Homemade Bug Spray


I’m by no means an expert on essential oils OR homemade alternatives to conventional chemical-filled household products (yet) ;). But today I thought I’d share the recipe I came up with for a great-smelling, clean-feeling, quick + easy homemade bug spray.

I decided I wanted to make some for my sister before she left on her missions trip to Belize this summer, with only a few days left before her departure. Since I didn’t have time to order any oils that I didn’t already have on hand, this was my best effort at improvising + combining several other recipes I found online.

Here’s what I used: 10 drops of Purification (a blend that includes Citronella), 5 drops of Peppermint, and 5 drops of Thieves, in a 2-oz. glass spray bottle (glass because essential oils can actually permeate + erode plastic). I added Witch Hazel until the bottle was about half full, and poured distilled water the rest of the way to the top. Finishing touch: one of these cute labels. (Or these would be fun as well.)


| If you haven’t taken the plunge and given essential oils a try yet, go here for more info. |

Now I know you’re wondering, does this stuff actually work? We believe so! So far, we’ve put it to the test while camping and while biking along a creek. The bugs kept their distance! It helps to reapply regularly, but you have to do that with OFF!® too, right? I can’t stand the feeling of those sticky sprays, so I tended to just go without. But this stuff feels refreshing and evaporates quickly — AND smells pleasant! I love it.

Have you tried an all-natural insect repellent? What did you use and how did it work for you?

8 thoughts on “Homemade Bug Spray

    • I don’t have any experience with the V-6 (yet) but I’m sure it would work just as well. I actually just read that someone else recommended using something thicker like that for this type of recipe because it doesn’t evaporate as quickly and hence doesn’t need to be reapplied as often.

      I love Witch Hazel because it feels so cool and light, and it is great for the skin! (Plus, it’s cheap!) I have a feeling it might work better than V-6 in a spray bottle too, but if you try it, let me know how it works!

  1. I’m gonna have to try this…love me some essential oils! My baby girl has such sensitive skin and is always getting horrible bug bites! The ‘family friendly’ bug spray in stores make her welt up. Aaaaand I’ve pretty much sold my soul to theives and peppermint so anything with those 2 oils is a go for me 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is excellent. I heard a lot of how essential oils can work in preventing bug bites. Your post kinda comes at the right time for me 🙂 Gotta try this since we are having a lot of outdoor activities this summer!

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