My oldest son and I are mosquito magnets! Any time we are outside we get eaten up even when no one else is getting bit! It is so frustrating! I have read all of the articles about deet and the chemicals found in well known bug repellents and I did not want to put that stuff on my kids. I have sprayed it on their shoes and lightly on their clothes avoiding their skin but you know it still got on them.
I am just now starting to learn about essential oils and all of the wonderful ways I can use them to create all natural products for my family. I am hoping to eliminate as many chemical laden products from our home as possible. I already make my own detergent and cleaner. Now I found a wonderful recipe for all natural homemade bug repellent. Next we will tackle a homemade sunscreen!
I found an awesome online store where I get all of my essential oils. Escents Aromatherapy offers 100% uncut all natural oils and a little goes a LONG way! They are also very affordable. The orange oil I used is only $4 a bottle! For this recipe I used maybe an eighth of each bottle which means I can make 8 12 ounce bottles of this bug repellent from one bottle of oil!
Essential Oils Good for Natural Bug Repellent
Below are the essential oils I know to be amazing for bug repellents. Each has a unique effect and they are best mixed together to create the perfect bug repellent for you. I personally do not like the sell of citronella so I do not use it. I use lemongrass instead!
- Lemongrass – Repels fleas, ticks, and lice.
- Orange Oil – Repels fleas and ticks.
- Eucalyptus – This is strong smelling oil that you may be familiar with if you’ve ever sucked on a menthol cough drop or rubbed a product like “Vick’s” on your chest. Eucalyptus is not only an effective insect repellant, it actually can be used to treat minor skin irritations like bug bites when mixed with a proper carrier oil. (Never apply any essential oil directly to the skin)
- Lavender – Natural bug repellant and good for the treatment of a variety of skin conditions, from mild irritation due to bug bites, to severe skin conditions like eczema and even sunburn.
- Clove – Repels mosquitos. Clove should be used very sparingly on the skin as it is a known irritant for those with allergies and sensitivities.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a natural bug repellent against ants and mosquitoes. Like clove, this can be an irritant if you use too much.
- Citronella – Repels mosquitos. I do not like the smell but some do. Blending Citronella with other oils can help mask the pungent aroma of citronella alone.
- Tea Tree Oil – Naturally repels a wide variety of insects from mosquitoes to chiggers, mites, fleas, and spiders.
All Natural Bug Repellant Spray
Use a clean small spray bottle. I use a stainless steel bottle to reduce sunlight exposure and to prevent plastic chemicals from leaching in my mixture.
Fill your bottle half way with distilled water. Then fill almost to the top with witch hazel. (You can also use vodka but I prefer witch hazel.) Then add 10-15 drops of each oil you like. My mix contains orange,cinnamon, eucalyptus, and lemongrass. I used more of the orange to cut down the eucalyptus smell.
For the best results use a mixture of a variety of oils. With essential oils a little bit goes a long way. Add a few drops of each then shake your bottle to see what it smells like. Then add more as desired.
An alternative to the spray is an oil you can run on problem areas. Mix the essential oils with a couple of ounces of carrier oil like olive or vegetable oil (avoid mineral oil as it is bad for your skin) When you need it just rub a bit of the scented oil around ankles, knees, the nape of the neck and other areas where insects love to bite you.
The best thing I can tell you is to play around with your mix until you get one that really works for you. Our body chemistry is different so different things work better for different people. The mix I made works for my whole family. I have even had my sister and her kids use it with great success. And always ALWAYS be careful with essential oils. A little is a lot so do not try and use a whole bottle in one batch!