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How To Make Your Own Natural Bug Spray

Especially if you come from a family of avid campers or bonfire enthusiasts, bug spray is an absolute summer essential! Many people, however, have concerns about the chemical content of most store bought bug sprays. If you share these concerns, why not make your own spray from natural ingredients?

Check out these DIY bug spray recipes that will keep mosquitoes and other critters away while you enjoy warm summer nights!

1. DIY mosquito repellent by Lexie’s Kitchen

Diy mosquito repellent by lexie's kitchen

Besides being all natural, this tutorial even comes with a free label for you to stick to your bottle so everyone knows that it contains. You’ll need:

  • 1-1/2 tbsp of water
  • 1 tsp of castor oil
  • 8 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 4 drops of geranium essential oil

2. Lavender vanilla mosquito repellent by Survival at Home

Lavender vanilla mosquito repellent by survival at home

If you’d like a bug spray that actually smells quite present, then this lavender oil recipe is the one for you. Lavender is proven to have a calming effect, so you’ll feel relaxed and happy by the campfire, especially since the bugs will leave you alone. You’ll need:
  • 15 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Distilled water

3. Natural insect repellent for camping by Green Boot Living

Natural insect repellent for camping by green boot living

This natural spray is packed full of a combination of essential oils to give you the ultimate anti-critter protection. You’ll need:

  • 4 drops of thyme oil
  • 8 drops of lemongrass oil
  • 4 drops of lavender oil
  • 4 drops of peppermint oil

4. Bugs-be-gone balm by Smithspirations

Bugs be gone balm by smirthspirations

Does the idea of a bug spray not appeal to you? Even when it’s made with natural ingredients, a spray can still irritate someone’s senses, particularly if they have allergies. Instead, try this natural bath balm to rub on exposed skin. You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of melted beeswax pastilles
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of cocoa butter
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of castor oil
  • 15 drops each of citronella, lemongrass, and eucalyptus essential oils
  • 5 drops each of peppermint and cedar wood essential oils

5. Natural homemade bug repellent by DIY Naturals

Natural homemade bug repellent by diy naturals

If you’re looking for a natural bug spray that’s also very antibacterial, try using vodka as a base mixing agent for your oils instead of distilled water. It sounds strange, but it’s not harsher in your spray than the alcohol based astringent that store bought sprays contain. It also really works! The smell of the essential oils you include will help mask the smell of alcohol. You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp of one (or a combination of) witch hazel or vodka
  • 2 tbsp of one (or a combination of) grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or neem oil (which contains natural insecticidal compounds)
  • ½ tsp of vodka as preservative (if you chose with hazel before)
  • 100-110 drops of essential oils as follows:
    • 55 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil (which is a good natural substitution for DEET in store bought bug sprays, but not recommended for use on children under 3 yrs).
    • 15 drops of cedarwood essential oil
    • 15 drops of lavender essential oil
    • 15 drops of rosemary essential oil

6. Homemade bug repellent oil by Primally Inspired

Homemade bug repellent oil by primarlly inspired

Sprays and balms aren’t the only bug repellent options that you can make yourself. This anti-bug oil is extremely effective and smells pleasant as well! You’ll need:

  • 12 drops of lemongrass oil
  • 6 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 2 drops of citronella oil

7. All-natural homemade insect repellent by Thank Your Body

All natural homemade insect repellent by thank your body

Witch hazel based bug repellents are some of the most common natural DIY options because they’re disinfectant and effective, but without the alcohol smell. You’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp of witch hazel
  • 2 tbsp of jojoba, almond, or olive oil
  • 50 – 60 drops of essential oils as follows:
    • 30 drops of lemon eucalyptus
    • 10 drops of cedarwood
    • 10 drops of lavender
    • 10 drops of rosemary

8. Indoor, outdoor, all around bug spray by Your Thriving Family

Indoor, outdoor, all around bug spray by your thriving family

This bug repellent recipe is similar to the one above, but with a different combination of essential oils, just in case you find the other one irritating or ineffective. Different oils work better for different people depending on their sensitivities and how prone they are to being bitten. Yes, you do see catnip oil on the list. Don’t stand too close to kitty wearing this unless you want to play! You’ll need:

  • 3 oz of vodka or a witch hazel and distilled water combination
  • 20 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops of catnip essential oil
  • 5 drops of thyme essential oil
  • 3 drops of neem oil

9. DIY marigold pet bug spray by Deep Roots at Home

Diy marigold pet bug spray by deep roots at home

This bug repellent blend is specifically designed for protecting your outdoor pets without irritating their eyes, nose, or skin! Simply collect a cup (packed tightly) of marigold leaves, stems, and flowers and put them into a blender with 2 cups of water (note: more stems makes a better batch than more flowers). The plant’s natural properties are off-putting to critters that might otherwise sink their suckers into your dog or cat.

10. Bye-bye bug spray by Scratch Mommy

Bye bye bug spray by scratch mommy

Tea tree oil is useful for so many things! It’s good for your skin and antibacterial, so it’ll also help soothe and heal and previous bites you have when you spray it on to protect yourself from getting more. You’ll need:

  • 30 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable glycerine
  • Distilled water

11. Beeswax insect repellent candles by Design Sponge

Beeswax insect repellent candles

Are you look for an alternative to putting any repellent on your skin at all? Try creating your own anti-big candle instead! Set it on your patio table or by the campfire (but always remember to be extremely careful with any open flames in dry summer weather). You’ll need:

  • 1/2 pound of beeswax (either as a solid block or already broken up into smaller pieces)
  • 3 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 2 drops of cedar essential oil

12. Homemade mosquito repellent by Surviving the Stores

Homemade mosquito repellent by surviving the stores

Here’s another simple natural bug spray recipe that combines bits and pieces from a few of the recipes above. It’s a great idea to try out different combinations of oils and bases, just in case your original choice isn’t really the one that would work best for you. You’ll need:

  • 1/2 tsp of vegetable glycerine
  • 14 oz of witch hazel or vodka (homemade vanilla extract made in vodka is also an option. You’ll find a separate recipe for this on the website).
  • Your favourite essential oils to give the recipe a pleasant smell (ex. citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, and/or tea tree oil).

13. DIY bug bite relief stick by The Prairie Homestead

Diy bug bite relief stick by the prairie homestead

This bug bite relief stick might not actually repel bugs or protect you from being bitten again, but it’s an effective natural option for soothing the bug bites you do get between applications of repellent. You’ll need:

  • 3 tbsp of herbal infused coconut oil (you’ll find the instructions to make this on the website) or regular coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of beeswax pastilles
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 4-5 empty chapstick tubes

14. Homemade fly spray recipe by The Prairie Homestead

Homemade fly spray recipe by the prairie homestead

Perhaps mosquitoes aren’t necessarily  a big problem where you live and your specific enemy is black flies? There’s a solution for that too! You’ll need:

  • 4 cups of raw apple cider vinegar
  • 20 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 20 drops of basil essential oil
  • 20 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 2 tbsp of liquid oil (ex. olive oil, canola oil, or mineral oil)
  • 1 tbsp of dish soap

15. Peppermint spray for pests by Scratch Mommy

Peppermint spray for pests by scratch mommy

Peppermint oil is one of the freshest smelling options you’ll find, which makes it great for making something that you’ll spray all over yourself. You’ll need:

  • Water (distilled is best but not necessarily mandatory)
  • Vegetable glycerine
  • Peppermint essential oil

Do you have another great natural bug spray concoction that you don’t see here but highly recommend? Tell us how you make it in the comments section!