Using eucalyptus to keep insects out of the house – the best way to deter pests

Wondering how to keep insects out of the house? This evergreen is the secret tool you need this summer

Eucalyptus plant
(Image credit: GettyImages)

With its soothing organic tones and minimalist aesthetic, it is no surprise that eucalyptus is setting trends in the design industry. But its power stretches far beyond its style. Experts suggest using the popular plant to keep insects out of your home, and their advice is right on time. 

The warmer months see insects emerge from hibernation and produce many generations of offspring throughout the summer. So, if you’re looking for a natural way to keep insects out of the house, then this is one of the best indoor plants for the job. 

How does eucalyptus keep insects out of the house? 

Eucalyptus plant

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Garden expert Jeremy Yamaguchi of Lawn Love explains that insects are deterred by eucalyptus’ strong smell. So, if you’re looking for the most effective way to use eucalyptus, he recommends pure eucalyptus oil [such as time one from Amazon] that is easily spreadable around your home. 

‘Pests are alarmed by strong smells, and eucalyptus is typically not a smell that is native to the area, so its unfamiliarity combined with its potency causes pests to perceive it as a threat,’ Jeremy says.

However, you can use all the natural deterrents you want, but if you have holes or spaces for pests to enter your house, they will - so fix those spots first. If, for some reason, you can't seal those entry points, make those points the focus of your eucalyptus placement for maximum deterrent efficiency.

It is important to note, however, that this oil can be harmful to animals, so it is best to use it with caution if you have a pet. 

How to use eucalyptus to keep insects out of the house 

Eucalyptus plant

(Image credit: GettyImages)

As Jeremy suggests, you can use eucalyptus oil to deter insects this summer, but you can also incorporate eucalyptus into your indoor (and outdoor) garden ideas with eucalyptus trees too. Here’s what you need to know.  

1. Use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser 

Lindsey Hyland, the gardening expert and the founder of Urban Organic Yield, suggests filling a diffuser with eucalyptus oil to keep insects out of the house. This scent will ‘help to repel insects and keep them away from your home.’ 

2. Make a homemade spray 

You can also mix water and eucalyptus oil to create a homemade bug spray, which Lindsey suggests will deter insects from coming into your home. It is best to spray the mixture in problematic areas where the insects are likely to enter your home.  

Eucalyptus plant

(Image credit: GettyImages)

3. Invest in eucalyptus trees 

Eucalyptus is at the peak of interior and garden trends this season, so it is only natural that you will want to enjoy the plant itself. And while the scent is not as powerful as the oil, these plants will still help keep insects at bay. Lindsey suggests that eucalyptus trees can help keep insects away as they will create a 'barrier between your home and the insects.' This also means you could even prune eucalyptus to bring some foliage into the home to display.

Now you have every reason you may need to enjoy the benefits of eucalyptus – the only thing left to do is make the investment 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.