DIY Bug Repellent- How I Made It, and How It Works

Bug Repellent has always been one of those things I hated using.  When I became a mom, I hated using it on my kids.  I mean, you can taste the harsh chemicals when you spray it, right?  That stuff can't be all that good for you.  The can of Off sat on my shelf, reserved for the rain forest/West Nile virus type of situations. DIY Bug Repellent

The good news is that I finally got around to trying some DIY Bug Spray, and I was very impressed by how well it works!  My hubby and kids put it to the test while raspberry picking last week.   They were in the woods, in a wild patch.  In June, after a very rainy spring.  And, not a mosquito bite to be found!  (They did get a few spider bites, but then this repellent is not for spiders.  If you need to repel spiders, try a different spray. :) )DIY Bug Spray

One note before the recipe: this bug repellent blend is intended for adults and older children.  Toddlers and babies should not use this blend.  If you want to use this on little ones, eliminate the Lemongrass and spray only on their clothes (preferably before putting the clothing on them), not their skin.  There is a great guide to which oils to use and not use in this post.  This is also the source of my recipe, though I tweaked it just a tiny bit.

DIY Bug Repellent Recipe

1. Assemble Ingredients

You will need a spray bottle (preferably glass, though I didn't have a free one so I used plastic), witch hazel, a small scale (or measuring cups) and your essential oils.  I used Citronella, Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Lemongrass.  I order my essential oils from Eden's Garden.  (Complete recipe below)

DIY Bug Repellent Chaos and Comfort

2. Place bottle on scale and zero it out.

The steps for this will vary based on your scale.  I use this one from Amazon (affiliate link).

3. Add 2 oz Witch Hazel to your bottle (or 1/4 c.)

4. Add 2 oz distilled (or filtered) water to your bottle (or 1/4c.)

5. Add essential oils.

I used 20 drops Citronella, 15 drops each lavender, and eucalyptus, and 10 drops lemongrass.


6. Shake and use!

Remember: Label your bottle well, store out of reach of kids and out of direct sunlight, and never spray in eyes.  Shake gently before each use.

Enjoy!  I am so happy to have this bug repellent that works available this summer.  It's a bad year for mosquitoes here in the Midwest because we've had so much spring rain, so this spray is much needed.  Yesterday, I was out on the deck mid-afternoon and the mosquitoes were already out in full force.  I ended up spraying not only myself, but also the deck chair cushions- and I didn't see a single mosquito after that!  I even saw one reverse direction while I was spraying...  ha!  Take that, little buggers.

For more DIY Product recipes and ideas, check out my Pinterest Board.

And, to find out why we are on this DIY journey and are not using many store bought products any more, check out my series on Food Dyes.

Kids and food dyes

Now, go have a bug-free summer!

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