When you make homemade bug spray you will know the exact ingredients that go into the product. There will be no fear of harmful chemicals that may cause illness to your children or pets, or cause damage to plants and/or furniture.
The recipes for these homemade bug sprays contain natural ingredients, like essential oils and beeswax, that will repel bugs naturally while leaving a refreshing scent in the air. If you are looking for a natural way to rid your home, landscape, and garden of harmful pests like mosquitoes, ants, and flying insects, check out these homemade bug repellent recipes.
Some other homemade recipes to get rid of pests are: Homemade ant killers, homemade mouse poison, homemade mouse traps, homemade mosquito traps, homemade wasp traps, homemade fly traps, and homemade pesticides to keep garden pests at bay.
1- Essential Oil Homemade Bug Spray
The fragrance of the essential oils in this DIY bug spray is effective at repelling pests and fill the air with a pleasing aroma. This pest repellent is not a spray but a natural bug repellent in a solid form and has the texture of lip balm. Beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut oil and castor oil are natural ingredients that solidify and help to create this DIY pest repellent that is easy to take along with you.
- 40 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus oil is an ingredient which is often used in store-bought pest repellent because it contains a chemical called p-menthane-3,8-diol
- 10 drops each of Citronella, Lemon Grass, and Lavender oils, all of which are commonly used in pest-repellents and be can grown in a home garden
- 5 drops of Peppermint oil that contains menthol which bugs hate the smell of
- 5 drops of Geranium oil is a natural pest-repelling flower that if often planted in home gardens to keep plants pest-free
- 1/4 cup of beeswax, coconut oil, and castor oil
- 2 tablespoons of castor oil
Place all ingredients except essential oils in a large bowl and microwave until all are melted. Allow mixture to cool then stir in essential oils. Pour into small containers and allow to solidify.
2- Witch Hazel Homemade Bug Spray
Witch hazel is a plant that has long been used for medicinal purposes and is gentle on skin. Bugs hate the scent, and when it’s mixed with vanilla extract you’ll create homemade insect repellant that’s powerful, yet safe for kids to use.
- 1/4 cup witch hazel
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup distilled water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 85 drops Plant Therapy’s Shield Me Essential Oil
Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on skin and surrounding areas. Shake before each use.
3- Bug Spray Repellent Balm
Herbs do more than flavor food, they also repel bugs naturally and safely. This natural bug repellent will show you how to get rid of bugs without chemicals by using herbs and flowers.
- 1 cup dried calendula flowers to prevent skin irritation
- 1 cup fresh rosemary to repel bugs
- 1 cup dried catnip to repel mosquitoes
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup beeswax.
- 10 drops each of lavender and lemon essential oils
Place the rosemary, calendula, and catnip in the top bowl of a double boiler and cover with olive and coconut oil to completely submerge the herbs. Simmer 30 minutes.
Strain through cheesecloth, pour strained oils back into double boiler and add beeswax. When beeswax is melted add essential oils. Pour mixture into small containers. Apply to skin when going outdoors.
Bug repelling balms are easy to carry with you in a pocket or backpack and they provide long-lasting protection after being applied to skin.
4- Fresh Mint and Herb Bug Spray
Mint and herb plants are easy to grow in a home garden and perfect for making homemade bug spray. This recipe uses fresh ingredients right from the garden to keep bugs away
- 2 tablespoons of fresh mint that has been finely chopped. Use spearmint or peppermint leaves
- 6 tablespoons finely chopped herbs. Use catnip, citronella, cloves, rosemary and/or lavender
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 cup witch hazel or rubbing alcohol
Bring water to boil, then add fresh mint and herbs. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool. Add witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. Pour into spray bottle and spray on skin and surrounding areas when you go outdoors.
5- Vinegar Homemade Bug Spray
This is an ancient recipe that is used for many things, including as a homemade bug spray. The fragrant vinegar keeps pests away, and is also good for cleaning and disinfecting hands and surfaces.
- 2 tablespoons each of rosemary, mint, sage, marjoram, lavender flowers, and anise hyssop – finely chopped
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 4 cups white wine vinegar
Place all ingredients in a glass jar, seal and allow to marinate for 10 days. Strain mixture and pour into spray bottle. Spray on skin when going outdoors. Keep away from eyes.
Vinegar and distilled water, mixed at a 50-50 ratio, creates an effective homemade bed bug spray. Add a few drops of lavender oil for a soothing scent.
