor while keeping pests at bay​​.

What Smells Do Bugs Stay Away From?

Bugs are repelled by various strong scents, most from essential oils or plants. Here are some of the most effective ones:

Many of these scents are present in commercial repellents. However, you can use them in their natural form around the home or apply them on the skin when diluted properly.

Will Sleeping With the Lights on Keep Bugs Away?

Sleeping with the lights on as a strategy to keep bugs away can have varying effects depending on the type of insect. Many flying insects are attracted to lights so you may notice more bugs around outdoor lamps or near a bright screen at night. This phenomenon, known as positive phototaxis, is observed in insects like moths, certain beetles, and flies, which may get drawn to any light source.

However, some bugs, such as cockroaches, are negatively phototactic, meaning they will avoid lit areas. While keeping the lights on might deter these insects, keeping bugs away universally is unreliable. Moreover, using light to prevent bugs can disrupt human sleep patterns and increase energy consumption.

It’s generally better to rely on screens, repellents, and natural deterrents rather than light for effective bug control during the night. If lights must be used, yellow-tinted bulbs or LEDs designed to be less attractive to insects can be a better choice to minimize the attraction of bugs drawn to them.

What Color Lights Keep Bugs Away?

The color of light can indeed influence the presence of bugs in an area. Research has shown that certain insects are less attracted to specific wavelengths of light, which can be advantageous for keeping them at bay.

Changing the color of your lighting can help reduce the number of bugs drawn to the area. However, it won’t repel those already present. Combining lighting strategies with other methods for comprehensive bug control is best. It includes using screens and natural repellents, and maintaining a clean environment free of standing water and food residues.


While it may not be possible to create an entirely bug-free environment, there are several proactive steps to reduce their presence. So, you can enjoy your evenings in peace. Employing natural scents from plants and essential oils serves as an effective deterrent against a variety of insects. It is an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical repellents. 

Understanding which colors attract or repel insects can transform your outdoor and indoor lighting choices. Opting for yellow, warm-colored, or specialized bug-repellent LED lights can help minimize the attraction of nocturnal insects. 

Combining these strategies with good practices can create a layered defense against the nightly buzz of insects. Thus, allowing you to enjoy the night’s tranquility without unwelcome guests.

Expel Exterminators LLC

3622 Tuers Road San Jose, CA 95121

(408) 417-1545

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