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My homemade bug repellent with essential oils is a fantastic alternative that will keep the bugs away! The best part? Unlike other bug repellents, this one smells lovely!

As a Mama to little ones who love playing outside, I’ve seen my share of bug bites! In warmer climates, bugs don’t seem to take a break! Conventional bug repellents may get the job done, but they’re full of horrendous chemicals.

Table of Contents

  1. Conventional Bug Repellent Toxins
  2. The Best Essential Oils for Homemade Bug Repellent
  3. How to Relieve Bug Bites
  4. How to Make Homemade Bug Repellent

Conventional Bug Repellent Toxins

One whiff of bug repellent can tell you that it’s full of strong toxins. Many people report irritating side effects from spraying this detractor, and there’s even such a thing as bug spray poisoning. (1) There are countless chemicals in this product. Here are the top offenders


Most bug repellents are made with DEET, a synthetic compound that’s been around for decades. This toxin is horrible for the environment and can negatively affect your pets. (2) Many people find this chemical too strong for their skin, and their body reacts poorly through allergic reactions like swelling and itching. (3)

Minor allergic reactions may be manageable, but some have reported seizures. (4) Manufacturers will say extreme reactions come only from ingesting DEET, but it’s easy to get repellent vapors into your mouth.

Even if you somehow never ingest your bug spray, the skin is our body’s largest organ, and it absorbs anything we put on it. It’s essential to make sure we’re avoiding potent toxins as much as possible.

Synthetic Fragrances

To cover the vile smell of toxins, manufacturers add synthetic fragrances. Unfortunately, these additional chemicals don’t hide the scent of bug spray very well, and they add a myriad of health issues. The FDA has created a legal loophole that allows companies not to disclose the ingredients they use in their fragrance blends. (5)

What seems like one ingredient on the label can actually be a combination of over 4000 components, many of them carcinogens. This homemade bug repellent recipe uses essential oils that make our formula smell great and work effectively.

The Best Essential Oils for Homemade Bug Repellent

My favorite way to repel mosquitoes, flies, and other insects is with natural products, like essential oils. You have many options when it comes to bug repellent, but we’ve found these essential oils keep bugs at bay consistently!

Friends don’t let friends apply essential oils neat! You should always dilute your essential oils to give your system time to adjust to the powerful components you’re applying. Diluting essential oils helps them stretch further, is excellent for the environment because you’re using less product, and prevents you from becoming sensitized to that EO.

When your body becomes sensitized to an essential oil, it reacts in a negative way that prevents you from using that EO again. Diluting is worth it, and it only takes an extra couple of seconds.

I prefer using my essential oil base in this recipe as it smells good and leaves your skin feeling amazing. If you don’t have a batch on hand, jojoba oil is my second favorite! Of course, there is a carrier oil for everyone, no matter what allergies you may have. Popular options include:

  • Fractioned Coconut Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

How to Relieve Bug Bites

No matter how careful you are, you’re bound to get bitten now or then! Everyone’s body reacts differently to bug bites. Some people get a tiny bump, while others have to deal with swelling, itching, and tenderness.

We created this “After Bug Bite” remedy to relieve irritating symptoms. It contains peppermint, which instantly cools the skin, and lavender, which calms and can relieve itching. This blend is safe for little ones and adults alike.

Afterbite Roll-On
  1. Add the peppermint and lavender essential oil to the glass roller bottle.
  2. Fill the roller bottle the rest of the way with oil base, leaving enough room to replace the lid.
  3. Replace the lid and shake until well blended.
  4. To use, apply directly to bug bites.
No matter what allergies you may have, there’s a carrier oil that’s right for you. You can use any or a combination of these: Avocado, Fractionated Coconut, Grapeseed, Jojoba, Sweet Almond.

 Step One: Add Essential Oils

Add the peppermint and lavender essential oil to the glass roller bottle.

Step Two: Add Carrier Oil

Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil, leaving enough room to replace the top. Replace the lid and shake well until blended.

To use, apply to the bug bite to relieve symptoms.

How to Make Homemade Bug Repellent Spray

Here’s to a (mostly) bite-free Summer! With a few essential oils and a little bit of time, you’ll have the perfect bug repellent spray!

This formula is safe for the entire family to use.

Homemade Bug Repellent
  1. Add the essential oils and oil base to a glass spray bottle with a fine mister.
  2. Replace the top and shake to blend.
  3. To use, spray all over the body before going outside. Be sure to avoid the eyes. Reapply every couple of hours.
  4. Store in a dark, cool place.

Step One: Mix Ingredients

Add the essential oils and oil base to a small glass spray bottle. Replace the lid and shake gently to combine.

I prefer using amber glass spray bottles to help keep essential oils potent. EOs can eat through plastic, so it’s important to use glass in this recipe!

Step Two: Apply to Skin

To use, spritz all over the entire body before heading outside. Be sure to avoid your eyes, as essential oils are potent and will burn.

As with conventional bug sprays, reapply every couple of hours you’re outside. Enjoy your time outdoors.. bug-free! Store in a cool dark place.

Need more all-natural outside hacks? Try our homemade sunscreen that keeps skin protected from the sun’s heat. If insects bother you inside your home, try our floor cleaner that makes bugs flee!



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