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Want To Know How Does Cedar Repel Bugs In A Jiffy Without Breaking The Bank

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Remember the times when every summer, it is time to pack all your woolens to the loft or the attic where they will sit till the nippy air says hello?

It was a tradition in the family to wrap in a piece of the cedar bark to the bag containing the sweaters and other warm clothing until it was time to get them out again.

I, of course, realized the importance of this ritual much later when I was dreading (read suffering) insects in my garden. Does cedar repel bugs?

For a start, I had too many insects who decided to show up all at once. And if insects and bugs weren’t enough, I have had swarms of ants, cockroaches, and rodents like mice and rats eating away my hard work just like they wouldn’t care. They wouldn’t care anyway!

So, I did a hell of research on how to get rid of them. We had recently turned towards natural remedies for everything around the house, including our dishwashing and cleaning liquids.

The only right way to go for us seemed to be to adopt a natural solution to get rid of all the bugs before they overtook our lives. Sigh!

What You Will Need?

Amish Aromatic Cedar Wood Shavings - Does Cedar Repel Bugs
Amish Aromatic Cedar Wood Shavings via
  • Cedar bark pieces
  • Cedar chips
  • Cedar wood shavings
  • Cedar sawdust
  • Cedar wood logs

Step by Step Instruction for Using Cedar To Drive Away Bugs From Your Garden

Step One 

Spread cedar sawdust or shavings around your garden or landscaped area to keep all the horrible critters at bay.

Eastern RED Cedar Sawdust - Does Cedar Repel Bugs
Eastern RED Cedar Sawdust via

You must generously sprinkle cedar sawdust around the plants and flower beds that you need to protect from the bugs. Cedarwood contains certain oils and chemicals that are way too poisonous for the bugs. There is one particular chemical that is found in it called thujone that is very harmful to their guts.

Step Two

Use cedar as mulch to prevent bugs and to discourage weeds growing near your intended plants.

Cedar is an excellent alternative to mulch. It helps the soil in retaining moisture and reduces soil erosion due to winds and rains. The other benefit of using cedar as mulch is that as it decays, it leeches helpful nutrients into the soil to improve it with great microbial activities.

How dare the bugs even come close to plants that have cedar mulches!!

Step Three

Fence your garden area with cedarwood.

If this is not possible for practical reasons, the least that you could do is to decorate your fence with cedar chips and watch your garden bloom without the buggers!! (The pun is intended)

The Caveat

You must know that cedar can be different in terms of toxicity. Not all cedars are equal that way. The most efficacious cedar is very costly. You may be able to afford it. The qualities that you must look for in the best of cedars is

  • Be repulsive to bugs
  • Anti-rot
  • Anti-mold/fungus
  • It can stay dry forever. They are ideal as mulches, even during fall and rain.
Western Red Cedar - Does Cedar Repel Bugs
Western Red Cedar via

The best cedar is the Western Red Cedar, which has a host of aromatic hydrocarbons or phenols and an equally mind-blowing quantity of toxic acids that can repel flies, moths, roaches, snakes, and rodents such as mice and raccoons.

Step Four 

Making garden and indoor furniture with cedar

If it is affordable (actual cedar is quite expensive), furniture made out of it can be useful to ward away a host of indoor bugs too. Cedar can repel, kill and also inhibit the growth of

  • Insects such as termites, roaches, moths that consume clothes
  • Beetles
  • Ants
  • Rodents
Cedar Keeps Moths Away - Does Cedar Repel Bugs
Cedar Keeps Moths Away via

Some of the rodents, like rats and mice, can get curious and try to bite it, leading to grave dangers.

If ingested by the rodents, the hydrocarbons can be absorbed by their respiratory tract, entering their bloodstream and having the potential to almost immediately damage their livers.

The strong and pungent acids in it can also potentially damage the cell lining of the rodent’s lungs.

Step Five

Sprinkle cedar shaving on your garbage can or at the entrance of your waste accumulation site.

By doing this, you could be keeping a lot of bugs away that would eventually be attracted to your garden or enter your home. Fleas and ticks hate the aroma from cedar. It will also act as a deodorizer, albeit a natural one that lives up to the values you always cherished.

Pro tip: if you want to keep away those huge raccoons from your garbage heap, add a generous amount of cayenne pepper to the cedar wood shavings. You won’t find one till at least fifteen meters radius.

How Can You Procure Cedar?

Cedar is available in

  • Smaller blocks of wood with a hanger
  • As balls and sachets

Prefer to go for sawdust than shavings as they are denser and retain their properties much longer.

Is Cedar Safe for Your Pets?

Cedar is entirely safe for pets such as cats and dogs, but we still think it is better not to expose them too much.

Cedar is fatally dangerous to your pet insects and rodents.

Asthmatic patients are better off not coming into too much contact. 


Cedar could well be the super wood that you were praying for when you asked God to give you some power to combat those unwanted guests in your garden and home.

In the US, cedar can be available in various packaging’s such as highly concentrated one for aromatic therapies or the diluted ones for preservation and pesticide use.

Cedarwood oil is also considered as a food additive per USFDA. It was devised by the US Army as a bioinsecticide on its various missions to control fleas, bed bugs, lice, and mites.

If you or any of yours are looking for a natural and safe pesticide, cedar is the one. Do like and share this with them in a bid to let more people know what this mighty bark is capable of!