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How to Make Your Own Bug Repellent

Last Updated: 27.11.22


If you’re looking for the best natural bug repellent, chances are you’re facing an invasion in your own home and are in dire need of help. Another version of the story would be that you want to enjoy your upcoming day at the lake or bonfire without slapping yourself once every ten seconds.

During the summer, mosquitoes and other bugs certainly seem to come in flocks and keeping them away, especially if you have small children, will be a top priority for any parent.

The problem here is that even though nobody wants bug bites, nasty chemicals like DEET can also cause you harm, even though they’ll help you get rid of your invaders. Even though the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) says “it does not present a health concern to the general population, including children”, DEET seems to sometimes cause neurons to die.

Since most commercial bug repellents are rumored to contain this ugly chemical that can be harmful both to the environment and your body, it will probably benefit you from knowing how to make your own weapons against the bugs. Keep reading and make every outdoor dinner a moment to remember, not one that you’re desperately trying to forget.


What you can do

There is a trend in the world right now for people figuring out multiple ways to make things for themselves, rather than buy everything from the store. Therefore, you can also make natural bug spray rather inexpensively at home, with recipes that mostly take seconds to mix up and use.

If you have the time, we strongly advise you to try to make one of these sprays for yourself and see the results it can bring. There are some concerns about using these directly on the skin, especially for children, so you will need to make your own educated decision about this.

Some other fan-favorites seem to be homemade deodorant and toothpaste, which are due to decrease the store sales for the commercial ones.



Essential oils

If you’re thinking about going all “Breaking Bad” on those nasty insects, essential oils will be, well, essential for you. Citronella, rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, spearmint, and cinnamon are all valued and priced for their bug-repelling properties, without mentioning their aromas and multiple medicinal uses.

The first bug repelling recipe we have for you will need you to get lemon eucalyptus, rosemary oils, lavender and cedarwood together with almonds, olive or neem oils, grapeseed, and jojoba. Each of these ingredients is valued for its insecticidal properties so you simply need to mix and place them into a glass spray bottle.

We strongly advise you to experiment and add or remove oils based on your personal preferences so you can create one with your own personal touch and favorite aromas. If you like it, you might even start selling it to friends and neighbors!


Lavender & vanilla repellent

This is another homemade repellent that smells amazing and will work even better than that! What you need for this are 15 drops of lavender essential oil, 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3-4 tablespoons of vanilla extract and some distilled water.

Simply combine the lemon juice with the vanilla and lavender in a spray bottle and top it off with distilled water. Give it a good shake and spray on your skin and clothes, as it will not affect them in the least.

This natural repellent is a great way of avoiding to use DEET and since the ingredients can be found in your local store, it’s also very easy to make. You’ll avoid bugs and smell great, both at the same time!


Mosquito and tick repellent

If you’re into camping and taking long strolls out into the woods you may need something stronger for those pesky mosquitoes. Don’t worry, though, since we got you covered with the upcoming recipe.

For this repellent, you will need some witch hazel and castor, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and citronella oils, and a strong desire to never see annoying insects again. This should even work against ticks and chiggers if you make it strong enough.

You’ll do with about 6 ounces of witch hazel, 2 ounces of castor oil, and 5 drops of cinnamon oil. As a side dish, use the eucalyptus and citronella oil with about 15 drops for each of them.

Mix them all together and feel free to spread the wealth between mini plastic bottles so you can save them for later use. Shake well before each application to make sure you get the best results. This solution works wonders because castor oil is a key ingredient in bug-repelling sprays but is often chemically altered in the commercial ones.


Four Thieves vinegar

This is firstly a history lesson and only after that a bug-combating spray. According to legend, this concoction was imagined by four thieves from the Dark Ages who used it to keep themselves from contracting plague as they got busy robbing the dead and the dying.

Of course, this may just be a myth but there are reports of similar types of herbal vinegars being used since 400 BC, way before the Environmental Protection Agency was around to identify good and bad repellents.

For the modern version of the recipe, you will need to steal (or buy) fresh lavender flowers, fresh mint, fresh rosemary, fresh marjoram, fresh sage, and fresh anise hyssop, about 2 tablespoons each. After that, offer up a prayer so you can find 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed and 1 quart of white wine or apple cider vinegar – the rawer, the better.

Combine the herbs and the garlic in a 1-quart mason jar and make sure to cover it with vinegar and steep for a week to ten days. After this part of the process is over, strain the vinegar through a mesh sieve to a clean 1-quart spray bottle or even a jar.



Bugs-Be-Gone balm

If you’re tired of reading about our bug-repelling sprays, have no fear because we also have a balm recipe for you. In addition to being a shield against the invaders, this is also great for your skin since it’s rich in cocoa butter, coconut oil, and beeswax.

You will need about one-fourth of a cup and 2 tablespoons of beeswax pastilles and cocoa butter. Get about 2 tablespoons of castor oil and one-fourth of a cup of coconut oil. The recipe will be complete with about 15 drops each of lemongrass, citronella, and lemon eucalyptus essential oil together with 5 drops of peppermint and geranium oils.

Now comes the daring part. Place the coconut and castor oil, the beeswax and cocoa butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat while stirring continuously. After the liquid is completely melted, remove from heat and allow it to cool before you add the essential oils. When everything is settled in, transfer the solution to containers and it will solidify into a balm.


As you can see

We’ve just shown you some quick recipes that smell great and will help you get rid of bugs in a natural way. This is a good choice if you are worried about the chemicals that seem to fill every commercial bug repellent.

While mixing it up in your home lab, don’t forget that many of the fragrances are interchangeable and you can try to personalize the smell as much as you wish.



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