Is Your Air Freshener Attracting Pests?

Is Your Air Freshener Attracting Pests?

When you notice an invasion of pests in your home, whether it’s mice or bugs, your natural instinct is to look for the source that’s attracting them.

Aside from the usual suspects, there are some things you could be keeping around the home that are actually bringing the bugs in, and it’s not always what you might think.

Is your air freshener attracting pests and what other things could be?

The sweet or fruity scents added to air fresheners could definitely be drawing bugs and other pests in, but it’s usually a combination of things that makes your home attractive to these invaders. The best approach is to look through your house with a vigilant eye to find the items that might be attracting pests and get rid of them.

The best solution for pest removal is to find the source that’s drawing them in and remove it, so air freshener among other things could be wise to get rid of.

Other approaches like making a DIY air freshener repellent so your home stays smelling fresh without attracting pests can also help, and we’ll show you exactly how to do that.

Does Air Freshener Attract Pests?

Spraying Refreshener

Most homes have some sort of air freshener in one of its rooms, whether it’s kept in the bathroom, kitchen or bedroom.

However, if you have a pest problem and generally use one of these devices it could be that very thing that is attracting pests into your home without your knowledge.

Air fresheners contain a range of ingredients that can be alluring to all kinds of pests including ants and cockroaches.

Although they have harsh chemicals and oils in them that can also repel pests, the addition of essential oils like lemon and cinnamon have been shown to attract certain insects, and so too can the sweet artificial aromas added to these products.

Mice and other rodents generally don’t enjoy the smell of air fresheners even though they’re often attracted to sweet food, so it’s not likely that these could be causing a problem.

However, to keep your home free from pests of all shapes and sizes, removing potential sources like air fresheners and replacing them with air freshener repellent that you’ve made yourself could be helpful.

What Other Things Attract Bugs To Your Home?

There is a long list of household items that could potentially draw bugs and other pests into your home other than air fresheners, and if you’ve noticed a recent infestation of something then you’ll want to do a thorough check to see what could be bringing them in.

Take a look around to see if you have any of these and make an effort to remove them or store them properly to keep the pests at bay:

High moisture areas

Moisture Area

Any damp spaces in your home are likely to attract pests, and this refers to pests of all types.

Everything from mice to cockroaches seeks out moisture as a way to stay hydrated and comfortable so make sure you’re performing regular maintenance on your plumbing and taking care of any unnaturally damp areas.

Unclean or unhygienic spaces

Anywhere that doesn’t get regularly cleaned, whether it’s the clutter on your desk or the garbage that hasn’t yet been emptied, will be hugely attractive to pests.

Make a conscious effort to keep your home clean and hygienic not just for your own comfort but to keep an infestation of pests away.

Food scraps

Leaving any type of food scraps out will draw pests to them, and this includes the smallest ants to the largest rodents.

Think about areas where food scraps might be like underneath the dinner table, in the sink, in a benchtop compost bin or left somewhere in the pantry and keep them clean at all times.

Overripe fruit

Leaving your fruit in a basket on the benchtop is something most of us do, but if you’re leaving it there too long and it’s overripening you could be asking for a pest infestation.

Fruit flies are the main culprit with overripe fruit but the sweet smell could attract many other bugs and rodents to your kitchen.

Opened food containers

Opened Food Container

Take time to go through your pantry and look on the benchtop for any food that’s been left open and any storage containers that aren’t closed properly.

Even the slightest crack can be entered by a bug or rodent and you’re practically serving them up a meal and asking them to come inside.

Sweet stuff

Most pests love sugar so if you have anything sweet laying around your home it could be drawing them in.

This is one reason they like air fresheners so much because of the sweet smell but anything that has sugar in it will be a huge attraction to pests, especially ants and cockroaches, so keep it sealed shut and put away.

Gaps and crevices

Even the smallest space can be an invite to a pest to come inside and they’re capable of getting into areas that you never thought possible.

Do a thorough check of your home and seal up any cracks, holes or crevices that could be their entrance into your house.

What Scents Do Pests Like?

