Natural DIY Bug Repellent Spray

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Bug repellents are typically full of unwanted toxins and chemicals.  If you’re looking for a tick and mosquito repellent that works, this natural DIY bug repellent spray is easy to make and uses simple ingredients with essential oils.

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Essential Oils For Natural Bug Repellent

Bugs and insects naturally avoid certain scents found in nature.  When we mix those scents together and spray them on, we can create our own natural bug repellent spray.

Since there are many different species of mosquitoes, ticks, and other critters to protect yourself from, it is best to mix a combination of a few oils together to deter as many species as possible in your spray.

Some of the essential oils that are well-known for repelling bugs are

  • Citronella
  • Lemon Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Lemongrass
  • Cedarwood
  • Lavender
  • Tea Tree
  • Rosemary
  • Geranium
  • Catnip

How To Make Natural Bug Spray With Essential Oils

Making your own homemade bug spray recipe is as easy as mixing witch hazel, alcohol (natural preservative), & essential oils in a spray bottle.  Give the spray bottle a shake and use it as needed while outdoors.

You can choose to use a few other agents to create your spray if you don’t have witch hazel such as white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, vodka, rubbing alcohol.  You might even choose to make a roller with a carrier oil instead of a spray (make sure to adjust the ratio of essential oils to match the size of the roller).

Bug Spray For Pregnant Women

Bug repellent while pregnant can seem overwhelming.  So many sources have conflicting answers about using certain oils during certain times of pregnancy.  

Since Lemon Eucalyptus is not recommended to be used on children under 3 years old, it might also be best to avoid using it while pregnant.  Some also warn against peppermint oil and lavender oil during the earlier parts of pregnancy.

While this particular recipe might not be the best to use during pregnancy, some alternatives that are safer during pregnancy that help repel bugs would be tea tree & geranium oil.  For extra precaution, don’t overuse the spray and wash off when finished.

Another option is to mix 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to use as a repellent while pregnant.

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How Long Does Bug Spray Last?

The alcohol and essential oils in this bug spray can make it last for several years before expiring.  Just do a smell test to make sure it doesn’t smell like it has turned sour.

You can also tell if the essential oils have turned bad based on the consistency and color.  If the color has changed or the essential oils have globbed up, you should make a new batch of bug repellent spray.

How Often Do You Apply Bug Spray?

Once sprayed on your skin, the bug spray should last 2-4 hours.  You’ll be able to tell when it is time to reapply when you can’t smell the spray any longer.  Since the scent is what deters the bugs, you’ll want to make sure to reapply when the scent has faded.

In this particular recipe, lemon eucalyptus deters ticks & mosquitos.  Ticks are harder to protect from, so it is best to apply more often if you’re in an area where ticks are present.  

If you’re just trying to protect yourself from mosquitoes, you can spray every 3-6 hours.

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Posts on this blog are for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with expert professionals. Always do your own research if pregnant, nursing, or dealing with young children.

Yield: 20+ Applications

DIY Bug Repellent Spray

glass spray bottle on towel

 If you’re looking for a tick and mosquito repellent that works, this natural DIY bug repellent spray is easy to make and uses simple ingredients with essential oils.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1/4 Cup Witch hazel
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Vodka or Rubbing Alcohol (as a preservative)
  • 30 Drops Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
  • 10 Drops Peppermint Oil


  1. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
  2. Apply every 2-4 hours while outdoors.


  • You can use apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, vodka or rubbing alcohol in place of the witch hazel.
  • Use any other combinations of oils to equal about 40 drops total.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0

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  1. I am so particular about what kind of sprays we use in my home, especially on my kids. I will be very happy to try to make something safe for my family to use. We have terrible mosquitos here, too!

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