All Natural DIY Bug Spray

Last Updated on March 3, 2022

All natural DIY bug spray is easy to make and is very effective! This is the recipe I love to use.

diy bug spray

 

 

Welcome! I'm so excited that you have come to learn about how to make your own DIY bug spray. It's something I feel very strongly about and we have been very satisfied using this homemade mosquito repellant for 3 years now. If you want to learn more about why we make natural bug spray ourselves and stay away from DEET based bug sprays, you can watch the quick video below (note that I no longer use Jojoba oil in my natural bug spray, so now it's even less expensive for me to make).

Now, I have to say that I am sure we are all annoyed an inconvenienced by bugs to a certain extent, but my poor, sweet Avery and Joe get attacked by mosquitos like I have never seen.  In the mosquitos' defense, I totally understand why they love both Joe and Avery :)  But I digress…  The worst part about bug season for us is that Avery suffers from Skeeter Syndrome (yes, it's a real thing, you can Google it), which makes mosquito bites more than annoying for her.  Her Skeeter Syndrome has improved some as she has gotten older, but her mosquito bites can still be quite painful and they take forever to go away.

So, you can appreciate that I have a STRONG desire to keep my family mosquito bite free, especially Avery.  But DEET terrifies me to my very core ever since some spilled on my car door and melted the plastic (more on that in the video above). But I have to stress…  BUG SPRAY FULL OF DEET MELTED THE PLASTIC ON MY CAR DOOR.  Imagine what that is doing to your skin…  Just sayin'.

As with practically every household item, homemade bug spray can be made inexpensively and naturally at home.  I am very excited to share with you a recipe for a natural bug spray that works well! *Note–I will be the first to admit that it doesn't work as well as DEET based bug sprays, so if you are going to spend a full-day outside in a mosquito laden area or an area where the Zika virus has spread and want to avoid mosquito bites at all costs, then the pros of DEET may outweigh the cons. But this homemade bug spray is perfect for us 95% of the time.* 

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How to Make DIY Bug Spray that is ALL NATURAL

Note- I wanted my bug spray to last all summer, so I made a large batch.  If you prefer to make a smaller batch, adjust the volume of the ingredients accordingly.

INGREDIENTS & MATERIALS NEEDED

Do DEET based bug sprays scare you?! Me too! You can make DIY bug spray at home! This natural bug spray is easy to make and costs less than store-bought bug spray. This is the most straight-forward DIY bug spray recipe I have found.

Steps:

1) I use a 16 ounce glass bottle for my homemade bug spray.  Begin by pouring 8 ounces of witch hazel (it acts as an emulsifier) into the bottle.

Do DEET based bug sprays scare you?! Me too! You can make DIY bug spray at home! This natural bug spray is easy to make and costs less than store-bought bug spray. This is the most straight-forward DIY bug spray recipe I have found.

2) Next, add 2 ounces of water.

Do DEET based bug sprays scare you?! Me too! You can make DIY bug spray at home! This natural bug spray is easy to make and costs less than store-bought bug spray. This is the most straight-forward DIY bug spray recipe I have found.

3) Now it's time to add your essential oils. For a 12 ounce mixture, I recommend approximately 150 drops of essential oils.  Since I chose to use 3 different essential oils to use in my spray, I added approximately 50 drops of each. I counted drops the first time I made it, but now I add one dropper full of each essential oil, which translates to approximately 50 drops.

Do DEET based bug sprays scare you?! Me too! You can make DIY bug spray at home! This natural bug spray is easy to make and costs less than store-bought bug spray. This is the most straight-forward DIY bug spray recipe I have found.

4) Shake well before each use.

That's it!  Isn't that EASY?!  Check out the finished product! You can fill out the form below to have the free bug spray label template emailed to you!

 

 

Now, let's talk about the cost breakdown.  I am not going to include the cost of the bottle, since that is reusable.  Also, bear in mind that each 15 mL bottle of essential oils contains approximately 300 drops, so 50 drops is 1/6 of a bottle.  Also bear in mind that I used Young Living essential oils (which are far more expensive than other essential oils you can purchase on Amazon), so you could make it for even less than I did!

