While bugs aren’t inherently evil, they can be harmful. Not only can they sting or bite, they can also spread disease.
When summertime rolls in, you can’t help but run for the store-bought bug spray for repel, relief and rescue, but there is a safer option that is chemical-free and just as effective: DIY bug spray!
Benefits of Homemade Bug Spray
That’s right, you can totally make your own bug spray using natural ingredients (like apple cider vinegar and witch hazel) and essential oils. And the best part is, your homemade solution can also nourish your skin while it repels these pesky critters. Plus, it’ll smell better than traditional bug sprays.
Essential Oils That Repel Insects
“Many essential oils have properties that are known for repelling insects,” says Jessica Klingbaum, certified aromatherapy specialist. Consider using the following for your homemade concoction: arborvitae, cedarwood, cinnamon, citronella, clove, geranium, lemongrass, spearmint, peppermint, rosemary and thyme.
There are also some oils that are said to be more effective in repelling specific kinds of insects, Klingbaum adds. For example, citronella, peppermint, lemon, lemongrass, geranium and lavender repel mosquitoes. Grapefruit, juniper berry, thyme and oregano can keep ticks at bay. For spiders, you can use peppermint, melaleuca, eucalyptus and cinnamon.
Vanilla is a great addition to any bug spray because it not only will make it more effective, it’ll also add a nice aroma, Klingbaum says.
Klingbaum warns that essential oils are volatile and aromatic compounds can dissipate fairly quickly. “It’s very important to have a fixative ingredient, like fractionated coconut oil, to help keep the essential oils on the skin longer,” she says. Doing so will then help to increase the efficacy of the bug spray and help it last longer.
DIY Bug Spray Recipe
Ready to make your own bug spray? Here’s a recipe from Klingbaum, founder of BeHipandHealthy.com: Start with a 4-ounce bottle. Add 2 ounces of fractionated coconut oil and 2 ounces of distilled water. Then, add 30-40 drops of essential oils in any blend that you prefer from the list above. And voila! It’s that easy!