Homemade Bug Spray that is deet-free, non-toxic, and full of essential oils that smell wonderful and keep the bugs away!
Summer in the south means two things: ridiculous heat and ravenous bugs. My air conditioning unit has been working it’s rear off since the end of April, and even though it’s been in the upper 90’s/low 100’s for a week or two now, my kids still have to get their outside time in.
Since I shy away from chemicals that can be skin irritants and/or toxic, this bug spray has been a life-saver when my kids brave the heat outside. Since it’s made out of essential oils and other easily found ingredients, I feel safe spraying it all over them. And if they escape without a coating, my DIY Itch-Be-Gone Paste takes care of any bites or stings they return with.
How to make bug spray.
Though there are quite a few different essential oils you can use to beef up the bug repellent factor of this spray, I just use what I keep on hand – and it works great! My whole family has used it in our mosquito-infested backyard, and while camping in the woods.
As you can see, I don’t stick to one brand of essential oils. Since I don’t have my family ingest them (whether you do or not is up to you – do your own research) I’m not particularly very picky. There are many out there you can choose from, and I recommend you use what you feel most comfortable with.
For my high-class spray bottle, I used an old apple cider vinegar bottle (I like this kind). It’s best to use glass, since some essential oils can erode plastic. If you have a dark bottle, that’s also ideal, otherwise you can just store it in a dark place. The spray nozzle comes from a super cheap spray bottle I found in the kitchen section at Walmart (yep – I’m classy). It fits perfectly on my acv bottle!
Essential oils for bug spray.
Beside the ones I used, some other essential oils bugs hate are…
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Homemade Bug Spray
- 20 drops clove essential oil
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 20 drops 4 thieves essential oil
- 10 drops melaleuca essential oil
- 3 tablespoons vanilla extract, vodka, or witch hazel
- 2/3 cup filtered water
Pour all ingredients into a 12 or 16 ounce bottle.
Store in spray bottle and store in a dark place.
Shake before using. One application lasts a few hours.
Re-apply as needed, especially after swimming, playing in the sprinkler, or sweating heavily.
Don’t forget to pin this easy homemade bug spray recipe for later!
If you’re interested in more DIY’s, here are a few that my family uses regularly. They’re all very easy, and non-toxic.