Top 10 Essential Oils For Gnats (Get Rid Of Them Effectively)

essential oils for gnats

Are you tired of dealing with those pesky little gnats? Do you want to get rid of them once and for all? Well, worry no more because essential oils can help you!

Essential oils are concentrated, aromatic extracts derived from plants. Since they have both the plant’s fragrance and properties, essential oils are traditionally used for various purposes. One of them is gnat control.

But not all essential oils have the same effect on gnats. If you want to successfully get rid of these pests, you need to use specific essential oils.

So, in this post, we will reveal the best essential oils for gnats as well as how to use them. Let’s get started!

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Why Should You Use Essential Oils for Gnats?

Why Should You Use Essential Oils for Gnats1

Nowadays, a lot of chemical-repellent sprays and devices are available. You can easily buy from online stores and get rid of gnats. So, why should you consider essential oils?

This question might be on your mind. But let us remind you – essential oils are way better than chemical insect repellents. Here’s why:

1. Safe for You and the Environment

Essential oils are all-natural and organic products. They are derived from plants and may contain some preservatives to increase their shelf-life. But other than that, there are no artificial ingredients or harmful chemicals.

When you use them in large quantities to get rid of gnats, no toxic fume enters the body or creates breathing difficulty. This is especially beneficial for people with allergies, asthma, and generally weak lungs.

So, essential oils are a safe choice for you, your kids, and your pets. They also have little impact on the environment – unlike pesticides that are known to contaminate soil and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

2. Doesn’t Make You a Murderer!

Essential oils don’t kill gnats. Instead, they work in two different ways; smell deterrence and irritation.

Like most of the bugs, gnats have a powerful sense of smell. They use smell to detect food sources, other nearby gnats, and predators. So, they can also smell essential oils and develop a preference or distaste for them.

Fortunately, most essential oils have a bad effect on gnats. While these oils smell pleasant to us, they are absolutely disgusting for gnats. They’ll steer clear of areas with the smell. This is called smell deterrence.

Some essential oils go beyond smell deterrence and also irritate gnats. The chemical compounds inside the plant extract mess up the gnat’s ability to breathe and think clearly. A few oils irritate the eyes too – making it impossible for the gnat to see and fly properly.

3. Light on Your Pockets

A pesticide spray will indeed cost $2 to $6 per bottle. Meanwhile, the essential oil will cost $10+ for the same quantity. So, apparently, a pesticide is a cheaper solution.

But if you do the math, a pesticide will cost more. Let us explain how!

Most commercial pesticide sprays are diluted formulas. They are not potent because of what may happen if the toxic fumes enter your body. Only professional pest control services have access to these powerful formulations.

So, when getting rid of the gnat infestation, you will require multiple bottles (which costs more altogether). Comparatively, if you use essential oils, you will only need a few drops to see the same results!

This will still leave a lot of essential oil in the bottle that you can use for various other purposes like aromatherapy. So, essential oil is cheaper (especially if gnats get into your house frequently).

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4. Has a Good Smell

This pro might be slightly subjective, but the majority of essential oils smell heavenly. Take lavender oil for an example. The sweet floral scent is capable of putting everyone in a good mood!

It is also scientifically proven to ease your mind and reduce anxiety levels. So, whether you diffuse essential oils for gnats or rub them over your skin, it surely won’t smell as bad as pesticide sprays.

Which Essential Oil Will Get Rid of Gnats?

Which Essential Oil Will Get Rid of Gnats1

Now that we know the amazing benefits of essential oils for gnats. Let’s have a look at which essential oils will actually get rid of these pests!

1. Peppermint Oil

The strong, minty aroma of peppermint oil is unpleasant for gnats. It also contains compounds like menthol that can interfere with their sensory receptors. This makes it difficult for them to locate food sources or breeding sites.

