Don’t let mosquitos and bugs ruin your time outside! This homemade bug spray with essential oils is made with simple ingredients, and effective! Moreover, DIY bug spray a great natural bug repellant that allows you to get more out of your summer.
No one wants to miss out on the warmer months because of bugs. But if you’re like me, I get EATEN. It’s not out of the normal for me to spend a night outside and come in with 20-30 bites. Furthermore, it’s been that way since I was a kid.
This is why it’s almost crucial that I have an effective, natural bug spray on hand if I’m heading outside.
Does This DIY Bug Spray Work
Yes! I can’t guarantee that you’ll never get another bug bite again. However, I’ve used this DIY bug spray for three camping trips and a cottage island trip now and it’s been far more effective than others I’ve made (more on that below).
What I have learned though is that you need to re-apply. Really, you want the homemade bug spray with essential oils to be fresh and potent on your skin and clothes.
I personally re-spray every two hours and have found that this step alone makes all the difference.
Bug Reppelling Ingredients?
This DIY bug spray uses only two ingredients and some essential oils. All you need to do is combine the witch hazel, vodka, neem oil, and essential oils, and voila! You have yourself a natural bug repellant.
While there are a lot of essential oils that can be used for DIY bug spray, I chose the ones most shown to be effective for a variety of bugs.
Lavender- for mosquitos
Peppermint – pests in general
Eucalyptus – all bugs, ticks, and mosquitos
Geranium – great tick repellant
Cedarwood – toxic to ticks and great for mosquitos
I would have used citronella essential oil but I didn’t have any on hand. However, that would be an amazing addition. As would using a bit of lemon balm tincture as it's a natural repellant (and kid-safe!).
Likewise, when it comes to the brand of essential oils, I don’t rep with any in particular however I do use DoTerra essential oils and love them. You can check out more of my favorite essential oils in my Amazon store. I also love Plant Therapy. Find a brand that focuses on quality and not adding synthetic ingredients.
One thing to note is to do your own research and use essential oils with caution. For example, peppermint and eucalyptus is not recommended for kids under 12. I have them in this recipe because I spray on clothes and not skin.
Personally, I've been learning more and more about the best practices from Using Essential Oils Safely. Lea is unbiased and extremely knowledgeable. Thus, use them with care.
Is Vinegar A Good Bug Repellant?
Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar has been shown to repel insects in both natural bug spray as well as on plants. However, I found the homemade bug spray I made with vinegar was not as effective.
I used apple cider vinegar in place of both witch hazel and vodka and while I didn’t mind smelling like vinegar, I still got multiple bites.
I also tried using the herbs in a homemade bug spray and steeping/infusing them into the mixture instead of opting for essential oils. Again, not as effective as this DIY bug spray recipe.
Why You Should Avoid DEET
Like anything else, there are mixed reports on the toxic problems surrounding DEET.
Myself personally, DEET is chemical-based. Likewise, anything I can do to reduce chemicals on myself or my kids is a win.
I stopped using DEET when I read the back label that told me to “wash off the product as soon as you go inside”. If it’s not something we should have on our skin it makes me nervous.
Don't Want To DIY?
If you don’t want to make a homemade bug spray with essential oils or don’t have the ingredients on hand, not to worry! There are a few amazing options out there that are still much better than the traditional DEET.
Personally, if I were to buy a natural bur spray I’d grab the one from Primally Pure. This is a brand that I trust because I can pronounce and purchase all of the ingredients in their products.
Their natural mosquito repellant contains the same ingredients I have in my cupboard and so I feel safe using them on my kids.
Grab the bug spray and use code mamabear10 to save some money on your first order.
- Witch hazel
- Neem oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Geranium essential oil
- Cedarwood essential oil
- Citronella essential oil (optional)
Don’t Forget to Pin Homemade Bug Spray With Essential Oils
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Easy DIY Bug Spray
- 4 ounce glass or tin bottle
- ⅛ cup witch hazel
- ⅛ cup filtered water
- 1 shot vodka
- 1 teaspoon neem oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 12 drops geranium essential oil
- 12 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 12 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 10 drops citronella essential oil optional
- In a four-ounce glass or tin spray bottle add all ingredients.
- Secure lid and shake to mix
- Don't want to make your own? Grab the natural bug spray from Primally Pure. Similar ingredients but a done for you approach.
- Do your own research to find out what you feel comfortable with regarding essential oils and kids. Typically, eucalyptus and peppermint are not recommended for kids under 12. However, bug spray is meant to be used on clothes and not skin. So, use your own judgment.
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Beat the mosquitoes this summer and whip up a batch of this natural bug spray. Made in under five minutes this bug repellant is simple but effective.