While there are a number of DEET-free repellents out there, they are still not as natural as using a DIY essential oil bug spray that you can easily make at home. If you’re not a fan of spraying chemicals onto your skin, using a homemade solution, you won’t mind spraying and re-applying it as needed throughout the day.
There are many essential oils known for being excellent natural insect repellents. Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender and Peppermint are among the top to repel bugs (and relieve itchiness!). Many different essential oil combinations work, but these 4 are especially great for repelling mosquitos, fleas, ticks and lice.
Eucalyptus – a crisp camphorous scent
A prominent essential oil for mosquito bites. It also effectively protects the skin from tick bites and can last up to several hours. It’s strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties help keep nearly every bug out there at bay. It has also been traditionally used for anti-inflammatory pain relief and can ease bug bite irritations.
Lavender – an exotic floral scent
Lavender is best known for its positive effects in terms of relaxation, but what many people don’t know is that it is also an effective essential oil for bug bites and mosquito bites. It is one of the best natural insect deterrents against fleas and ticks, while also very soothing and gentle on skin.
Peppermint – a fresh menthol scent
You can use this essential oil as an insect repellent while leaving your skin a minty and clean smell, with a cooling effect on the skin. Peppermint smells pleasant to most humans, but not to bugs. It is also a more attractive oil to use for people who dislike the overwhelming fragrance or skin irritation of citronella.
Tea Tree – a sharp astringent scent
As one of nature’s most effective natural pesticides and bug repellents, tea tree tricks bugs into thinking the sprayed area isn’t human. This oil not only has an antifungal ability, but it can also protect and soothe painful bug bites. Tea tree is a great bug repellent but it is so strong it can cause temporary paralysis in dogs.
NEWCO’s Homemade Bug Spray Recipe:
• 20 drops organic eucalyptus oil
• 20 drops organic lavender oil
• 10 drops organic peppermint oil
• 5 drops organic tea tree oil
• 1/2 cup natural witch hazel
• 1/2 cup distilled or boiled water
• 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil like sweet almond, avocado, jojoba, argan or
coconut etc. These are light on the skin and not too greasy.
• 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin (optional)
Homemade bug spray Instructions:
1. Place essential oils in a glass spray bottle and shake well to combine.
2. Pour in witch hazel and a carrier oil, then shake to combine.
3. Add vegetable glycerin if using. This is not necessary but helps everything
4. Add water and shake again.
5. Shake before each use as the oils and water will naturally separate some
Tips for using:
• oils and water don’t mix, so be sure to shake the bug spray before you use it
• avoid spraying on the face to prevent getting in the mouth or eyes (rinse with
water should this happen)
• avoid touching eyes and mouth if you have bug spray on your fingers
• for young kids under the age of 6, spray onto their clothes (and not directly on
• apply as often as you need it.
As with any essential oil, it is advisable to do a skin spot test to check if you have any sensitivity or allergic reaction. In addition, please be sure to talk to your veterinarian before using essential oils around your pets, as some oils have the potential to harm animals. We are making no claims. This information is purely for educational use and should not be used to substitute professional healthcare advice.