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DIY Natural Bug Repellent

bug spray

Along with summer’s beautiful weather comes a less desirable side effect: mosquitoes, black flies and other pesky summer insects. With concerns over Lime Disease, the West Nile Virus and Zika Virus people are turning to bug sprays more often to keep their families and themselves safe.

Though a strong bug repellent may be necessary in certain situations (eg. when camping or hiking in the woods), conventional bug sprays often contain harmful, potentially harmful and/or untested ingredients that can do more harm than good if used on a daily basis.

An alternative option for everyday use is to make your own bug spray. Here’s the recipe I use:


  • spray bottle -at least 100ml, either glass or stainless (not plastic) – like this one
  • small funnel


  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp witch hazel
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • filtered water


1. Using a small funnel, pour the apple cider vinegar and witch hazel into the spray bottle.

2. Count drops as you add essential oils.

3. Fill the rest of the bottle with filtered water, screw on the cap and give the bottle a shake.

4. Your bug repellent is ready to use!

NOTE: make sure never to spray bug repellent, conventional OR homemade, directly in the face. Spray a bit on your hand and gently pat on neck, ears and forehead.


This bug spray is great for playing in the backyard, gardening, or going for evening walks in your neighborhood. I do keep OFF on hand as well, but I only use it sparingly in situations such as those mentioned above – when camping or spending long periods of time in wooded areas.

When I do use conventional repellents, I focus on a few key areas rather than spraying it all over my body. You can do this with the DIY spray, too! Spray on the backs of knees, insides of elbows, tops of feet and back of the neck. If you focus on areas where you feel your pulse (and where you sweat most) the scent carries and you can minimize the amount of spray absorbed into the skin.

I hope you all have some great summer adventures, and I  hope you’ll give this DIY bug repellent a try. 🙂




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