6 Natural DIY Bug Spray Recipes

If you are looking for a non-toxic, deet free alternative to traditional bug sprays, you’ll want to consider one of these DIY recipes.  You can get a spray bottle at the dollar store or in the dollar section of Target.

Happy dance! Warm weather is here and this means that through end of summer (or beyond), many families will be traveling and taking time to explore the great outdoors!  With all the benefits that getting outside brings, this also brings the need for practicalities like sunscreen and “pest away” sprays to protect ourselves and our kids.

DIY All Natural Bug Spray Recipe

Repellent #1-
1 1/2 teaspoons citronella, eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil (any should work, but they will change based on your body chemistry, so try one out & see how it works)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups witch hazel extract
Shake these up in a spray bottle to combine the ingredients.  (Do not spray it on their faces, because you might get it in their eyes or mouth.  I spray it on my hands and wipe it on their faces.)

Repellent #2-
Vitamin E capsules: use the oil to rub on your skin.  (That’s easy enough!)

Repellent # 3:
2 cups water
1/2 tsp lavender oil
Pour into a spray bottle.  Shake & spray.

Repellent #4:
Get a 32 ounce bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TBSP each of dried Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint
Pour into a glass jar with an airtight lid.  Rub on or pour some into a spray bottle when you are ready to use it.

Repellent #5:
(Please note that lemon and all other citrus oils are photosensitive)
2 oz. water
15 drops peppermint essential oil
45 drops lemon essential oil
Put in a spray bottle & shake to combine.

Repellent #6:
This is the only one that I have personally made:
Pure cedarwood essential oil, diluted with water.  About 5 T of the oil to a full spray bottle (the size of windex or something) of water.
This is also great for pets and for your garden.  We sprayed it around our garden to keep the bugs away.

Grab your own oils to make up your DIY bug spray recipes right here!  Happy Trails  🙂

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge


  1. Mary wrote:

    Great ideas. Thanks

    Posted 3.22.15 Reply
  2. Where I live we get so many mosquitos! My little guy has hit the age of wanting to play outside every moment of every day and last year I started to really worry about how much bug spray I was applying. I really look forward to trying these recipes, and love that you offered so many to try/choose from. Thank you! I will be sharing these on my FB and Twitter tomorrow!

    Posted 3.22.15 Reply
  3. Lauren wrote:

    This is so perfect! I’m from Alaska, and we always joke that mosquitos are our state bird. I think I’ll try whipping one of these up and seeing how it works. 🙂

    Posted 3.23.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Wowzers!! Hope one of these works like a charm for you 😉

      Posted 3.23.15 Reply
  4. monica wrote:

    This post is going to be so helpful for me this summer! Last year I started having skin reactions to store bought bug spray (must be all those chemicals!). Thanks! 🙂

    Posted 3.23.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Yikes! So glad you found some good natural alternatives so you can enjoy the great outdoors 🙂

      Posted 3.23.15 Reply
  5. Sasha wrote:

    Looking forward to giving these a try! I hate commercial bug sprays!

    Posted 3.24.15 Reply
  6. Tiffany wrote:

    These are great especially since my kids seem to be allergic to not only the bug bites but the sprays to prevent them as well…thanks for sharing!

    Posted 3.25.15 Reply
  7. Awesome! I’m definitely trying these out this summer. Pinning!

    Posted 3.30.15 Reply
  8. These are great Sybil! Do you know if citronella could irritate the skin?

    Posted 5.12.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Thanks Sarah! I’d recommend spot testing on a small patch of skin on yourself first, if you have any doubt since some people can be a little more sensitive than others to some oils. Thanks for reaching out!

      Posted 5.12.15 Reply