Let me also tell you that I’m not a fan of commercial bug sprays. First of all, they stink. I have no desire to smell like DEET ALL DAY LONG! Yuck! Second of all, skin is porous. That means that what goes on your skin, goes in your skin. A daily does of bug spray just isn’t appealing at all. However, with the threat of disease and the daily deluge of itchy bug bite bumps, I had to do something. So, I made my own.
I need to add a disclaimer here. I do not recommend this spray for hiking. It only lasts about thirty minutes and is no where near strong enough for any great outdoor adventures. However, it is good for a quick drive-by letterbox or stroll through the park…looking for a letterbox.
Homemade Bug Repellent
Lavender Essential Oil
Mix 5 drops of Lavender Oil with 1 tablespoon of witch hazel. Add 4 tablespoons of water. Mix well. Either splash or spray solution on exposed skin.
Vodka can be used instead of witch hazel. Use 2 teaspoons of vodka instead of the 1 tablespoon of witch hazel.
This spray worked well, but it wasn’t quite strong enough for our entomological paradise. So, I doubled the amount of lavender. If the original recipe isn’t strong enough, use 10 drops instead of 5.
This recipe can also be made in larger quantities. Simply double or triple the recipe as you see fit.
Why lavender? Because it’s what I have on hand, and it's effective. There are two essential oils that I always have on hand: lavender and tea tree oil. Lavender has exceptional bug repelling qualities, is a great relaxant for cramping muscles, and smells nice. Oh, and is safe to use around our growing number of animals. Before I made this spray, I was concerned about using it around my children’s new bunnies. So, I sent my daughter on a research journey. Is lavender safe around rabbit? She found out that bunnies actually love lavender. In the wild, rabbits will roll around in the plants for its scent. See, even rabbits know it’s great as a bug repellent!!
I’m including a list of bug repelling oils and the bugs they repel so you can use what you like or make a blend for your spray.
- Catnip Oil–mosquitoes
- Cedarwood Oil–lice, moths
- Cinnamon Oil–ants
- Citronella Oil–mosquitoes
- Clove Oil–mosquitoes
- Eucalyptus Oil–mosquitoes
- Geranium Oil–flies, mosquitoes
- Lavender Oil–mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas, flies
- Lemongrass Oil–mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas, flies
- Peppermint Oil–lice, spiders, ants
- Rosemary Oil–fleas, ticks
- Tea Tree Oil–mosquitoes, lice, ants
Always check whether the oils you choose can be used safely around animals and are compatible with any medication you may be taking. Many of our modern medications began as derivatives of these plants, and they aren’t always compatible.
Thanks for stopping by!
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,