6 DIY Essential Oil Bug Spray Recipes

I don’t like mosquitoes, flies, ticks, or anything else that flies and bites. But they sure do seem to like me! All I have to do is relax outside for just a few moments and I find myself itching at bug bites on my ankles and on my arms. No fun! My kids too end up itching bug bites. I don’t necessarily want to spray on those bug repellent sprays with harsh chemicals in it, especially those with DEET in them. It’s not healthy and DEET has been shown to cause rashes and even neurological damage. And some have even died from using it. So, what do I do? I do some research into using essential oils instead. And success! I found quite a bit of information about using essential oils as an insect repellent. For the most part, what I learned was that essential oils do work, but it doesn’t work for some people. This may be due to user error (i.e. the person didn’t use the oils in the right way or the person didn’t purchase quality oils).

Let me tell you what I learned.

What Essential Oils Are Good for Insect Repellent?

First, I looked into which oils are good at keeping insects away. And I found a collection of oils that were consistently mentioned over and over again. Here’s the list.

Keep reading and I’ll show you 6 recipes that I found that work as a natural insect repellent. These recipes use a combination of these oils. And you can actually make your own by combining any of the oils from the list together. Why would you want to do that? Well, perhaps you prefer a particular scent over another or perhaps you are sensitive to one of the oils and can’t use that one so you have to use another. Or you want to make a blend that’s safe for young children. Any which way, you choose a selection of oils that work for and that you like.

How Do You Make An Essential Oil Bug Spray? 6 Recipes

So, here’s 6 essential oil bug spray recipes you can use to make your own DIY essential oil bug spray.

Flowery Lemon Scented Bug Spray

Add your essential oils and your alcohol to a glass spray bottle and shake well.

Then add the Witch Hazel and shake well again.

Last, add either water or vinegar and shake well again. You’ll want to shake every time you use it as your oils and water will naturally separate over time.

From Wellness Mama.

Outdoor Fresh Scented Bug Spray

Mix all ingredients in an 8 ounce glass spray bottle and shake well before each use.

From Dr. Axe.

Campfire Scented Bug Spray

Add all ingredients to a 2 ounce glass spray bottle and shake well. Double or triple the recipe for larger amounts.

Hippie Scented Bug Spray

Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle and shake well.

Floral Scented Bug Spray

Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle and shake well.


Fresh Scented Essential Oil Bug Spray

Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle and shake well.

From Don’t Waste the Crumbs.

Cautions When Using These Essential Oil Bug Sprays

These bug sprays do have a high dilution ratio and should be used with caution when sprayed directly on the skin, especially for little children. I recommend spraying these on your clothes, backpacks, shoes, etc. so as to avoid any possible skin irritation.

Please be careful if you decide to create your own mix. Cajeput, for example, should not be used around children under 6 years of age. Sage, also, should not be used with little children or if you are pregnant. It can be neurotoxic in large amounts and should be diluted to 0.4% for topical use.

Pre-made Mixes You Can Purchase

If you don’t feel like making your own mix, you can always purchase pre-made mixes. Plant Therapy makes a kid safe version as well as an adult version of their skin repellent. The kid safe version is called Shield Me and the adult version is called Nature Shield. doTERRA also has a pre-made bug repellent mix available for purchase called TerraShield. Young Living makes an Insect Repellent too but because of its ingredients is only available in certain areas. Edens Garden, like Plant Therapy, has two versions. One that can be used safely with kids after dilution called Shoo Fly and an adult version called Pest Defy.

Dilution Chart

Please refer to this dilution chart when diluting your essential oils. It is recommended that you dilute any essential oil that you use regardless of brand. Essential oils are strong and very potent and many can and do cause skin sensitivity, especially with children.

Plant Therapy has this awesome dilution chart you can reference.

You can download a free PDF version here or purchase the magnet here.

For babies, dilute at 0.5% or even 0.25% (half of the 0.5% amount. So, use 3 drops of your essential oil and dilute it in 4 teaspoons of carrier oil for 0.5% or 8 teaspoons of carrier oil for 0.25%.

Use the 1% dilution ratio for daily use. Mix 3 essential oil drops for every 2 teaspoons of carrier oil.

If you need a stronger dose for a short period of time, use the 5% dilution ratio by adding 15 essential oil drops for every 2 teaspoons of carrier oil.

For really, really severe situations, you can up it to 10 percent dilution ratio for small acute areas of concern. For this, you would mix 15 essential oil drops for every teaspoon of carrier oil.

Recommended Essential Oil Brands

Because essential oils have therapeutic properties that make them so useful in our lives, you want to make sure that the essential oils you purchase are pure and contain all of the healing components that you are looking for. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous companies out there that sell diluted oils or even fake oils that will do you harm if you use them for therapeutic purposes.

The companies that I recommend and who consistently receive positive reviews on their essential oils are these:

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