Summer is here and bugs are all out: gnats, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, etc. Whether you have bugs in your garden or ants on your patio, or you’re planning to go on a camping trip, there are times when you need to use a bug spray. When you reach under the counter, what type of spray do you pull out? Is it something you picked up the last time you went shopping or do you make your own bug spray? If you’re still buying commercial products, I encourage you to try these natural bug spray recipes.
Why Add Essential Oils to Your Bug Sprays
Essential oils have many benefits that range from improving your mood to healing minor cuts and abrasions. Therefore, when you add them to your bug sprays, you have an effective way to repel bugs with a few added health benefits. It’s also very easy to make because the main ingredients will consist of distilled water and the essential oils you use.
Here are some of the best oils to use when making bug spray:
- Tea tree
Try different oil blends until you find the ones that suit your needs the best. One very common blend includes eucalyptus, lemon and peppermint essential oils. It smells as good as it works. You can also make a water based spray to keep bugs and insects out of your vegetable or flower garden. One simple recipe that works great uses distilled water and thieves essential oil.
Natural Bug Spray Recipes
Whether you’re going on a camping trip, or sitting on your back porch, or going for a bike ride, these bug sprays will protect you from annoying bugs. You can make your blend with distilled water and witch hazel, equal parts, and then add your essential oils. This works, but you have to reapply often.
I prefer making an oily spray, where I use a light oil (such as avocado oil) with my essential oils. This tents to last much longer.
Natural bug sprays work the same way as the ones you buy in the store do with one huge difference: when you spray them on your body before going outside, you don’t have to worry about dangerous chemicals seeping into your skin.
Making your own bug spray allows you to pick and choose the ingredients so you know they’re safe to use. Certain essential oils will repel all types of bugs and insects and they offer a variety of health benefits, too that could improve your physical and emotional health.
Woodsy Scented Bug Blend
Add 5 drops each of these oils to a 4 oz. glass spritz bottle, top off with your favorite carrier oil, mix well and use liberally before getting out.
- cedarwood essential oil
- rosemary essential oil
- eucalyptus essential oil
- peppermint essential oil
Uplifting Bug Spray
This blend will do double duty: it will protect your form little nasty bugs, and it will lift up your mood.
- 10 drops lemongrass oil
- 6 drops eucalyptus oil
- 4 drops citronella oil
- 4 oz carrier oil of your choice, in a spritz glass bottle
Spicy Bug Mixture
This is a great blend for men or when you need a bit of spice in your life 😉
- 5 drops basil oil
- 7 drops cinnamon oil
- 3 drops thyme oil
- 3 drops pine oil
- 4 oz jojoba oil in a spritz glass bottle
Now go out and have some fun: bugs won’t bother you if you use these bug repellent sprays 😉
Natural Bug Sprays are Healthier for You and the Environment
Have you ever read the ingredients on the bug sprays you buy? If not, you might be a little surprised to learn that these chemicals are just as bad for you, if not worse than the bugs you’re trying to get rid of. There are a few natural options available but most of the commercial bug killers have chemicals you should try to avoid. One main ingredient that you should steer clear of is DEET.
This ingredient is added to many of the bug sprays you use on your body to repel insects. It may be great for keeping the bugs away but it’s also linked to many health problems. You can read more about DEET and the way it affects your body at National Pesticide Information Center, (NPIC).
Natural bug sprays are just as effective as the ones you buy but they won’t contain all those harmful chemicals. You choose what goes into your sprays so you have complete control over what you put on yourself and your kids. As long as you choose natural ingredients such as vinegar and essentials oils, they’re safer and healthier for you and the environment. Visit The Prairie Homestead for some great natural insect repellent recipes made with essential oils.