Does Mint Repel Bugs? Pests You Can Keep Away With Mint

Mint is an incredibly popular plant because it’s used in our everyday lives. Toothpaste, ice cream, candles — we love the smell and taste of mint. But, did you know that the scent and taste we love so much is what drives bugs away?

Yes, bugs and other pests don’t share our love for mint. In fact, they hate it. But, this is actually good news for us. If you’ve been having trouble with pests, just break out your mint and you’ll be good to go!

Keep reading as below I cover whether you can control pests with mint and whether mint repels mosquitoes, bugs, rodents, bees, lice, spiders and more! You’ll soon learn everything mint repels as well as how to plant mint for the best results and whether mint oil can work even better to repel pests.

Can Plants Control Bugs And Pests?

Yes! Mint keeps bugs away. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all plants, but there are a lot of plants that can control bugs and other pests. Many herbs are a popular choice for bug repellents, and mint is one of the best.

The reason that pests hate mint so much is because of its strong aroma. This may seem odd to us — the strong aroma of mint is what makes so many people love the herb, after all. But, bugs and other pests don’t feel the same way.

A strong scent is the main factor determining whether a plant will drive away pests or not. This is why many people will use herbs, like rosemary, as companion plants. A companion plant with a strong odor can help protect all of the garden’s plants from pests.

Unfortunately, mint is considered an invasive plant and can grow wildly out of control if not kept under control. For this reason, most experts don’t recommend using it as a companion plant. Still, it can be done as long as you’re pruning it regularly.

Why Grow Mint?

There are a lot of great reasons to grow mint. Most people do it to aid in their cooking or to help their home smell fresh. Keeping fresh mint in your kitchen or garden ensures that you always have fresh herb available for your cooking. The most commonly used mints for cooking are peppermint, spearmint, and orange mint.

Many people also dry their leaves to keep for later cooking. Others use the dry leaves for the aroma, packing them up in satchels that they leave around the house. The most commonly used mints for aroma are peppermint and spearmint.

Pest Control

One of the great things about mint is that it aids in pest control. If you’re having trouble with pests in your garden or in your home, mint can help repel them and prevent them from coming back.

The best type of mint to use for bug repellent is peppermint. Peppermint is a cross between spearmint and watermint and has a significantly stronger taste and smell to it.

If you prefer not to use peppermint, you can also use pennyroyal and spearmint.

Either way, mint is helpful for repelling bugs in both your garden and your home. How you’re going to use the mint varies on where you’re having the problem, though. If you have pests in your garden, you can simply plant some mint to help repel the bugs. If you’re having trouble in your home, though, you’ll want to use essential oils or a mint spray.

Mint is effective at deterring bugs because it has biocidal properties. The main active ingredient in mint is menthol which acts as a pesticide that deters bugs, but does not kill them.

Mint and bugs

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Does Mint Repel Mosquitoes?

Yes — mint works really well at repelling mosquitos. We’ll provide a mint-spray recipe below that works well for repelling these bloodsuckers. Spearmint and peppermint are the two mints that work best against mosquitos.

Does Mint Repel Bugs?

Yes — spearmint, peppermint, and pennyroyal are all effective bug repellents.

Does Mint Repel Rodents?

Yes — spearmint and peppermint work best at repelling mice and rats.

Does Mint Repel Bees?

Yes — peppermint works best at repelling bees.

Does Mint Repel Lice?

Yes — peppermint works best at repelling lice.

Does Mint Repel Spiders?

Yes — spearmint and peppermint work best at repelling spiders.

Does Mint Repel Fleas?

Yes — pennyroyal mint works best to repel fleas.

Does Mint Repel Snakes?

Yes and no — it may be effective when use in combination with other essential oils like garlic, clove, cinnamon, and lemongrass.

Does Mint Repel Wasps?

Mint works great for repelling both wasps and hornets. We all know how frightening it can be to have wasps — and especially hornets — make their home in our yards. Planting mint in your garden can prevent these pests from setting up camp there.

If, unfortunately, you already have these flying fiends in your garden, there is an easy way to get rid of them.

