Essential Oils

DIY Bug Spray with Essential Oils

August 14, 2017

Living in rural western MA we see a ton of bugs, especially during the warmer months of the year. While summer is and always will be my favorite season — it does bring the nuisance of mosquitoes and ticks. We now have a large field as part of our property so with the tall grass our dog often picks up a few hitch-hikers. Now that I have a toddler that’s enjoying the outdoors with me, I wanted to find a more natural ingredient bug spray. Cue one of my first DIY recipes I created with essential oils. You can search for DIY Bug Spray on Pinterest or Google and come up with hundreds of different recipes. I decided to do my own research on various oils and basically just made my own blend.

I bought some 4oz and 2oz glass jars — I made a small bottle that we keep in the car/diaper bag for outings and we use the larger bottle at home. I use this spray on our dog as well — and he’s been tick-free since we’ve been more vigilant about spraying him when we’re all outdoors for some time. Before using this spray we’d often find at least 3-4 ticks on him every time, as well as loose ticks throughout the house.

The oils I used in our homemade bug spray were doTERRA’s TerraShield, Lavender, Lemongrass, Melaleuca (tea tree) and Grapefruit.

To be honest, I don’t remember the exact number of drops , it was a total of about 40-50 drops — and the bulk of oil was the TerraShield (20-25 drops) then I just did a handful of drops for the rest. I used 2oz of witch hazel, a tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil and then filled the rest of the bottle with distilled water.

I think the smell of our spray is pretty pleasant. It’s strong, but not too strong and has a earthy, woody, citrus-like scent I think. We’ve been relatively bite free when wearing it.

To use, simply shake well before spraying it on yourself. For Fallou (my toddler)– I spray it on his clothes rather than directly on his skin.

Other oils that are good to use in a bug spray are Peppermint, Geranium, Citronella, Patchouli, Clove, Cedarwood, Thyme, Basil and I’m sure many more. I think next year I will try some different blends to see if using any of these other oils works/smells better.

It’s been really fun for me experimenting with essential oils and new ways to use them to replace common household items. It feels so good to be using something so natural. It feels safer. I think my next experiment will be some lotion and perfume roller balls. I can’t wait to share the outcomes!

I’d be happy to make up a sample for anyone interested too!

Do you use natural bug spray or make your own? What’s your favorite recipe?




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  • Reply Vanessa August 21, 2017 at 9:17 am

    This is wonderful! I hate bug bites! Will have to give this a try! Thanks!

  • Reply Yolanda August 21, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I’ve never thought of making my own. Would yo say it works the same as regular bug repellent?

    • Reply Marie August 21, 2017 at 11:36 am

      I think it’s pretty comparable — but I’m more vigilant about reapplying every couple hours. With regular bug spray it was more of a one and done.

  • Reply Rachael August 21, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I haven’t made my own, but I bought some that was homemade at a festival. I love it! This is helpful to know which oils to use when I need to make some more.

  • Reply Jordyn Galan August 21, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    yay! a safe bug spray with no Deet!

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