Thanks to my good buddy, Amy, for the recommendation to do a bug repellent recipe. Head over to Amy’s blog for poems to inspire, praise, and be edified in the Lord.
As bug season starts up, we’re looking around for ways to protect ourselves from bites. Bugs are irritating visitors, but they are definitely God’s creation, so they have a purpose and we have to live with them.
To live more comfortably, here are some ideas to make your own bug spray, using healthy and natural ingredients.
In my research, I relied on one of my favorite sites, Natural Living Family, hosted by Dr Eric Zelinski and his wife, Sabrina: https://naturallivingfamily.com/
One of the main reasons to make your own bug spray is that you can control the ingredients that go into the spray. DEET may be popular as an effective repellent, but there are some harmful side effects, and natural remedies are just as effective, if not more so. Read about problems with using DEET here: https://naturallivingfamily.com/essential-oils-for-bug-bites/
A good bug repellent can be as simple as a carrier oil and some essential oils.
To start with, use a carrier oil that suits your body. My personal favorite is jojoba, as it absorbs quickly and is a clean oil (not heavy or greasy). Other suggestions are avocado oil, fractionated coconut, grapeseed, and sweet almond. Oils that are a bit heavier (to prevent premature evaporation) are coconut oil, neem, and soybean oil. Olive oil is a heavier oil.
Other ingredients you may want to add are witch hazel and aloe gel.
If you are making a one-ounce container of bug spray, you’ll need 10 – 15 drops of essential oils to the combination of carrier oil/s and other ingredients.
Good essential oils for repelling bugs:
- Cedar wood
- Clove (reported as being the most effective)
- Lemon eucalyptus
- Tea tree
- Lemon myrtle
A sample recipe for filling a 1-ounce spray bottle is:
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel
- 1 teaspoon aloe gel
- 3 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 2 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 drop thyme essential oil
- carrier oil
Add all ingredients to a 1-ounce glass spray bottle. Add enough carrier oil of choice to fill the bottle. Shake well to mix.
Or you may want to use only the carrier oil and essential oils.
These repellent remedies do not last all day. Re-apply every 90 min – 2 hours.
Please also be aware that some essential oils are NOT good to use in the sun, as they may cause photosensitivity (you might burn more easily). Such is not usually the case if diluted well with a carrier oil (i.e., if you have a drop or two in your 1-ounce bottle, along with other, non-photosensitive essential oils).
Essential oils not good for use in the sun:
- Bitter Orange (cold pressed)
- Lemon (cold pressed)
- Lime (cold pressed)
- Fig Leaf Absolute
- Mandarin Leaf
As with using any product on your skin, if you have not used it before, do a small test patch first to make sure it is safe for you.
If you got bit anyway, try out a Bite and Sting remedy:
In a 10 ml roller bottle, add 5 drops of lavender essential oil, 5 drops of tea tree essential oil, and enough carrier oil to fill the bottle. Shake. Apply directly to stings, bites, and scrapes to relieve itch and sting.