Easy DIY Essential Oils Bug Repellents

Easy DIY Bug Repellents

Essential oils bug repellents are a great do-it-yourself alternative to the nasty chemical options out there.

Warm weather is guaranteed to pull most humans out of their homes and into the natural environment, but the bugs are also coming out to enjoy the sunshine.

You can buy bug repellent sprays, but they’re loaded with chemicals that aren’t always healthy for your skin. Many come with a smell that most would consider toxic as well.

Top Essential Oils Bug Repellents Options:

That’s why these simple essential oils bug repellents may grab your attention. You can make them at home with simple ingredients that chase away bugs perhaps with a less offensive aroma for your skin.

Option 1: Use witch hazel as a base to create an all-natural mosquito repellent spray.

DIY Bug Spray with Essential Oils

This is perfect for evenings on the lake or days spent lounging on the beach. You can keep the mosquitos away while splashing in the backyard pool or catching fireflies in the evening.

Just pour 12 ounces of paraben- and alcohol-free witch hazel into a mixing jar and add 10 or 15 drops of the following essential oils:

  • Citronella essential oil – This is the primary ingredient in most bug repellent candles for a good reason. One overview of legitimate scientific studies found that citronella oil may protect against mosquito bites for up to 1.5 hours, so you may need to reapply your natural mosquito spray if you spend long days or evenings outdoors.
  • Lemongrass essential oil – Research has shown that lemongrass oil is a powerful deterrent for sandflies and mosquitoes for up to three hours. One study found that participants wearing lemongrass oil experienced zero mosquito landings or bites in a three-hour period while participants in a control group were attacked by mosquitoes within minutes.
  • Peppermint essential oil – There is some research showing that peppermint oil can protect against mosquito bites to some extent, but this oil isn’t as heavily researched as the other options on this list. It’s worth adding this oil to your DIY bug repellent spray to potentially boost the impact of the overall spray, but citronella and lemongrass oils are clearly the stars of this recipe.

After mixing your oils with witch hazel, transfer the mix to a spray bottle and start misting your skin before heading outdoors.

As with any bug repellent spray, don’t spray on your face because it can get into your eyes and burn.

You might want to shake the bottle well and then apply to your cheeks and forehead with your fingers. Just make sure that it doesn’t run into your eyes and is never placed too close to the eyes.

Don’t do this for young children because they may rub their faces and then touch their eye.

Option 2: Create a creamy lotion that you can rub into your skin instead of spraying.

This is the more time-consuming option because you need more ingredients to create a lotion that rubs into the skin safely while chasing away bugs for hours.

There are many DIY bug repellent lotion recipes found online, but the most effective one that we found uses the following ingredients to create the creamy base:

  • Beeswax pellets
  • Coconut oil
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled water
  • Vitamin E oil

You’re advised to add up to 10 drops of two select essential oils. One of the recommended oils is citronella oil, but other options include:

  • Eucalyptus essential oil – Research has shown that eucalyptus oil can deter mosquito bites for up to four hours. This makes it one of the longest-acting essential oils for mosquito repellent, and there’s a good chance that it also repels a variety of additional pests.
  • Pennyroyal essential oil – While this oil is commonly used to deter a variety of pests, note that it is one of the more potent essential oils that may come with more serious side effects if used in excess. It’s commonly included in flea treatments for dogs and cats, but you don’t want to use too much of this oil.

Mixing the base ingredients with some of these oils or some of the other oils presented in the recipe for bug repellent spray above will create a lotion that you can rub directly into your skin.

This is perhaps a safer option if you don’t want to spray your children with oil and risk it getting into their eyes.

What About Lavender Oil for a Essential oils bug repellents?

Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils on the market because it seems to help with just about anything you may want to achieve.

It turns out that repelling ticks is another of its many superpowers, so you might consider adding it to your homemade bug repellent sprays or lotions.

Not everyone needs to repel ticks, and you may create different mixes for use in different circumstances.

When lavender oil was compared to the DEET that is used in many commercial bug repellent sprays, the oil proved a strong alternative that may work for up to two hours.

There are many side effects and toxic concerns that surround the use of DEET, so it’s expected that many manufacturers will start using natural oils like lavender instead.

You can get ahead of the market by making your own with high-quality, pure lavender oil. 

Can You Protect Your Pets?

You can use your homemade mosquito and tick repellent spray to protect your dogs and cats from fleas, mosquitoes and ticks year-round.

Since these sprays are only effective for up to four hours at a time, they won’t take the place of your around-the-clock flea and tick drops.

That doesn’t mean that manufacturers won’t start making more natural flea and tick treatments that last for longer periods of time, so keep your eye on the market.

In the meantime, you may want to spray your dog’s coat with your homemade repellent when you go for walks in the woods or spend afternoons on the lake or by the pool.

Make sure to include lavender because ticks are more of a concern for dogs than mosquitoes.

Have you made your own bug repellant creams or sprays at home?

Share your favorite recipe to help your fellow reader chase away the bugs without adding toxic chemicals to their skin.  

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Essential oils bug repellents are a great do-it-yourself alternative to the nasty chemical options out there.

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