This Easy DIY Bug Spray is Affordable, Refreshing on Skin, & It Actually Works!
Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
Buh-bye, bugs! 👋 Hello, essential oil bug spray!
I’m sure it goes without saying, but many commercial bug repellents contain numerous harmful chemicals which are not just bad for you, but bad for the environment too.
If you’re not buying a bug repellent so good you could eat it, then consider making my affordable essential oil bug spray!
It’s easy to make, totally moisturizing, refreshing on your skin when it’s hot outside, safe for your skin and the environment, & most importantly… it really works!
What’s wrong with commercial bug sprays? 🤔
Aside from all the toxic chemicals flying under the radar in many store-bought bug sprays, cosmetics, lotions, etc., for me, DEET is my #1 concern when it comes to any bug repellant. About one-third of the US population uses DEET every year! 😱
While the topic of DEET remains controversial, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) last stated in 2014 they still stand by there not being any health concerns with using DEET. However, it’s hard not to remain skeptical with the lengthy list of warnings they put on each label containing DEET. 😒
That’s not to mention the other harmful chemicals that accompany it. Plus, they all typically smell awful, feel greasy, and probably aren’t suitable for sensitive skin.
Here are just some of the EPA listed warnings for DEET I find really concerning:
- Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing.
- Do not use under clothing.
- Avoid over-application of this product.
- After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
- Wash treated clothing before wearing it again.
- The use of this product may cause skin reactions in rare cases.
Safe? Nah… this is one time in my life where moderation isn’t key and I’ll stick to my much more natural approach. 🙌
It’s important to know what bugs hate in order to make the perfect essential oil bug spray that really WORKS.
Mosquitos hate: Citronella, Lavender, Peppermint, Clove, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Basil, Catnip
Black flies hate: Mint (specifically Peppermint), Basil
Ticks hate: Lemon, Orange, Citrus, Cinnamon, Lavender, Peppermint, Rose Geranium
All that said, I’ve developed a recipe just for you that will not just get rid of all those pesky bugs, but moisturize your skin without being greasy. Better yet, you’ll smell so good too!
Plus, it’s incredibly easy to whip up, take with you on the go, and spray on quickly before heading out the door. 🙌
Before we get started, there are some important factors to keep in mind when making the best DIY Essential Oil Bug Spray:
You need the right essential oils.
I was stoked when I found the Anjou Essential Oils kit on Amazon – they’re all completely safe for your skin since they’re 100% pure & organic. Plus, the kit had everything I needed to whip up this bug spray recipe and then some since it included 18 different scents.
The kit is perfect for anyone who plans to make my DIY Bug Spray and plans to diffuse essential oils or make their own cleaning products at home to get the most bang for your buck! Did I mention it’s also super affordable?
Score 20% OFF with Amazon’s clippable coupon
Use promo code 8VSVZFUT for 31% off the reduced price
Final cost just $14.90 SHIPPED!
That’s just 83¢ per bottle of essential oil! 😱
Don’t need the full set? This 6-pack has all the oils you’ll need!
Anjou Essential Oils Kit – 6 pack $15.99
Score $6 OFF with Amazon’s clippable coupon
Final cost just $9.99 SHIPPED!
*Note that this set is not marked as organic like the 18-pack listed above.
Using the right carrier oil is crucial to skin safety.
When using essential oils on the skin, it’s super important to use a carrier oil to properly dilute them in order for them to be skin safe.
You also don’t want to use too much carrier oil as this can leave your skin greasy and messy during application. With this in mind, I developed the perfect blend of distilled water + carrier oil to perfectly complement my essential oil blend.
I used the 1% dilution for my DIY Bug Spray recipe so it’s safe for long-term & everyday use and full-body application.
For my DIY essential oil bug spray recipe, I used organic, unrefined almond oil which has a light scent, boasts many skin benefits, and is a great moisturizer! It also provides a 12-month shelf life which is likely more than enough time to use up all your bug spray!
If you find yourself needing it to last even longer than that, swap almond oil for jojoba oil which has the longest carrier oil shelf life of 2-3 years. It’s just as moisturizing, light in odor, and offers even more skin benefits. The only downside is that jojoba oil is typically more expensive than most other carrier oils so opt for almond oil if you’re trying to stay frugal.
*Note that it’s recommended to use a 0.25%-0.5% dilution for children under the age of 2. Always consult with a doctor before using any topical product on your skin, especially women who are pregnant, nursing, or if you’re planning to use it on children.
Lastly, use a glass bottle ONLY.
Essential oils are powerful and can break down plastic over time which can leak toxic chemicals. This not only makes them ineffective but dangerous for your health too. Therefore, storing essential oils in plastic is always a big no-no.
Additionally, UV rays are also very damaging to essential oils. Rapid oxidation alters the chemicals in essential oils, which, over time, breaks down the oils and negates their effectiveness. To minimize this risk, storing your DIY bug spray in a darker-colored bottle (such as amber) is ideal.
Regardless, a glass bottle is your safest option and since I already had a clear bottle and plan to store my bug spray inside in my kitchen cabinet (which is cool and dark), I used what I had on hand.
Now, let’s make some awesome DIY Essential Oil Bug Spray!
DIY Essential Oil Bug SprayPrint
- 30 drops Anjou Organic Lemongrass essential oil
- 30 drops Anjou Organic Peppermint essential oil
- 20 drops Anjou Organic Lavender essential oil
- 20 drops Anjou Organic Eucalyptus essential oil
- 1 cup distilled or filtered water
- 1/3 cup (2.6 fl. oz.) Organic, Unrefined Almond Oil (or your preferred carrier oil)
- Glass Spray Bottle
- A measuring cup (for oil & water)
Notice some separation?
Not to worry, my friend!
You will notice separation over time – even minutes after shaking. This is a normal occurrence since my recipe contains water and oil (a pair that notoriously does not mix) and it’s not anything to worry about. Separation also does not affect the essential oils or the effectiveness of the bug spray.
Simply shake before each use and you’re good to go.
I truly hope you enjoy this DIY Bug Spray recipe using the wonderful Anjou Essential Oils kit! It’s perfect for the whole family, affordable, so refreshing to spray on a hot day. Best of all, it’s a convenient bug spray that really works! 👏
Happy summer, Hip2Savers! Let’s stay bug & bite-free together! 😊