DIY Natural Insect Repellent

Last updated 06/1/2020 | |

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This natural insect repellent keeps the bugs away without without dangerous chemicals like DEET or permethrin. Enjoy your cookouts, hikes, and camping trips without mosquito bites.

insect repellent spray in bottle

I went on my first backpacking trip in 7th grade, and immediately fell in love with hiking and camping. I quickly learned that if there are mosquitoes around, they'll eat me alive! Mosquito-free hiking trails are pretty rare nonexistent around here, and I spent a lot of time spraying myself with Off, Skin-so-Soft, and all manner of other bug sprays.

When I started making my own natural products, like Lice-Away Spray and Homemade Febreze, I was impressed by the power of essential oils. After all, the natural oils in plants have protected them from insects since the beginning of time. So why not harness that power to protect us from bugs too?

After a bit of experimentation, I created a natural insect repellent spray keeps the bugs away without dangerous chemicals like DEET or permethrin. Check out how easy this is.

glass spray bottle on stump in forest

Natural Insect Repellent Ingredients

Here's what all the ingredients do in this natural bug spray.

Witch hazel: witch hazel is an extract made from the leaves, bark, and twigs of the witch hazel plant. It's an astringent and is used to dilute and convey the essential oils (the active ingredients) to the skin. Be sure to get 100% pure witch hazel--not mixed with alcohol or aloe.

Citronella essential oil: there's a reason why many outdoor candles and sprays contain citronella. It's a tall grass native to Asia with a crisp, fresh aroma. Citronella essential oil repels insects by masking human smell, and it has a sweet, lemon-floral scent.

Lemongrass essential oil: I have a lemongrass plant in the backyard, because this tall, perennial grass is tasty in stir-fry and rice dishes. Lemongrass essential oil has a citrus, herbaceous smell that's good for the skin.

Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil: this one is the heavy hitter in our insect repellent. In fact, Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil is recommended by the CDC to repel mosquitoes. Lemon Eucalyptus oil has a fresh, lemony scent and is derived from a lemon-scented blue gum eucalypti plant, a tall tree with smooth bark.

insect repellent spray in bottle

DIY Natural Insect Repellent

Yield: 2 oz.
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

This natural insect repellent keeps the bugs away without without dangerous chemicals like DEET or permethrin. Enjoy your cookouts, hikes, and camping trips without mosquito bites.

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle.
  2. Label the bottle (I use these square adhesive labels) and shake gently before using.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you forget your spray and happen to get a bug bite, use my Natural Bug Bite Relief to soothe the itch and speed healing.

Don't want to DIY? No problem. Badger Anti-Bug Spray is a great, effective option.

 

glass spray bottle and essential oil bottles on white table

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Pam

Hi, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here, and please check out the resources in my Natural Living Shop!

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Pam

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I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here! Learn more about me.

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