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Does Mint Keep Bugs Away? (All You Need to Know)

Bugs are little pesky insects that can make life harder than it needs to be. And oftentimes people try to avoid store-bought bug repellents because of all the harmful chemicals they contain. But are there truly any home remedies that can help rid the house of bugs?

Does mint keep bugs away?

Mint is an excellent bug deterrent. And not just bugs, mint also keeps other pests like ants, mosquitoes, flies and even spiders and cockroaches away. It is able to keep these insects away so easily because mint has a very pungent aroma. Therefore, a small mint plant in the house will stop the bugs.

When selecting mint plants, try to find the one with the most pungent aroma because the stronger the aroma the more effectively it will keep the bugs away. The scent that is emitted in the air from the mint plant is an unbearable irritant for most insects which includes bugs. 

They will not want to frequent places where there is a mint plant. This stops them from feeling at home in a house that has mint plants!

However, Even though mint plants can keep bugs away, many people don’t have the luxury to grow mint plants in their houses. Either due to space or time needed for the upkeep of the plant and maybe some simply are born without a green thumb. 

For those special cases, let’s look at what other available options are there to keep bugs away.

Mint leaves:

Similarly to mint plants, mint leaves can also keep bugs away. As we have learned above, the scent of mint is key when it comes to keeping bugs away. 

Therefore, if you want to use mint leaves to keep them away, you can spread out a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves around the house. The pungent aroma will surely rid your house of bugs and also steer new ones from entering.

Sweet mint:

Sweet mint has a higher content of menthol which gives it a more potent flavor and smell. Due to this, it works wonderfully at getting rid of bugs and also succeeds in keeping them away. 

So, not only can you make refreshing teas and desserts with sweet mint but can also keep bugs away with its help. You can either keep a plant of sweet mint at home and if that isn’t possible, you can use only the leaves. 

All you need to do is spread the leaves in corners of your house and the spots that the bugs frequent.

Fresh mint:

As we know the pungent nature of mint helps in keeping the bugs at bay and naturally the aroma of mint will be strongest when it is fresh, this causes bugs to keep their distance as they find the smell of fresh mint very irritating. 

Alas, if bugs are making your life miserable all you need is a small sprig of fresh leaves to expel them from your living space.

Chocolate mint:

Chocolate mint is a cultivar of mint and as the name suggests has a minty and also an added chocolatey scent. But lucky even the chocolatey qualities does not stop it from repelling bugs, flies, mosquitoes. 

It too acts like a barrier against these insects and keeps them away. Therefore, if you don’t have spearmint or peppermint, you can still use chocolate mint to deter the bugs from your house.

Mint essential oil:

Mint essential oil works as a great alternative to fresh mint when it comes to keeping bugs away. All you need to do is place a few sachets of mint essential oils on the entry points of your home such as the door and windows. 

This will get rid of the bugs in the house and also prevent new ones from entering. You can also use mint essential oil in a diffuser or a spray bottle, this will also work well as a bug repellent.

Does mint keep bugs away from plants? 

Similar to how mint protects our homes from bugs, it can do the same for our plants. Bug infestation in the garden is a dangerous thing and most people do not wish to experience it as the bugs can chew and also take the lives of completely healthy plants. 

And losing a plant after spending days and weeks caring for it is bound to be heartbreaking. So, in order to prevent this nightmare, mint can come in handy in protecting the vegetables and plants in your yard or garden.

So, consider planting a few mint plants in your garden as this will emit a pungent aroma into the surrounding air, which will help cover up the scent of vegetable plants and also act as an irritant to repel insects that includes bugs, flies and mosquitoes. 

Mint also plays a huge role in attracting predators who feed on the bugs. This causes bugs to steer clear of the garden and the plants in it, which allows them to live and grow in peace.

2 reason why mint keeps bugs away

A few key properties in mint helps in keeping the bugs away. Many people find it hard to believe that such an affordable and easily accessible plant can keep bugs away. And the best way to understand how it works is to take a look at the properties that make mint such an effective bug repellent.


An active ingredient in mint is methanol. The content may differ depending on the type of mint. Nonetheless, the presence of methanol helps keep the bugs away as it is a natural pesticide for bug larvae.

Flavor and smell:

The flavor and smell of mint can be very pungent which irritates the bugs’ senses and prompts it to stay away from places that have mint plants, mint leaves or mint essential oils.

How well does mint keep bugs away? What type of mint plant keeps bugs away?

Mint not only keeps bugs away but it also keeps insects and animals such as spiders, cockroaches and even rats away

This shows that the menthol in mint and the natural pungent aroma of mint effectively keeps not only bugs but also other much larger insects and animals away. 

This theory can be tested easily by placing mint leaves or a mint plant in the house, it will rid the house of bugs in a short period of time.

Spearmint and peppermint both contain varying levels of menthol which makes them such a strong repellent against bugs. So, having either of them in your house in a pot will get rid of the bugs and hopefully deter new bugs from entering. 

Chocolate mint is also known to have bug repelling properties.

How to use mint to keep bugs away?

As we have mentioned above, mint plants near windows or doors can keep bugs away. But if you can’t keep a plant in your house or the plant isn’t enough to keep the bugs at bay. Here is another easy way to use mint to keep bugs away. 

This process can be used to make a bug and other insect repellent spray at home with minimal ingredients and efforts.

Dry the leaves:

You will need to sun dry a handful of mint leaves for a few days. Continue to let it dry before all the moisture is gone.

Boil it:

Boil a spoonful of the dried mint leaves with half a cup of water. You can also add lavender to strengthen the concoction.

Cool it down:

After taking it off the heat, allow it enough time to cool down completely.

Pour in a spray bottle:

You will need a sieve to transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. The sieve will prevent the leaves from entering the spray bottle.

Add some rubbing alcohol:

You should now add half a cup of rubbing alcohol to the spray bottle and give it a good shake.

And voila! Your very own bug repellent spray is ready to use.

What insects does mint deter?

Bugs are not the only insects that mint has the ability to deter. There is a long list of insects and even small animals that avoid places where mint grows. This makes it such a beneficial plant to have in the garden and also as a houseplant.

  • Aspid
  • Cabbage moth
  • Flea beetles
  • Squash bugs
  • Whiteflies
  • Ants
  • Mosquitoes
  • Cockroaches
  • Spiders

Final thought:

Mint does keep bugs away from plants and also indoors. Mint, mint leaves, mint essential oil – all of these can be used to keep bugs away. The main reason bugs cannot stand mint is because the pungent aroma from mint irritates them and makes it unbearable for them to stay within its vicinity.