2. Lavender Oil

The lavender essential oil has a sweet floral scent with a woody undertone. This scent masks the smell of attractants and discourages gnats from entering your living spaces. It also creates a soothing atmosphere for you and your family.

3. Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil is famously known for increasing hair volume. But did you know it can repel gnats too? Its strong herbal scent has insect-repelling properties that work effectively both indoors and outdoors. You can use it in your house, garden, and anywhere you spot a gnat!

4. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus has a multifaceted scent with hints of honey, mint, and citrus. It’s powerful enough to repel ants, moths, spiders, beetles, and even cockroaches. So, you can also use it for gnats.

It works like all other essential oils by disorienting the gnats. But if you use highly concentrated eucalyptus essential oils, they can also kill them.

5. Geranium Oil

Geranium oil is made from geranium oil, especially Pelargonium graveolens. It has a floral and slightly citrusy aroma that is overpowering for gnats and other flying insects. This makes the environment less attractive to these pests and reduces their presence.

6. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil has a natural and potent insect-repelling compound named citronellal. It is known for producing a strong lemony scent that acts as a deterrent to gnats and other flying insects like fruit flies and wasps.

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7. Citronella Oil

If you want a more powerful solution than lemongrass essential oils, opt for citronella oils. It is extracted from certain varieties of lemongrass. And so, it has higher concentrations of citronellal compound than simple lemongrass oil.

This essential oil works best on large infestations of gnats indoors as well as outdoors.

8. Garlic Oil

Garlic oil is popular for getting rid of the most annoying household pests. So, if your house is frequently infested by insects, having this essential oil at home is a must.

The oil contains high amounts of allicin (an active compound in garlic), which gives the characteristic odor of crushed garlic. Even some of us hate this smell, so imagine the effect on gnats!

9. Cedarwood Oil

Another great option is cedarwood oil. The main chemical compound responsible for its insect-repelling properties is cedrol. It produces a distinct woody aroma that disturbs gnats and discourages them from infesting your house.

10. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a potent essential oil derived from the leaves of the tea tree that is native to Australia. It is popular for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. But you can also use it as an insect-repellent for gnats.

How to Use Essential Oils to Get Rid of Gnats?

How to Use Essential Oils to Get Rid of Gnats1

Essential oils are never meant to be used directly on anything. These are concentrated plant extracts that can be harmful when mishandled. So, to use them against gnats successfully, try one of these 3-ways:

1. Make a Spray Solution

The most effective way to use essential oils for gnats is to make a repellent spray. Just fill a spray bottle with water and add 3 to 5 drops of essential oil. Shake the bottle to create a solution.

Now, spray it generously over gnats. You should also spray the solution in bathrooms, kitchens, and other moist places in your house.

2. Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

A diffuser is typically used to spread the smell of essential oils throughout the house. So, if the gnat infestation is indoors, place the diffuser near the nest. Adult gnats love to lay eggs near garbage cans, indoor plants, under sinks, above drains, and near toilets.

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3. Rub It on Your Skin

If there are too many gnats in your house or yard and your primary concern is not to get bitten, consider making your own repellent oil. Select a carrier oil (preferably coconut or olive oil) and add a few drops of essential oil from the list above.

Mix the oil with a spoon and transfer it to a covered jar or bottle. Let it rest for at least a day. If you can wait a couple more days, let it be so that both oils can merge. Rub this oil onto your skin to deter gnats.

Alternatively, you can add a few drops of essential oil into plain body cream and rub it all over the exposed skin. This saves you the waiting period and offers a quicker solution.


Gnats are annoying pests that infest homes easily. So, if you’ve got a serious gnat problem going on in your house, try these essential oils for gnats:

  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • Citronella
  • Garlic
  • Geranium
  • Cedarwood
  • Tea Tree

You can use any of them to make a spray solution or spread it in the air via a diffuser. If you want to avoid getting gnat bites, mix a few drops of the preferred essential oil in a carrier oil or cream and rub it over your exposed skin. Hope this helps!

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