DIY Insect Repellent

DIY Bug Spray ingredients


It’s that time of year again, when we want to be outside, but so do the bugs! We joke here that my husband is a magnet for the mosquitoes.  When he’s outside, they find him.  I for one, just can’t stand the smell or sticky feel of Deep Woods Off and found that it never kept bugs away from me anyway.  I’ve tried the more subtle smelling products, and they seem  completely ineffective. So for me, when the bugs come out at night, I go inside, or when we’re camping, I sit dangerously close to the fire! There has to be a better way…and there is!  There are so many awesome ways to make your own all-natural insect repellant.  Try a few different recipes until you find one that really works for you and your family.  No matter which recipe you use, you can be sure you are staying away from harmful chemicals found in many conventional buy sprays. And it works!  Visit for a cheat sheet, my inspiration!


3 tablespoons of filtered or boiled water (or you can try vinegar or apple cider vinegar)

2 tablespoons of Witch hazel (or you can use ethyl alcohol or vodka)

1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin (optional)

2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or one tablespoon of two different ones (sweet almond, grapeseed, olive, jojoba)

Essential oils (about 60-70 drops)


*Add carrier liquids to a small spray bottle.

*Add essential oils.

*Shake well before use.

Here are some combinations we’ve tried at my house.  My favorite is Eucalyptus, Lavender and Rosemary.

40 drops of lemon eucalyptus

10 drops of sandalwood

10 drops of lavender

10 drops of peppermint


Avoid contact with eyes.

Reapply after sweating or swimming.

Citrus oils can make skin photosensitive, so avoid those in bug sprays.

Which recipe have you tried?  Did it keep the critters at bay? I’d love to hear from you.