DIY Essential Oil Bug Spray! :)

in homesteading •  last year  (edited)

Last summer--our first here at Mountain Meadow--I had to come up with something to deter ticks, plus keep flying biting insects at bay, but I absolutely hate the smell, feel, and taste of commercial bug sprays. I especially didn't want to douse my kiddos' tender skin in chemicals. So I reached out to my midwife, who is a quintessential off-grid, Natural Mountain Mama, and she passed on her recipe for natural insect repellant!

All photos are my own

My mom, sister, and sister in law have all asked for the recipe after trying out the spray, because it smells so good! So, I figured I'd pass it on here, as well :)

70 drops geranium essential oil
50 drops eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops each of lemon grass, citronella, and peppermint essential oils
3 oz witch hazel
9 oz water

Combine all ingredients in a clean spray bottle! Shake well before each use.

Does it get any easier than that?! :)

Adding the lemon grass oil

You can definitely play around with the midwife said she sometimes throws in pennyroyal, catnip, or lemon, and I myself have substituted some tea tree oil when I ran short on geranium.

(As a bonus, the witch hazel has a delightfully refreshing and cooling effect, especially on a sticky hot day.)

I feel much happier spraying my kids with essential oils instead of harsh chemicals, and it is so funny to hear them giggle and shriek as I liberally spray them down with it when we go outside! Bring on summer!! :)

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oh that such a great idea. Thanks for posting it. My little sister will appreciate it lol

You're welcome! :)

I must copy this recipe - we have serious bug and mosquito issues here in summer and midges that leave the most awful bites, in winter. Thanks for sharing.

I hope it works well for you! I was out gardening all day today and got buzzed by bugs several times, but none of them bothered me beyond that :)

I haven't had much luck with natural bug sprays, although they were store bought and not homemade. They seemed to wear off so quickly which is disappointing. Do you find this lasts for a decent amount of time? I have been wanting something for this kids without using the toxic commercial sprays. Thanks mama! -Aimee

It's not an all-day formula like OFF, I'll admit! I couldn't say how long it lasts exactly, but I've been fine in hour or two stretches--when it's hot I don't stay outside for really long, and I just automatically reapply it whenever I go back out.

Makes sense! Thank you! -Aimee

Thanks for making this post - I too hate shop bought sprays and as I have eczema I couldn't use them even if I wanted to. I will definitely make your spray to keep the nasty bugs away - the bugs have returned with a vengance it seems, I am being bitten all over!


I'm glad you found it helpful! :)

Please be careful of tea tree around animals, it causes health problems. Especially in cats 😿

Yeah, this is a human and not pet spray!

I know, but some people do spray their pets trying to be helpful.

Oh nice! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm going to have to see if I can get my parents to bring these oils in a few weeks when they come to visit. We have flies galore and some mosquitoes inside. This might help with that problem!!

I hope it helps!!

What a great recipe! Im waiting on my citronella to come in now and Ill be able to make this up using tea tree in place of geranium. Im falling in love with my essential oils! From sprays to scrubs! <3

Thank you! You might not need all 70 drops if you're completely swapping tea tree for geranium since it's pretty strong. I just augmented with it when I ran short on geranium (which is mainly in there for ticks).

Thanks for the recipe! If you're swapping out EOs, which repels which bugs, do you know specifically?

Other than the geranium for ticks, I don't. I've read that peppermint repels wasps though :)

Peppermint also repels spiders! I use that too.
A word of caution to pet guardians though: EOs can be toxic to them, so I wouldn't use this on your cat for sure; I'm not sure about dogs.

I've read advice not to use tea tree on dogs for sure because they might lick it off and ingest it.

I love essential oil recipes! I have one for us and for my fur babies.

What do you use for your fur babies? Asking as I have a dog and cat!

Now there's a post idea ;)))

I love this Idea. I haven't done much with essential oils, but I want to. This may be how I start. Thank you for sharing this.

You're welcome! I haven't done a whole lot with oils either, other than scenting dryer balls :) This is the first real recipe I tried!

WHAT a great recipe to have on hand right now, especially with so many people heading outdoors this weekend.
I have all the ingredients except the geranium oil... is there an equivalent oil I can use?

Geranium is pretty unique and an affordable alternative to rose. Which, i suppose you could use but i don't think that makes sence! Lavander migh be a possible replacement. But, just use what you have of the ones mention its a very good and comprehensive receipe! Thank-you for sharing @mtnmeadowmomma I really loved reading it & seeing your photos. Well done 💚💚💚

She said she uses the geranium mostly for ticks, so I figure anything else recommended for ticks would be a good substitute...I've seen people mention rose geranium, or rose might work as @yogajill mentioned :)

I don’t like using all the chemicals on my kids’ skin either. Thanks for this great recipe! 😄

You're welcome!

Nice! THanks! I have all of these and this looks like a great combo. Last year I bought a bunch of stuff to make a tick repellent and it didn’t really work. Now I just carry tape around. It’s nice to deter the other buggies though too!

Tape for ticks? Do tell! :)

oh haha! we just found that it's easier to sensitive ourselves (or try to anyway!) to when they get on us. we carry tape around and just pluck them up with it, then the tape traps them. especially in "seed tick" season time, tape is essential around here.

Easy recipe. I am not fond of any of the chemical sprays either. Thanks for the info. 🐓🐓

You're welcome!

This looks fabulous and it must smell divine. I shall definitely try this as soon as I can source some essential oils ... not so easy down here in the jungle but maybe eBay can get some to me 😉resteeming your lovely recipe and following you for future inspirations 💛🌈🌴🦋❤️

Thank you so much! :)

I haven't had much luck with natural bug sprays, although they were store bought and not homemade. They seemed to wear off so quickly which is disappointing. Do you find this lasts for a decent amount of time? I have been wanting something for this kids without using the toxic commercial sprays. Thanks mama! -Aimee

Great information!!! Upvoted and reblogged!!