What Insects Does Cinnamon Repel Plus How to Use it to Keep Them Away?

Suppose you are unhappy with unwanted visitors in summer and want to keep them away. Then, many products in the market (organic and inorganic) repel these pesky bugs around your homes and gardens. 

A typical house winter bug—Brown Marmorated Shield Bug Photo Credit

Some products have strong chemicals which may harm pets and children. So, the natural ways are best to keep these annoying bugs away, such as cinnamon essential oil, peppermint essential oil, citronella oil, mint oil, rosemary oil, and eucalyptus essential oil.

The strong and pungent smell of these natural essential oils repel insects and, in higher applications, kills them. However, applying these natural products should be strategic to achieve successful results.

Cinnamon sticks have significant benefits for humans (used as medicine to cure diseases), plants, and homeowners. It has a strong scent most bugs dislike and does not visit the places that release this smell. Cinnamon sticks contain cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, which act as strong repellent agents.

Keep reading the article to learn more about cinnamon sticks, their unique benefits, and how they repel insects.

Bed bugs

Bed bugs feeding on human skin Photo Credit

What are Cinnamon Sticks?

Cinnamon sticks and cinnamon oil comes from tropical plants, which have a significant role in food and medicines. It is mainly cultivated for the aromatic bark of Cinnamomum species.

what insects does cinnamon repel

Cinnamon sticks—the dried and aromatic bark of Cinnamomum species Photo Credit

The dried bark or cinnamon sticks contain volatile oils such as eugenol (also present in clove oil), camphor, linalool, and pinene. Cinnamon oil has excellent insecticidal, herbicidal, and antimicrobial properties.

What Insects Does Cinnamon Repel?

Cinnamon sticks have tremendous insecticidal properties and insect repellents;

  1. Ants
  2. Wasps
  3. Earwigs
  4. Silverfish
  5. Spiders
  6. Bed bugs
  7. Fruit flies
  8. Mice
  9. Flies
  10. Mosquitoes

Cinnamon oil or sticks repel all these insects, as mentioned above, but its efficacy increases when it is used along with geranium, peppermint essential oil, and lemongrass oil. The combination of these oils repels German cockroaches, mosquitos, and flies.

Cinnamon oil also has excellent efficiency in repelling the most common storage pests. For example, it repels the rice weevil and flour beetle. 

The heavy dose of cinnamon stick dilution inhibits the reproduction of rice weevil, maize borer, bean weevil, and flour beetle. Thus, ensuring the grower’s protection of grains from these uninvited pests.

what insects does cinnamon repel

Cinnamon powder dilutions with water kill the typical sweet potato whitefly and green peach aphid. Photo Credit

Rosemary oil, cinnamon oil, and cotton seed oil kill the citrus mealybug, western flower thrips, and earwigs.

RELATED: Scale Insects: How to Identify and Manage Them for Plant Health?

mealybugs infestations

A young stem of citrus with heavy infestations of mealybugs (a sprinkle of cinnamon powder will kill this infestation) Photo Credit

Western flower thrips - what insects does cinnamon repel

Western flower thrips (rosemary oil, along with cinnamon and peppermint oil, kills these pests) Photo Credit

One of the best roles of cinnamon oil is that it not only act as a repellent but help growers to achieve healthy plants by killing harmful pests.

Cinnamon oil and salt (sodium chloride) kill the fungal and bacterial spores and prevent further spread.

Does Cinnamon Attract Any Insects?

Cinnamon is a natural bug repellent, and many insects do not like the strong smell of this dried bark. Also, they are not fond of powdered cinnamon because it is toxic to many insects and kills them. For example, cinnamon is effective in killing mosquito eggs, and its powdered texture helps kill the larval stage of mosquitos.

Mosquito larvae

Mosquito larvae—cinnamon essential oil deter all stages of these common house bugs. Photo Credit

Will Cinnamon Attract Ants?

Deter ants

Cinnamon has a strong, pungent smell, which repels and deters the ants Photo Credit

Cinnamon oil is a natural insect repellent and keeps many home bugs away. Ants have a strong sense of smell and do not like the smell of cinnamon, garlic, peppermint, and rosemary. So, to keep the ants away from your home and garden (they tend sap-sucking pests), place the cinnamon sticks near the doorways, on the window sills, and under the kitchen sink.

The pungent smell of cinnamon will deter the ants and their arrival forever.

RELATED: How to Use Neem Oil for Plants as an Organic Pesticide? Plus, Amazing Benefits!

Benefits of Cinnamon Other Than Insect Repellent

Ground cinnamon

The ground cinnamon, more than an insect repellent—benefits plants from seed germination to reproductive growth. Photo Credit

Ground cinnamon or in oil form has excellent benefits for plants, and it is safe to say that cinnamon is more than an insect repellent and killer. Here are the following unique benefits of cinnamon for plants;

what insects does cinnamon repel

Damping-off young seedlings Photo Credit

  1. Cinnamon powder prevents the seedlings from damping off—a range of fungal diseases that attack the seedlings before and after germination and cause death. To prevent the young seedlings from fungal pathogens, dust the cinnamon powder on the soil, and it will kill the fungus gnat larvae and other fungal spores.
  2. It prevents the growth of mushrooms in organic mulches and compost bins. Mushrooms are fungi; dusting off the cinnamon powder can stop their growth because cinnamon has antimicrobial properties.
  3. Cinnamon is a significant rooting hormone that can help succulent growers to grow and maintain healthy plants from cuttings.
  4. It heals the plant wounds due to excessive pruning.
  5. Ground cinnamon prevents the houseplants from powdery and downy mildew fungus. Dusting it on leaf surfaces inhibits the spore germination and stops its further growth.
  6. Cinnamon powder threatens the rust fungus in plants and helps gardeners get rid of this disease.