Sometimes keeping pests away is as simple as eradicating the smells that they love from your home.

Check your home for anything that could be emitting these odors that are known to attract pests of all shapes and sizes.

  • Floral scents: Floral scents especially attract mosquitoes so avoid anything with rose or floral notes in it.
  • Sugar: This could include a person who’s been drinking sugary drinks or leaving something sweet out on the counter, and it attracts all kinds of pests including mice and cockroaches.
  • Sweat: Old socks, dirty clothes, or people who aren’t as clean as they could be will attract pests to the home because they’re drawn to the musty odors, sweat, and bacteria that comes with it.

What Scents Keep Pests Away?

If you don’t want to live without an air freshener then you can instead swap your existing one for a product that features aromas and ingredients that usually repel pests.

Keep some of these natural smells around to keep ants, cockroaches, mice, and other pests away from your home.

  • Lavender: This can be used as an essential oil, as the fresh flower growing in your house, or even as a perfume you wear each day.
  • Peppermint: Peppermint is a great way to keep bugs away and it’s as simple as crushing a fresh mint leave and rubbing it where you want them gone from.
  • Eucalyptus: A natural ingredient found in many bug repellents, eucalyptus comes in many forms that keep all types of pests away.
  • Garlic: Having crushed garlic in the kitchen can keep everything from mice to ants away or it can even be rubbed directly on your skin to avoid mosquitoes.

DIY Air Freshener Repellent to Get Rid of Pests

If you don’t want to give up on the lovely smell of your air freshener but you also need to tackle the pest problem at home, you can combine the two to make one product that does both.

A DIY air freshener repellent will keep your home smelling fresh but also ensure no pests are drawn to it, so follow these steps if you want to make one for yourself.

  1. Affix a clean, empty spray bottle with a clear label of ‘air freshener pest repellent so that nobody attempts to use it for anything else.
  2. Place a mixture of the following essential oils inside the bottle, each known for naturally repelling pests:
    1. 20 drops lavender oil
    1. 20 drops eucalyptus oil
    1. 30 drops citronella oil
    1. 30 drops geranium oil
    1. 10 drops rosemary oil
  3. Pour one tablespoon of either vodka or rubbing alcohol into the bottle and shake well to mix.
  4. Pour half a cup of natural witch hazel and shake to mix, then a ½ cup of water and shake again to mix.
  5. Shake the bottle before use every time to ensure oils don’t separate and spray through your house a few times to a day to keep the fresh scent around as well as repelling insects and other pests.

For a hanging air freshener repellent, you can dip a dry, plain black teabag into the solution and let it dry out.

Hang it wherever you want the air freshener scent or somewhere you need to repel bugs and the natural scent should last for a few months.

You can experiment with different mixtures of oils as you wish but stick to the suggested ones for their proven effectiveness at keeping pests away.

Related Questions

Air Refreshener

Air fresheners and other household products can easily attract pests into our home without you even realizing and the best way to ensure we don’t get overrun by pests is to be vigilant about what’s bringing them in.

Here are some frequently asked questions about what attracts pests into the home to give you an idea of where to start getting rid of them.

Is Vinegar a Good Bug Repellent?

Cleaning surfaces in your home with vinegar or using it as part of a natural repellent can be effective at keeping insects away in a totally gentle and safe manner.

Some people have found that fruit flies are usually attracted to it and placing a bowl of vinegar near an infestation can help draw them in and drown them in the solution. 

Do Mice Hate Mothballs?

There was a time when people believed that using mothballs to deter mice would work, sometimes stuffing them into cracks and holes where they thought mice lived.

Can Baking Soda Kill Ants?

However, the ingredient naphthalene which is said to keep them away actually only occurs in a small amount in mothballs, so while it works for moths and other insects it usually doesn’t bother rodents.

Baking soda is often used as a natural remedy for all kinds of things at home, but using it alone to kill ants won’t be effective.

For it to work on killing ants, it has to be masked by sugar or something sweet first so that it draws the ants to it, and then they will consume it and share what they’ve found with their colony.

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