Lemongrass as a Fly Repellent? Why You Should Use Lemongrass Bug Spray

lemon grass

Bug spray stinks. There’s no other way around it. Whenever you think of bug spray or fly repellent, you think of that strong citronella scent. It’s common knowledge that citronella repels bugs, but a little-known fact is that citronella oil is produced from lemongrass. Lemongrass is a wonderful natural fly repellent that is good for you and the environment instead of harmful chemical insecticides. Read on as we explore why lemongrass in bug spray might just be a game changer for parents who need an effective and safe fly repellent this summer.

What Is Lemongrass? 

Lemongrass is a perennial grass that can be found in Asia. The grass has a strong citrus scent that is often used in Asian cuisine. Lemongrass oil is rich in citral and geranyl acetate, compounds that work as natural pest repellents. However, it is important to note that you should never apply pure lemongrass oil to your skin. Lemongrass should always be diluted with other essential oils otherwise your skin will become irritated. 

Does Lemongrass Repel Bugs?

While lemongrass tastes amazing to us humans, especially when cooked in soup and seafood, most bugs hate it. But why? One theory is that lemongrass’s strong scent interferes with a bug’s ability to find its prey, though lemongrass can be fatal to other insects such as mosquitos. 

In a study, a subject coated their skin in lemongrass oil and entered a space filled with mosquitoes. After three hours, they hadn’t been bitten once and all mosquitoes that came into contact with the oil died. 

If lemongrass is so effective against bugs, will planting a lemongrass plant around your house help keep the bugs away? It might help, but the effect will not be enough to repel unwanted pests from your yard effectively. The best solution is to use spray or oil that has lemongrass as one of its prime ingredients to keep bugs away from your body. Lemongrass won’t stop the bugs from getting around your home but it will keep them away from you. And unlike chemical-filled bug sprays, lemongrass is a great natural way to repel bugs that’s better for us and the environment. 

Lemongrass Vs. Citronella: Which Is Better Insect Repellent? 

The citronella that we commonly think of as being in insect-repellent candles or bug spray comes from lemongrass plants. The citronella plant, also known as the mosquito plant, has some chemicals to repel insects but not enough to effectively protect us against them if you were to plant them. Citronella candles have been proven to work somewhat but are not nearly as effective as lemongrass. 

Besides the effectiveness of insect repellent, lemongrass is preferred because of its fresh citrus scent compared to citronella’s strong odor which is more of an acquired taste. Lemongrass also has the added benefit of being edible while citronella isn’t. 

What Bugs Does Lemongrass Repel? 

There are several creatures that lemongrass repels that goes beyond mosquitoes and bugs. Below is a comprehensive list that includes all the animals that lemongrass repels. For some such as mosquitos lemongrass is toxic, for others they just severely dislike the scent and will do their best to avoid it. 

  • Mosquito
  • Lizard
  • Bee
  • Snakes 
  • Rats
  • Spiders
  • Cockroaches
  • Wasps 
  • Ticks
  • Ants
  • Bed bugs
  • House flies
  • Lice

Other Important Essential Oils: 

Lemongrass on its own could make your skin irritable which is why it’s a great idea to use other essential oils and natural materials to help cut down the strongness of lemongrass. 


Cedarwood steals moisture from insects and bugs, leaving them dried out and dead. It is most effective on mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, moths, flies, lice, ticks, ants, silverfish, and mites. 


Peppermint is another great natural insect repellent. It will help keep flies, moths, fleas, fruit flies, gnats, wasps, stink bugs, ants, spiders, beetles, cockroaches, and bed bugs away. 


Like lemongrass, geranium has a strong lemon aroma that helps keep flying insects away. 

Does Essential Oil Bug Spray Work

One day Jeff Moreau Jr, Lemongrass Farm’s Vice President, decided to go to a local all-natural grocery store with one of their interns. They bought a bunch of natural bug sprays, looking to see if other companies had found a blend that worked as well as Lemongrass Farms. “If it smelled okay,” Jeff said, “then it didn’t feel right. If it felt good, then it smelled awful. Bug sprays made from soybean oil left our skin feeling slimy and gross while alcohol dried it out.” 

That’s why Jeff is proud of Lemongrass Farm’s insect repellent. It is truly the first effective all-natural insect repellent that you’ll enjoy putting on your skin. It’s finally a bug spray you’ll love to use. Are you looking for a reliable bug spray for kids? Our Trek for Kids is one of the best bug sprays for kids.