You’ll want to purchase a bit of Castile liquid soap. Make sure it’s peppermint scented. Add one cup of this soap to your hose sprayer and spray at the nest from a safe distance. Keep spraying until the nests falls down or begins to disintegrate.

Unlike mint used on its own, peppermint soap will act to suffocate the wasps or hornets. The soap is what kills them, but the peppermint scent will prevent any survivors from coming back to rebuild their nest.

Do Mint Leaves Repel Ants?

No — mint is not effective at repelling ants.

Do Mint Plants Repel Insects?

Yes — spearmint, peppermint, and pennyroyal are all effective insect repellents.

What Does Mint Repel? Everything Else

What Animals Does Mint Repel?

If you’re having trouble with animals coming into your garden and digging up your plants, you can try to use a bit of mint mixed with thyme. This combination helps repel dogs, cats, and some wildlife like deer and raccoons.


Peppermint and spearmint work really well to repel flies.


Pennyroyal mint works best to repel ticks.

How To Plant Mint To Stop Pests

If you want to keep pests out of your home and prefer live plants, that’s doable. Simply plant some mint in a pot and keep it on your windowsill. This is where most bugs enter the home, so it’ll help keep your home pest free.

If you’re planting mint in your garden, you won’t want to plant it near your other plants. Mint spreads rapidly and will take over your garden. Instead, try planting it on the outskirts of your garden. Doing so will give your other plants room to grow and will prevent pests from entering the garden.

You can also use mint sprays on your garden plants to protect them. We’ll include some recipes later.

Does Mint Repel Better In An Oil Or Concoction?

When any kind of herb or plant is made into an essential oil, it’s going to be highly concentrated and potent. So, while the mint plant itself does have bug repelling properties, it’s going to be more effective in oil form.

This is good news for anyone having pest trouble in their house. It’s easier to spray some essential oil than it is to grow mint in your home. Using essential oils can be cost effective as well. While it may seem like a lot of money for a small bottle of oil, you only need to use a few drops to reap the benefits. A single bottle can last for months.

For use in the home, a lot of people will put a few drops of the essential oil into a spray bottle. Then, they will dilute the oil and use that as a spray for around the house. Even though the spray is diluted, it is still going to be more concentrated and more effective than using a live mint plant.

If you’re having a particularly bad problem with pests, it could be more effective to use non-diluted oil. For example, placing a few drops of the oil across your window ledge could prevent pesky bugs from entering your home.

Here is a recipe to create your own mint spray with rubbing alcohol:

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil

Here’s What To Do:

  • Add both ingredients to a spray bottle
  • Mix well before using

Where You Can Use It:

  • On your skin — it works well as a mosquito repellent when rubbed into your skin
  • In your home — windowsills and doorways usually work best

Here is a recipe to create your own mint spray with white vinegar or witch hazel:

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of mint essential oil
  • White vinegar or witch hazel

Here’s What To Do:

  • Add both ingredients to a spray bottle
  • Mix well before using

Where You Can Use It:

  • On your skin — it works well as a mosquito repellent when rubbed into your skin
  • In your home — windowsills and doorways usually work best

Here is a recipe to create a mint spray with your home-grown mint leaves:

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Peppermint leaves
  • Citrus peels
  • Water
  • Rubbing Alcohol

Here’s What To Do:

  • Place the citrus peels and peppermint leaves in a pot of water
  • Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat
  • Allow the mixture to sit overnight
  • In the morning, strain the mixture, pouring the liquid into a spray bottle with equal parts rubbing alcohol

Where You Can Use It:

  • On your skin — it works well as a mosquito repellent when rubbed into your skin
  • In your home — windowsills and doorways usually work best

Final Words

As you can see, bugs and other pests hate mint. Crazy, right? The strong scent and taste of the herb drives them away. So, you can easily deter pesky pests by spraying mint around your home or planting it in your garden.

This is a win-win for you because not only will the bugs be gone, but your home will be left with a nice, minty smell!

Want to learn more? Click here to learn if spearmint also repels bugs and here to learn if mint spreads. You can also find all my guides to growing mint here.