Use Cinnamon to Deter Wasps and Other Indoor Plant Bugs

During summer, spider mites, whiteflies, and aphids are a severe problem for indoor plant owners and gardeners. So, the cinnamon spray will stop these infestations and kills the spider mites, harmful wasps, whiteflies, and aphids. Dust the cinnamon powder around indoor plants or the soil surface to repel and kill the noisy and damaging bugs.

The other way to use cinnamon powder is;

  1. Take one spoon of cinnamon powder or oil along with olive oil
  2. Mix both the ingredients and uniformly apply on the underside of leaves to deter the spider mite infestations and their web

RELATED: An Introduction to Flea Beetle plus How to Get Rid of this Garden Pest?

Make Foliar Spray with Cinnamon to Kill Fungi and Insect Pests

Use a cinnamon stick spray on the foliage of your indoor or outdoor plants to kill the pest infestation and fungal spores. To prepare the cinnamon foliar spray, we need;

  1. Two tablespoons of cinnamon powder
  2. Two cups of hot water
  3. Mix water and cinnamon in a bowl, cover it with a muslin cloth to prevent the loss of volatile oils and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain the mixture and pour it into a spray bottle
  5. Apply regularly on plants and near windowsills to repel the entry of bugs. Reapply after two days to kill the pesky insects.


How Does Cinnamon Keep Bugs Away?

Bugs found the smell of cinnamon extremely unpleasant and stopped visiting the places that were the source. Cinnamon has aromatic compounds such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, copane, camphor, and eugenol.

These aromatic compounds have a strong, pungent smell that repels and kills insects successfully. Cinnamon sticks repel spider mites, mosquitos, roaches, and other annoying bugs.

Is Cinnamon a Repellent for Cockroaches?

Cinnamon does wonder in repelling insects. It has the remarkable ability to repel insects such as cockroaches, spiders, mosquitos, and other indoor and outdoor plant bugs with its strong scent. Just sprinkle it over the kitchen cabinets and near sinks to repel them from your spaces.

Does Cinnamon Deter Mice?

Yes, cinnamon deter mice because it has a strong spicy aroma that repels this pest. Place cinnamon sticks in kitchen cabinets and the corners to repel the mice around your home. Or use cotton balls with cinnamon essential oils to deter mice.

How Do You Make Cinnamon Bug Spray?

To make a cinnamon bug spray;

  1. Take one teaspoon of cinnamon oil for every four parts of water
  2. Add a few drops of dish soap
  3. Mix the all ingredients well and pour into a spray bottle
  4. Apply on the infested areas to repel insects

The second best method to use cinnamon is grating the cinnamon sticks into a fine powder and sprinkle it over the places you suspect the unwanted insects.

Do Cinnamon Repel Flies?

what insects does cinnamon repel

Cinnamon blocks the entry of these flies into your home because of its strong aroma. Photo Credit

Cinnamon is a natural solid repellent of flies, ants, mosquito larvae, and many other bugs. The flies dislike cinnamon’s spicy and salty smell and avoid coming to such places. Cinnamon not only repels the flies but also prevents the contamination of food items from microbes and other toxins.

What Smell Do Mosquitoes Hate?

Mosquitoes have a strong sense of smell by which they access food items. On the other hand, there are some scents that mosquitoes do not like, and you can use those materials to repel them. Mosquitoes hate the smell of lavender, rosemary, catnip, pine, peppermint oil, geranium oil, cinnamon bark oil, citronella oil, lemon, garlic, citrus, thyme, and eucalyptus oil.

What Is the Best Homemade Insect Repellent?

The best homemade insect repellent against invading bugs is peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and tea tree oil. To prepare the homemade bug repellent;

  1. Take one tablespoon of any of above mentioned essential oils and mix per liter of water.
  2. Mix all the ingredients and sprinkle over infested areas

To succeed in bug control, follow the frequent applications of these essential oils with high concentrations.

Will Irish Spring Soap Repel Spiders?

Irish Spring soap is not only effective in repelling spiders but also mice and mosquitoes. Place the small pieces of soap in the kitchen, living room, and bathroom corners to deter the spiders and cockroaches.

Sources for Further Reading

  1. Today, E. (2021, February 12). Bed Bug Repellent Tests Should Reflect Type of Bug Behavior, Researchers Find. Entomology Today. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://entomologytoday.org/2021/01/26/bed-bug-repellent-tests-behavior-harborage-barrier/
  2. Korman, A., Kopco, J. P. B., Gripp, S. I., Jacobs, S., & Hock, W., PhD. (2022, May 15). Using Insect and Tick Repellents Safely. Penn State Extension. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://extension.psu.edu/using-insect-and-tick-repellents-safely
  3. Asadollahi, A., Khoobdel, M., Zahraei-Ramazani, A., Azarmi, S., & Mosawi, S. H. (2019). Effectiveness of plant-based repellents against different Anopheles species: a systematic review. Malaria Journal, 18(1), 1-20. DOI: 10.1186/s12936-019-3064-8

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