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Does Rosemary Keep Bugs Away? (Quick Answers)

Rosemary is a perennial herb loved and grown in many regions of the world. Rosemary leaves have long been used for enhancing flavors in many dishes. The oil extracted from the leaves is loved for its potent nature that comes to many benefits. 

Rosemary flourishes in containers. Also, they grow well in hot weather as they have good heat tolerance. You can plant them anywhere in your garden or patio.

Does rosemary keep bugs away

Rosemary can help keep some bugs away. Many gardeners prefer planting rosemary for its fragrant white flowers, needle-like leaves as well as pungent aroma that helps to keep insects away. The best thing about rosemary plants is that they keep some veggie-eating harmful insects at bay.

Including rosemary plants in your herb garden will keep other herbs protected from certain insects. They might not be able to deter all types of insects or bugs, but they do keep some harmful insects away. You can also use them as ornamental plants to guard your other plants. 

Not many studies were conducted to confidently claim the effectiveness of rosemary extract or oil in deterring mosquitoes and other insects. It is thought to be the strong aroma rosemary releases that help to keep some insects away. 

Rosemary plant: 

Rosemary plants can discourage some bugs from coming near them. The pungent aroma of the plant is something many insects, as well as animals, don’t like much. They tend to lose interest in going anywhere near them and bug the plants. 

Burning rosemary: 

Burning rosemary can keep certain mosquitoes away. When you are sitting near a fire or camping, a bunch of rosemary leaves can come in handy. Just burn some in the fire; it will smell pleasant while keeping the bugs at bay. 

Rosemary oil: 

Rosemary oil is a potent oil used widely for its medicinal benefits. It helps in relieving some pain and stimulates blood flow. Aside from its health benefits, rosemary oil can help keep bugs away as well. 

It needs to be used in dilution with water and you can spray it in your plants to deter certain insects. 

Rosemary bushes: 

Rosemary bushes can fill your garden with fresh beautiful white flowers when in bloom. Also, the leaves will help keep some harmful insects away from the garden.

Is rosemary an insect repelling plant?

Rosemary is an insect repelling plant. They are known for their pungent aroma that can confuse and deter some insects. We don’t advise using rosemary extract on the skin as there are not enough studies to claim its safe use on the skin. 

Rosemary essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy and they are used in dilution with other carrier oil. Still, whether the essential oil can take the place of other sprays or creams for skin can’t be said for sure. But, the strong scent of the plants can surely confuse some insects. 

There are many insects that can’t stand the smell coming from fragrant plants. Insects like flies and mosquitoes tend to keep a safe distance from such plants. Hence, if grown in plenty, you might be able to deter some of the harmful bugs by planting rosemary. 

Also, rosemary oil mixed with water can be a great way of deterring infection-causing insects. You can simply spray some of the mixtures on the areas. Make sure not to use too much, just use it as a mist to moist the area.

3 reasons why do rosemary keeps bugs away

Rosemary plants are known for the essential oil coming from the underside of the leaves. While they can add great flavors to some of your recipes, the smell of this oil is quite unpleasant to insects. 

Woody scent:

The woody scent coming from the rosemary will fill your garden with a pleasant fragrance that you can enjoy. But, there are many bugs that detest this scent. Bugs like mosquitoes and flies prefer to avoid a woody scented plant like rosemary. 

Pungent aroma:

Rosemary leaves have a strong pungent aroma that confuses some insects. It’s the leaves where the oil is extracted from. They release a strong pungent smell that mosquitoes don’t like hence they may avoid the area where the smell dominates. 

It may also keep other bugs like cabbage moths, some ticks, and fleas away. 

Beneficial insects: 

The unique smell of the rosemary plant attracts some of the beneficial insects that safeguard your plants by perihing harmful bugs. 

How do you use rosemary for bugs?

Stick to this section to know more about how to use rosemary to repel bugs –

Mix rosemary with water and use it as a repellent spray:

You can make a spray by adding a few drops of rosemary oil to the water. Another way is to boil rosemary leaves to get the potent mixed water that you can spray on your plants lightly. 

Plant rosemary surrounding vegetable plants:

If you want to protect your vegetable plants that tend to be affected by bugs easily, you can try planting some rosemary to surround the vegetable plants. Now, this is not the most effective way, but you can restrict some bugs from entering the area.

Hang clothes soaked in or sprayed by rosemary and water mixture:

Another way to use rosemary is by soaking clothes in rosemary and water mixture and hanging them in areas where you want to create the shield. 

You can also spray some mixture instead of soaking as this will give a milder effect that may be less irritating for you and your pets.

Hang sprigs of rosemary leaves: 

This is by far the easiest method of using rosemary for bugs. If you don’t want bugs to enter your space, you can just simply hang some sprigs of rosemary leaves by the window. 

Use rosemary as a repellent:

Going to your garden for a pleasant walk or to spend some quality time can become hard if you tend to attract a lot of insects. Covering yourself in sprays or creams containing chemicals can be harmful to your skin. 

Also, these are quite expensive to use on a regular basis. 

A strategic way of keeping your garden free from insects is by planting some insect-repelling plants. 

Some people suggest making an essential oil mixture including some other insect-repelling oils with water and witch hazel and applying them to your skin to repel bugs. 

Burn rosemary leaves to create smoke:

Another way of deterring some bugs is by burning rosemary leaves to create smoke carrying the smell of rosemary. This smoke will keep mosquitoes from flying away. This method can be very helpful when you’re out camping and need to keep the mosquito invasion in check.

How to make rosemary bug repellent? 

The following tips will surely help you to make rosemary bug repellent –

Mix water with rosemary oil to make a spray:

The easiest way to use rosemary as a repellent is by mixing its oil with water to prepare a repellent spray. Just add 8 to 10 drops of oil to a cup of water. You can spray the mixture on the base and around the plant that is mostly infested by bugs.

Infuse dry rosemary leaves in hot boiled water:

Another way is to add dried rosemary leaves in hot water and let rest for at least 20 minutes. This will help the leaves to release all their repelling properties. You can use the water on your plants. Some even suggest spraying some on the skin to repel mosquitoes.

Mix rosemary oil with a few other essential oils:

Another great tip for a skin-friendly bug repellent suggested by many users online is to mix a few essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, or mint along with rosemary oil. 

Just add 8-10 drops of each oil with water and around 3/4 cup of witch hazel. Shake well every time before applying.

What bugs does rosemary repel? 

Rosemary plants potentially harm the insects rather the strong aromatic smoke coming from the leaves confuse the insects. Pests are often bewildered by the strong scent of rosemary, but the same smell can attract beneficial insects as well as animals.

Growing rosemary can repel some bugs and pests but they can’t keep them away on a large scale. For a large-scale and long-term solution, you may need professional pest control assistance. Some common bugs that rosemary can help to keep away are: 

  •  Mosquitos
  • Carrot flies
  • Cabbage moths
  • Fleas
  • Two-spotted spider mites
  • Black-legged ticks
  • Beetles

Final Thoughts

Rosemary can help keep certain bugs away. The strong woody and pungent scent of the leaves can keep bugs like mosquitoes, cabbage moths, some flies, and fleas at bay. Rosemary is a perennial herb known for its culinary and medicinal benefits. The oil extracted from the leaves is quite potent.