Say Goodbye to Bugs with Frankincense: Debunking the Myth

Say Goodbye to Bugs with Frankincense: Debunking the Myth


Frankincense, a resin derived from Boswellia trees, has been celebrate for its numerous historical and medicinal uses for centuries. Among its purported benefits, some people claim that frankincense can repel or eliminate bugs and insects. In this article, we will explore the myth that frankincense can effectively serve as a bug repellent and debunk this popular belief.

The Origins of the Myth:

The belief that frankincense can repel bugs and insects likely stems from its long history of use in various cultures for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Frankincense has been use as incense in religious ceremonies and for its purported healing properties. Over time, people may have attributed bug-repelling abilities to this fragrant resin.

Frankincense Composition:

To understand why the myth of frankincense as a bug repellent is not accurate, it’s crucial to examine its chemical composition. Frankincense primarily consists of resin, essential oils, and other compounds. While it does contain some aromatic compounds, these are not the same as the active ingredients found in commercially available bug repellents.

Bug Repellent Misconceptions:

  1. Lack of Scientific Evidence: Scientific studies on frankincense’s bug-repelling properties are virtually non-existent. In contrast, common bug repellents are extensively teste for their effectiveness against various insects, and their active ingredients are well-document.
  2. Complexity of Insect Sensory Perception: Insects perceive their environment through a combination of visual, olfactory (scent), and other sensory cues. Frankincense’s aromatic compounds might not be specifically tuned to deter insects or disrupt their sensory systems.
  3. Ineffectiveness Against Specific Insects: Even if frankincense were to repel some insects to a limited extent. It’s essential to consider that different insects have varying sensitivities and preferences. A substance that repels one type of insect may have no effect on another.

Alternative Bug Repellent Solutions:

For effective bug and insect repellent solutions, it’s best to rely on products that have undergone rigorous testing and contain proven active ingredients. Common options include:

  1. DEET: DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is a widely used and effective insect repellent that offers protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests.
  2. Picaridin: Picaridin is another effective insect repellent that is less greasy and has a milder odor compared to DEET.
  3. Permethrin: Permethrin is a synthetic chemical that can be applied to clothing and gear to repel and kill insects upon contact.


While frankincense holds cultural and historical significance for various purposes. There is no scientific evidence to support its use as an effective bug repellent. Relying on myths and unproven remedies for insect control can lead to ineffective protection and potential discomfort or harm. For effective bug repellent solutions, it is advisable to use products that have been tested and proven to be safe and effective against a wide range of insects.