Does Febreze Keep Bugs Away or Kill Them?

While Febreze is a go-to for keeping spaces fresh and inviting, whispers suggest it might also ward off or keep bugs away—including common nuisances like ants, bed bugs, stink bugs, flies, fleas, carpet beetles, or even spiders.

Febreze isn’t designed to be an insect killer. However, with its strong scent, a direct spray could potentially deter small critters like ants, mosquitoes, flies, and spiders.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential of Febreze in deterring these common household pests, whether it could serve as a minor line of defense against such tiny intruders—all while keeping our living areas pleasantly scented.

A person holds a Febreze bottle and sprays in the corner.
Image @ Thrift My Life / Elizabeth Aris

How Febreze Works

Febreze isn’t just about wrapping your rooms in a pleasant aroma—it’s a bona fide odor warrior. The magic starts with a clever blend of ingredients, notably hydroxypropyl beta-cyclodextrin (HPBCD), that swoop in to encase odor molecules, making them vanish from our senses. And let’s not forget the fresh scent that gallantly holds the fort against any stubborn odors trying to overstay their welcome.

Febreze and Bugs

Now, let’s address the rumor that’s been floating around—can Febreze help in keeping unwanted insects at bay? While Febreze might not be the magic bullet against an array of pests, it seems to have some potential.

Febreze doesn’t kill insects; however, its strong scent could act as a deterrent, encouraging pests like mosquitoes, ants, and cockroaches to steer clear of areas where it has been sprayed, and some of them may be killed due to its strong odor.

Important Note: Febreze is not marketed as a pesticide or an insect repellent. If your home is facing an infestation, it’s wise to contact the professionals—a reputable pest control company.

  • Anecdotal Evidence: There are individuals who find Febreze effective in repelling insects, while others don’t share the same experience. The evidence is inconclusive.
  • Types of Insects: The effectiveness of Febreze may vary depending on the type of insect. Some sources suggest that Febreze can repel certain insects like flies, spiders, and bed bugs, while others disagree. There’s a need for more scientific research on this topic.

Alternative Methods for Bug Control

If Febreze is the gentle, aromatic whisper in the bug battleground, other methods are the loud, commanding shouts.

  • Common Methods: The old guard like insecticides, traps, and natural repellents are proven warriors against our tiny foes.
  • Comparison: While these stalwarts stand strong, Febreze offers a less hostile, sweet-scented approach, though perhaps with less firepower.

Safety Considerations

Before you arm yourself with a Febreze bottle, let’s tiptoe through the safety considerations.

  • Health Impact: It’s crucial to consider the health implications, especially when kids and pets are around.
  • Environmental Impact: And what about Mother Earth? It’s worth considering the footprint our fragrant ally leaves behind.


Our aromatic journey unveils Febreze as a gentle, possibly less potent, companion in our daily tussle with tiny invaders. It sweetens the air but its valor in the bug realm might not stand as tall as other proven methods. Yet, the whispers of its bug-deterring essence add a sprinkle of magic to our everyday bug battles.


Will Febreze kill flies?

A Fly in the House

Febreze can potentially kill flies with its toxic chemicals if sprayed directly, but it is not an efficient method and not designed for this purpose; specific insecticides or fly traps are recommended.

More from Thrift My Life