Sustainability| 2 min read

How To Make Homemade Essential Oil Bug Spray

Bug spray is a must-have if you spend any time outside in warmer weather.

Bug spray is a must-have if you spend any time outside in warmer weather. No one likes getting eaten up by mosquitoes and other insects! There are lots of commercial bug sprays on the market and some that position themselves as being eco-friendly, but it’s not all that difficult to make your own bug spray.

Why avoid DEET bug sprays?

DEET is the name of a brand of diethyltoluamide, which is a colorless, oily liquid used in many commercially available bug repellants. Some people choose to avoid DEET because of safety concerns about the chemical. The EPA has issued rulings on the safety of DEET, once in 1998 and again in 2014, and concluded that it doesn’t present health issues in adults or children.

That said, they’ve also listed quite a few safety guidelines for using DEET, including not applying over cuts and wounds and washing off of your skin after returning indoors. For some, it’s easier to avoid DEET and make something yourself.

How to make homemade insect repellant

Making your own insect repellant at home is not all that difficult but does take quite a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of witch hazel
  • 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 30 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 30 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 20 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil


  1. Mix all essential oils in a spray bottle. Add the rubbing alcohol and shake to mix.
  2. Pour in witch hazel and shake again.
  3. Add water and shake again.

How to use

This DIY bug spray is as easy to use as anything you buy in the store. Just apply to your skin when you’re headed out the door! Just be sure to give it a good shake before you apply it, as the ingredients may have separated while allowed to set.


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