DIY Insect Repellent

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DIY Insect Repellent

How to Make your Own Homemade Bug Spray 

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Commercial bug sprays are convenient but also full of chemicals and sort of gross smelling.  It probably feels a bit “wrong” dousing yourself (or your CHILDREN) in chemical BUT if you live in an area with a lot of bugs you also don’t want to be covered in itchy bug bites and feel miserable during every cookout.

However, there are alternatives, really good ones!  These alternatives will help you to keep the bugs away but you won’t have to feel badly about whatever it is you are spraying all over your body… and inhaling… Blech!

You can use essential oils and they actually work quite well.  An important note:  if you want to keep several types of bugs away you may need to use a combination of oils.  This is because different oils will repel different species of bugs and there is no “one-size fits all” oil.  Be sure to experiment to find the combination that is best for you.

Here are a few essential oils that you can purchase to make homemade bug spray.  Note that almost all of these can be found online or at a local health food store.

  • Citronella (obviously)
  • eucalyptus (mosquitos, ticks, lice)
  • tea tree
  • peppermint (mosquitos)
  • cypress
  • rose geranium
  • bergamot
  • lemon (may be a skin irritant, test on a small patch of skin)
  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • cedarwood

Homemade Insect Repellent:

  • 2 tablespoons of vodka
  • 25-35 drops of essential oil (any of the above listed and, remember, a combo is often the best idea)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil,  sunflower oil or almond oil (or a combination of two or more)
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)

Combine the essential oil and the vodka and shake until well mixed.  Add in the remaining oil and shake well.  Dab onto skin with a cotton ball making sure to avoid the eye area.  You may need to try a few different combinations to find the one that works best for you!

Homemade Insect Repellent for Kids:

  • Mix 4 oz. witch hazel
  • 4 oz water.
  • 20 drops of essential oil (peppermint, clove, lavender, or lemongrass are best choices)

Place in a small 8 oz. spray bottle and shake well.  Spray as needed making sure to avoid eyes.

Homemade Insect Repellent for Pets:

  • Mix 4 oz. witch hazel
  • 4 oz water
  • 20 drops of essential oil (lemon, eucalyptus, and tea tree are best choices)

Place in a small 8 oz. spray bottle and shake well.  Spray as needed making sure to avoid eyes.

 More tips here  



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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