Sunday, June 19, 2011

homemade bug spray

On the heels of all the rain we've had lately, the mosquitoes are out in full force. The pesky bugs aren't enough to deter the kids from their favorite play places, as I learned the other morning when all three little ones came up from the creek, blissful and covered with bites. We quickly mixed up a batch of our tried and true bug spray. Using all natural ingredients, this recipe safely keeps the bugs away.

Natural Bug Spray

1/2 c. witch hazel
25 drops cedarwood oil
25 drops lemongrass oil
15 drops eucalyptus oil
10 drops lavender oil
5 drops tea tree oil

Mix all the ingredients and store in a convenient spray bottle (we use a small, aluminum spray bottle like this.) Shake well before applying.

The witch hazel works well to dilute the essential oils which can be too strong to apply directly to skin (make sure to test for sensitivity even when the oils are diluted). Distilled water or a carrier oil, such as almond or jojoba oil, work equally well.

There are a variety of essential oils that help to repel bugs, and even just a few of the ones we use can do the job (cedarwood and lemongrass are especially repellant). Any combination of these additional oils can be used with great success:


Now the only hard part is getting the spray on the kids before they're out the door!


Greta said...

It's been on my list to find a good bug spray recipe. I'm curious, though, how much the oils and things cost? Thanks for the info!

Amanda Greco Holmes said...

Hi Greta. To answer your question, yes, some of the oils can be an investment initially, which is why I mentioned that you don't need all the oils I listed to make a good spray. I use the combination I posted because I have all those oils on hand for various uses, and because they combine to make a nice blend both for repelling and for scent. The witch hazel is inexpensive and easily found at most grocery stores, and when you consider how long a bottle of essential oil will last when it is used a few drops at a time, the cost seems to average out over all the many uses you get from it. Hope this helps! said...

Thanks so much for sharing! We love to camp and I'm all about using natural products to ward off insects.

Kelly said...

I think that this recipe is so great! I have been using essential oils for years and love them. This weekend I tried an essential oil blend from doterra that blew my mind away!
I wanted to mention that sometimes people have reactions to essential oils because they are not pure, many companies add chemicals to stretch the oil and help in reducing cost. I think that this is so gross!

Amanda Greco Holmes said...

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for sharing that bit about the purity of the oils. I'm sure that does make a big difference in how effective they are as well. Glad you liked the recipe!

deer antler spray said...

That comes so convenient and inexpensive.

Anonymous said...

Where do you find the essential oils?

Amanda Greco Holmes said...

Hi Anon -
Local health food stores carry essential oils, or if you have a Whole Foods nearby, they have them as well. Other options include online ordering if there's no store near you that carry essential oils. Good luck!