07 April 2015

Make Your Own Bug Repellent with Essential Oils

I'm not a fan of summer. Well, that might be a little harsh. Breaking it down a bit, I'm really not a fan of weather above 80°, and I'm not a fan of bugs. Wasps scare the bejeezus out of me. Gnats and mosquitoes annoy me to seemingly no end. Even if I try to enjoy the milder warmth of early morning or late evening, they are there to ruin it for me.

My solution to this? Stay inside. Right by the air conditioner. Ever heard of cabin fever? For me it's more applicable in the summer!

Yet this summer is a bit different. Since space is limited, being perfectly fine with staying inside ALL the time is just a silly pipe dream.

Which leads me to insect repellent. Can't stand the chemical-laden stuff "off the shelf". Not only are the chemicals harsh for us and our skin (to put it mildly), but the stuff stinks to high heaven and is often incredibly sticky. I always feel as though I need a shower after using it.

Enter essential oils. Though not my first time using them, this is my first time using them in this manner. Would the right combination really repel insects?

In a word, YES!

I based the recipe I used on one found at GreenBootLiving. There are a ton of recipes out there! If you already have an arsenal of essential oils, check around to see if there is a recipe using the ones you have on hand. I'm always up for minimizing cost.

I purchased my essential oils for this purpose from Edens Garden via Amazon. The prices are great and there are no additives or fillers added to the oils. And free shipping at the $35 threshold is nice, as well.

I did make one addition to the original recipe I went with by mixing in Rose Geranium. I've read it's a great tick repellent.

Since this was my first (trial) recipe, I made a fairly small amount -- less than 4 oz. To replicate that amount, here's what you'll need:

[Disclosure: Links are of the affiliate variety.]

· 4 oz. spray bottle
· 5 tbsp water (I used filtered)
· 1 tbsp witch hazel (I used a generic comparable to this from my local grocery store.)
· 1 drop 100% pure thyme oil
· 2 drops 100% pure lemongrass oil
· 1 drop 100% pure lavender oil
· 1 drop 100% pure peppermint oil
· 1 drop 100% pure rose geranium oil

Mix all ingredients in the spray bottle. Apply to exposed skin when going to the bug-infested outdoors!

Shared at Thrifty Thursday at the Thrifty Couple, Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less, Coffee and Conversation, Fluster's Creative Muster, The {Not Just} Homemaking Party, Wake Up Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, and Simple Life Sunday.

Standard medical disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and statements here have not been evaluated -- nor approved -- by the FDA. This post is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Please conduct your own research and make your own decisions regarding the use of essential oils.


  1. I just want to encourage you to keep writing! I found you on the About Page Link Party & I think your adventure to find some land of your own is very interesting. I read through some of your posts & enjoyed reading. Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Cynthia!


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