Summer is in full force and that means bugs are everywhere. I am sure we are all annoyed and inconvenienced by bugs to a certain extent, but my poor, sweet children get attacked by mosquitos like I have never seen. In the mosquitos’ defense, I totally understand why they love both of them. But I digress… The worst part about bug season for us is that my daughter, Avery, suffers from Skeeter Syndrome (yes, it’s a real thing, you can Google it), which makes mosquito bites more than annoying for her. They are actually quite painful and 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. Of course, I have heard how bad DEET is for you, but I didn’t really get it until I was in law school. One day, I was at a friend’s triathlon in the middle of the summer to cheer her on. I squirted myself with some “Off’ when I arrived and put the bottle in the pocket of my car’s driver side door. Apparently, it tipped over and spilled at some point during the day. It melted the plastic on my car door! Let me say that again … the 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, DIY bug spray can be made inexpensively and naturally at home. I am very excited to share with you a recipe for an all-natural, good-for-the-skin bug spray!
How to Make DIY Bug Spray That is all Natural
Ingredients and Materials Needed for 12 ounces:
Note – I wanted my bug spray to last all summer, so I made a very large batch. If you prefer to make a smaller batch, adjust the volume of the ingredients accordingly.
- 150 drops of Essential Oils: There are many essential oils that naturally repel bugs, including Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, and Mint. After doing a bit of research about what might be most effective for mosquitos, I chose to use Young Living Citronella, Eucalyptus and Lemongrass essential oils for my DIY bug spray. I used 50 drops of each oil.
Note: A lot of people make the mistake of ordering essential oils from places like Amazon, but most of those oils are NOT therapeutic grade, and therefore, cannot be ingested and are not nearly as effective when diffused or applied to the skin. Young Living essential oils are the oils I choose for my own family.
- 8 ounces Witch Hazel
- 2 ounces Jojoba Oil (optional)
- 2 ounces water
- 16 ounce Glass spray bottle
1. I used a 16-ounce bottle. I began by adding 8 ounces of witch hazel (it acts as an emulsifier). I then added 2 ounces of jojoba oil.
3. Next, add 150 drops of essential oils. Since I chose three essential oils to use in my spray, I added 50 drops of each.
4. Finally, add approximately 2 ounces of water. Shake well before using.
That’s it! Isn’t that EASY?! Check out the finished product!
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 one-sixteenth of a bottle.
- Eucalyptus Globulus 50 drops: $2.40
- Lemongrass 50 drops: $1.87
- Citronella 50 drops: $3.25
- 8 ounces Witch Hazel: 5.28
- 2 ounces Jojoba oil (which is optional): $6.50
- TOTAL COST: $19.30 for 12 ounces –> 1.60 per ounce
GUESS WHAT?! On Amazon, Deep Woods Off is $1.74 an ounce, depending on the variety that you get. So, for less money you can keep bugs away from your family safely and naturally!