Last year I created my own all-natural bug spray. I was getting little concerned about all the chemicals in some of the store-bought brands and I also hated the smell of those potent sprays. But I wasn’t sure my all-natural remedy would work. And I needed it to work because I take our dog for a walk/run in the woods almost every day. But the ticks and mosquitos seem to be everywhere this year – not just in the woods.
After some research, I found an all-natural solution that really works to repel both ticks and mosquitos. It’s also easy and inexpensive to make. And no more chemicals and pesticides.
I used Essential oils as the main ingredients. Essential oils are great natural insect repellents and adding them to a simple recipe helps reduce your chemical exposure. There are lots of effective essential oil options out there, but I found this DIY bug spray mixture works for me, I love how it smells and it seems to repel my biggest annoyances: mosquitos and ticks – but it also works on fleas and flies. You can get an essential oil kit with all the oils in my recipe here. Or you can buy them individually at stores like Whole Foods Market.
Here are 4 essential oils that repel bugs:
1. Lavender – This smells sweet to us but bugs absolutely hate it. It works on mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and fleas.
2. Eucalyptus – According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, Eucalyptus can reduce tick bites and infections.
3. Lemon – Lemon essential oil works against mosquitos and it adds a nice scent.
4. Rosemary – Repels fleas and ticks, compliments the lemon.
Basic DIY Bug Spray Recipe:
- 2 oz. of Witch hazel
- 2 oz. of Distilled water (doesn’t have to be exact, just fill almost to top – leaving room for the oils)
- 15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 15 drops Lemon Essential Oil
Pour all ingredients into a 4 oz. spray bottle, shake and use as necessary. This plastic spray bottle is the perfect size to travel with. Check the bottom of the plastic bottle to see if it’s #1 PETE or #2 HDPE, either of those types of plastic will work and are chemical free. I also keep a larger (16 oz.) glass spray bottle filled with bug spray for a quick spray before I head outside. I got the glass spray bottle here, but this one would work too.
I also created some FREE labels you can download and print to add to your new bug spray bottles. If you’re a subscriber to my blog, you get access to all of my free stuff including these labels. Simply click here to visit my freebies page and enter your subscriber password. If you don’t remember it, just email me or add a comment below and I’ll send it to you. If you’re not yet a subscriber, it’s easy to do and you get access to lots of free stuff. Click here to subscribe. There’s a few steps to confirm your subscription so make sure you follow all of them – and then you’ll have access to all my free stuff. And free stuff is fun.
Simply print the labels, cut them out and attach them to your jar(s) with spray adhesive, a glue sick or by printing them on adhesive paper.
Tips for using:
- Oils and water don’t mix, so be sure to shake the DIY bug spray before you use it.
- Avoid touching eyes and mouth if you have bug spray on your fingers.
- Safe for adults and kids 10+.
- There are some essential oils that are NOT safe for pets. According to my research, the ones I have listed ARE safe for dogs but I prefer to be cautious and not apply these directly on our pet’s fur. I have read that spraying their collar is a good solution though.
I hope you enjoyed this post and find this natural remedy useful against those pesky bugs.
I'd love to hear your comments!