TOTAL COST: $12.80 for 12 ounces  –> .93 per ounce

GUESS WHAT?!  On Amazon, Deep Woods Off is around $1.44 an ounce, depending on the variety that you get.  So, for LESS MONEY you can keep bugs away from your family SAFELY and NATURALLY!

Want to share this with your friends so that they can keep their families safe from bugs AND from DEET?!  Why not share it on Facebook or pin it to Pinterest?

Do DEET based bug sprays scare you?! Me too! You can make DIY bug spray at home! This natural bug spray is easy to make and costs less than store-bought bug spray. This is the most straight-forward DIY bug spray recipe I have found.

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40 Comments

  1. Tasha,

    I am deathly allergic to eucalyptus so am wondering if you have any other suggestions as an alternative to this particular oil. I love the idea of making my own bug repellant because I too am a natural target for mosquitos and chiggers and ticks. They all love me and mosquitos leave huge whelps that take forever to heal, and I scratch them into bleeding sores in my sleep and don’t even realize I’m doing it because they itch so badly. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Question on the DIY bug spray. I’ve read several times that adding vanillin (not vanilla) helps s natural bug spray last longer. Have you heard this or tried it? Thanks!

  3. Hi, Tasha,

    What a great post… I can’t wait to make a batch up! Love your dispenser! I have an Apple and am trying to download the label. No luck. Any tips? The file comes up empty when I download it.
    Let me know…The bugs are biting and I want revenge. :) Thanks.

    Can’t wait to explore your site.

    Robin

    1. If you don’t have the software for Silhouette then it may not work. It is free software! Thanks for reading.

      1. I had no luck with the label link either so I ended up making my own. I have an apple computer and the silhouette software. Maybe just post a flat screenshot and people could copy it with the trace tool! Thanks so much for trying to share!

    1. I really don’t know. We haven’t had any since we started using it, but I can’t say for sure? Thanks for reading!

  4. What other essential oils would you recommend? I don’t have any citronella oil and would like to try this.

    1. Hi Kristina! I truly believe that Citronella is the most important oil to use–the others you choose to mix with it are probably less crucial.

  5. What would you say the approximate shelf life is? Looking forward to trying this natural alternative!

    1. Great question Marianne! I can confidently say it lasts at least 2 months, but we used all of ours by about the 2 month mark and made a new batch, so I am not sure how much longer it could last. That said, I think the shelf life is probably unlimited. I hope that helps!

  6. Dear Tasha Thankyou so much for sharing this beautiful inspirational idea, when I am reading the information I am thinking if there is any way alongside Young Living Oils to design and work together to deliver the insect spray to countries (for example in Africa that do not have resources to prevent mosquitoes that can cause malaria and disease.)

    Thank you with kind wishes
    Amy

  7. Hi Tasha,
    This is an absolutely brilliant idea.
    I read recently that mossie coils are chemically really bad for you.
    Then I came across this idea.
    Got to give it a try.
    We live in Australia and the mossies are about to arrive.
    How much do your “oils” cost to ship to Australia?
    Thank you for this blog.
    Jane

  8. This repellant recipe looks promising! Over the weekend, we went to a lake that had millions of insects! Even the Deet spray did not deter them. On the second day I used unscented lotion to which I added Tea Tree Oil, plus the Deet spray – that worked very well. I get horrible infections from mosquito bites, so protection is important. Will be trying out this spray on my next outdoor adventure!

    1. Hi JD! Generally, glass is recommended for storing essential oils because they can break down plastic, but since this is fairly diluted, plastic would probably be okay.

  9. You know… creating my own bug spray has never occurred to me! My husband is an avid “adventurer”, and we also live in the middle of no where so bug spray is an absolute must in this household. We go through that stuff like it’s candy so I definitely need to try this method out ASAP. Thanks for making me aware :)