6- Tea Tree Oil DIY Bug Spray
This is an ideal organic bug spray for people who spend a lot of time outdoors. The tea tree oil in this homemade bug spray kills ticks on contact and it’s gentle on skin.
- 10 drops each of tea tree oil, citronella oil, and lemon eucalyptus oil
- 5 drops each of lavender and geranium oil
- 1/2 teaspoon light cooking oil
- 1/4 cup each of distilled water and witch hazel
Combine all ingredients in a dark glass spray bottle and give it a good shake before each use.
7- Homemade Tick and Bug Spray
This natural bug spray works to kill and repel a wide variety of outdoor pests, including disease-causing ticks. Keep mixture in a dark glass spray bottle to prevent sunlight from breaking down the oils.
- 80 drops each of rose geranium oil, thyme oil, lavender oil, and citronella oil
- 40 drops each of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and cedar oil
- 20 drops each of clove oil and basil oil
- 4 ounces witch hazel
- Distilled water
Combine all ingredients, except distilled water, in a spray bottle. Finish filling bottle up with distilled water. Shake well before each use. Spray on skin, clothing and surrounding areas when outdoors.
8- Aloe Vera Bug Spray
We know the soothing and healing benefits aloe vera provides to our skin, and this natural ingredient also works well as an ingredient in homemade bug spray.
- Fill a small spray bottle two-thirds full of distilled water (boiled and cooled tap water can be used)
- 2 tablespoons of witch hazel to the water
- 1 teaspoon of liquid aloe vera
- 1 teaspoon citronella oil
- 1/2 teaspoon each of grapefruit oil and lemon oil (tea tree and eucalyptus can be used instead of grapefruit and lemon oil)
Shake well to combine all ingredients. Shake before each use. Safe for use on children.
9- Homemade Bug Spray for Kids
Kids enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors in the warm weather when bugs are most active, making them a prime target for biting and stinging bugs. Keep your kids safe from bug bites and chemicals with this effective homemade bug spray.
- 15 drops each of lavender oil, citronella oil, lemongrass oil, and patchouli oil
- 3 drops Argan oil
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
- 1/4 cup witch hazel
- 1/4 cup distilled water
Combine all the oils in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add distilled water and witch hazel and stir until combined. Pour into spray bottle and spray all over kids (including hair and clothing) before they go outdoors. Shake before each use.
When using a new skin product, especially on kids, it’s best to test on a small area of skin to determine if there will be an allergic reaction before applying it all over skin.
10- Smell Good Homemade Bug Spray
In addition to keeping bugs away, this homemade bug spray will make you smell good so you can apply it for any outdoor function without having an embarrassing chemical odor.
- 20 drops each of lemon oil and peppermint oil
- 1 teaspoon of organic castile soap
- 4 ounces distilled water (boil tap water and allow to cool instead of using distilled water)
- witch hazel
Place all ingredients, except witch hazel, in a spray bottle and shake to combine. Top of with witch hazel and shake bottle again. Spray a light mist all over hair, skin, and clothing ( avoid eyes) before going outdoors.
11- All Purpose Homemade Bug Spray
There are many pests to avoid when enjoying the great outdoors and this all-purpose homemade bug spray will help keep all pests away.
Mosquitoes hate citronella, lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, geranium, and catnip. Ticks and lice hate eucalyptus and geranium. Ants and flies hate mint and basil, and annoying gnats hate citronella, lemongrass, and rose geranium.
- 2 cups witch hazel
- 20 drops each of the essentials oils that repel the pests that are living in your area.
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle, shake well and spray all over hair, clothing, skin and outdoor area.
Fresh or dried herbs can be substituted for essential oils.
12- Lavender Oil Homemade Bug Spray
Lavender oil is an effective pest repellent and can be applied to skin undiluted. It’s safe to apply to children, elderly and expectant mothers. The lavender scent is calming and soothing to humans, but pests turn and go in the opposite direction when they smell it.
Lavender oil can be used as-is or mixed with other lotion before applying to skin as a DIY bug repellent.
Before applying any substance to skin it’s always best to consult your physician to ensure the safety of the product or potential drug interactions.
DEET is the main chemical ingredient used in store-bought bug sprays. DEET is effective in killing a wide range of pests, however, there are harmful side effects to humans. Humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath.
Children are more susceptible to subtle brain changes caused by chemicals in their environment because their skin more readily absorbs them. Also, their still-developing nervous systems are more potently affected. Symptoms from DEET or other chemicals may not be evident for months or even years after exposure.