Note: I am not a doctor, herbalist, aromatherapist or chemist. I am just an everyday mom trying to figure out how to live naturally. This recipe is one that works for myself and my family. Please consult your doctor before using any diy recipe or essential oils to confirm that they are safe for you. This holds especially important if you are currently pregnant.
Homemade Bug Spray That Works
Don’t let mosquitos and bugs ruin your time outside! This DIY bug spray with essential oils is made with simple ingredients, and effective! It’s 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. And 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. 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.
How Do You Make Homemade Bug Spray?
This DIY bug spray is made using 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 however I didn’t have any on hand. However, that would be an amazing addition.
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. Though the few that I have of Young Living are amazing as well. Find a brand that focuses on quality and not adding synthetic ingredients.
One thing to note is too do your own research and use essential oils with caution. Personally, I’ve been learning more and more about the best practices from Using Essential Oils Safely. Lea is unbiased and extremely knowledgable. 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 that was vinegar-based 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 and 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.
Natural Bug Spray
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.
Ingredients in The Homemade Bug Spray
- 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
Easy DIY Bug Spray
A natural outdoor spray that works! Repel mosquiotos and ticks with this combination of witch hazel and essential oils.
- 1/8 cup witch hazel
- 1/8 cup filtered water
- 1 shot vodka
- 1 tsp 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.
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.