If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors during the summer, bugs are commonly an issue. Using bug spray is a great way to keep bugs from biting, but many bug repellants contain harsh chemicals. Make this DIY bug repellant recipe, with essential oils, to keep the bugs off of you this year.
Homemade Natural Bug Repellant Recipe
Every year I have issues with mosquitos and other bugs during the summer months. Instead of spraying myself with chemicals this year, I decided to make my own bug repellant spray.
This recipe works really well, without the harsh chemicals. However, you will need to apply more often to prevent the bugs from biting.
Working with Essential Oils
Many plants and herbs repel pests, by using their essential oils, you can create your own bug repellant recipe.
This recipe requires essential oils. It’s important to always use caution when working with essential oils. They can be a great addition to any non-toxic home.
I use high quality essential oils from Simply Earth. Wherever you purchase your essential oils, make sure they are 100% essential oils with no added fillers.
What’s in This Recipe
- 5 Drops Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oils– this essential oil repels most bugs that bite and sting. It does well against mosquitos.
- 10 Drops Peppermint– this common essential oil does a great job repelling both bugs and spiders (that includes ticks too!). Common uses are for ants, fleas, flies, lice, moths, and more.
- 5 Drops Cedarwood– this essential oil repels fleas, ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, lice, and gnats!
- 1/4 cup of Witch Hazel
- 1/4 cup of Distilled Water
Why Use Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is needed in this recipe to use as an emulsifier or “carrier oil” for the essential oils. If you try to mix the water and essential oils together, they won’t mix and the oils will float to the top.
Using an Amber Spray Bottle
When working with essential oils, it’s important to use a glass bottle as plastic can be corroded by the essential oils. The amber color protects the essential oils from the sun so that the essential oils do not break down by the UV rays.
I use a 4 oz amber bottle for the recipe and it works well, especially because it’s small enough to fit into my purse.
Other Essential Oils that Repel Bugs and Pests
The above essential oils are used in this recipe, but there are other options you can try out to see what works best for you.
- Lavender Essential Oil – Generally a good oil for almost everything, it’s strong smell repels most bugs. Planting lavender bushes in your garden can also repel pests around your home.
- Orange Essential Oil – Great at repelling ants, as well as most other insects. It also smells great so I love using it around the home.
- Citronella Essential Oil – Known for repelling mosquitos, this great oil also does well against other biting bugs.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil – Closely related to citronella, this oil delivers the same result, repelling mosquitos as well as other bothersome insects.
- Rosemary Essential Oil – One of my favorites, rosemary does a great job repelling flies, mosquitos and ants. I suggest planting rosemary bushes around your home for natural protection in your garden.
- Basil Essential Oil – Basil smells wonderfully and does a great job at repelling flies, mites and mosquitos. You can plant them in your garden for protection around your home, or use the oil in a spray for help repelling pests.
- Geranium Essential Oil – This sweet smelling plant does a great job at repelling most insects.
- Catnip Essential Oil – Cats love it but bugs hate it, plant catnip in your yard or add this oil to a spray to specifically target ticks, spiders and mosquitos!
How to Use This Natural Bug Spray
After all ingredients have been combined, spray this DIY bug repellant directly on your exposed skin. Depending on your activity (i.e. if you’re sweating a lot, doing something that will rub your skin, etc.) you will need to re-apply more often. Spray yourself every few hours.
Do not spray on your face, instead, spray on your hands and rub it around your face. Carefully apply around the eyes, but do not get it into your eyes.
Some people may have a sensitivity to certain essential oils, do not use this product if you are sensitive to any of the plants from which the essential oils are derived.
Check out these other great essential oil recipes!
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Natural DIY Bug Repellant
DIY insect repellant made with essential oils
- 5 drops Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oils
- 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oils
- 5 drops Cedarwood Essential Oils
- ¼ cup Witch Hazel
- ¼ cup Distilled Water
In your 4 oz glass bottle, add the lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, and cedarwood essential oils.
Using a funnel, fill the bottle halfway with witch hazel (about 1/4 cup), and twirl the bottle to combine.
Add the distilled water, filling to the top of the 4 oz glass bottle. Screw on the top and shake to combine ingredients.
Spray on exposed area of the skin, but specifically the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and back of neck for protection.
- Shake before use.
- Do not spray near the eyes, use your hands to apply to your face.
- Re-apply often (every few hours) for the best protection.
- Be aware that some people may be sensitive to essential oils, like small children, do not use if there is any irritation to essential oils.