5-Minute Essential Oil Bug Spray Recipe
This recipe uses essential oils, which are highly effective for natural bug protection.
There are some concerns about putting these directly on the skin, especially on children. Use this recipe on clothing or gear instead of directly on the skin.
Any combination of these essential oils will work: citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, geranium, lavender, mint.
All of those have insect and mosquito-repelling properties, and I’ve included the mixture I use below. For this recipe I use 100 drops of essential oil total with a mixture of various oils. If you don’t have one, you can leave it out or use a mixture of the others in its place.
To save time, I’ve also just used a pre-mixed kid-safe essential oil blend formulated to repel insects in place of the other oils in the recipe below. If you’d rather not DIY, Badger also makes a great natural bug spray with essential oils.
Homemade Bug Spray Ingredients
Homemade Bug Spray Instructions
Place essential oils in a glass spray bottle. Add vodka or alcohol and shake well to combine.
Pour in witch hazel and shake to combine.
Add ½ tsp vegetable glycerin if using. This is not necessary but helps everything stay combined.
Add water and shake again. Shake before each use as the oils and water will naturally separate some over time.
How to Use
I keep a bottle by the back door for easy application, and also in our first aid kit when camping or hiking. I also carry this homemade anti-itch cream in case of the random bug bite!
DIY Bug Spray Recipe Variations
Natural bug sprays can also be made without essential oil using dried herbs and witch hazel or vinegar. This recipe is typically considerably less expensive, though it is also not as potent as the recipe above.
Fresh or Dried Herbs Bug Spray Ingredients
Witch hazel or rubbing alcohol
Dried herbs: peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, catnip, lavender, etc. I recommend using at least one herb from the mint family.
Fresh or Dried Herbs Bug Spray Instructions
Boil 1 cup of water and add 3-4 tablespoons of dried herbs total in any combination from the above. I use 1 tablespoon each of peppermint, spearmint, catnip and lavender, and also throw in a couple of dried cloves.
Mix well, cover and let cool (covering is important to keep the volatile oils in!)
Strain herbs out and mix water with 1 cup of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. Store in a spray bottle in a cool place. We often keep ours in the fridge for an extra cooling spray.
Use as needed. Added bonus: it smells great and is very refreshing to the skin.
TIP: If you have the time and want to make a stronger version of this recipe, prepare the herbs in an alcohol mixture as a tincture instead, and use this directly as a spray after straining out the herbs.
Disclaimer: Great article I ran across to share...I am not the "I" in the article.