Homemade All Natural Bug Spray

I love me a good home design magazine… and I wish this post were an announcement that I am being featured in one (like my friend Roeshel just announced!  Way to go Roeshel!).  Alas, it is just me talking about reading magazines, but still, I can retain the being featured dream.

Anyway, I was reading my May edition of Country Living magazine and they had the greatest all-natural bug spray recipe that I HAD to try my hand at making.

Homemade All Natural Bug Spray

Homemade All Natural Bug Spray Recipe  Homemade All Natural Bug Spray with Essential Oils

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So I went to the store and bought my essential oils, lemongrass, eucalyptus and citronella oil, which can be found at any health food store.  I purchased the witch hazel at Walmart, cuz the specialty store’s version was $12 dollars ($1.44 at Wally world by the way! Score!).

The article also had a great link to some beautiful glass bottles… but let’s get real here – this is a kid-friendly house and metal or plastic is better.  What I ended up finding were some tiny 2 oz spray bottles in the travel bins at Walmart too.  They were about a buck.  (and technically they hold about 4 ounces)

Important note: I’ve learned a bit since this post first published a few years back, and, as convenient and cheap as plastic bottles are, they aren’t good for long-term storage for essential oils (and metal containers can react with some oils or blends). Glass bottles are best, and you can get them pretty darn cheap here on Amazon. 

homemade all-natural insect repellant

Homemade Natural Bug Spray Recipe


3 1 ⁄2 ounces (which is basically 1/3 cup) of Witch Hazel

1 ⁄2 teaspoon Lemongrass Oil

1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon Eucalyptus Oil

1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon Citronella Oil

homemade natural bug spray recipe (2)  homemade natural bug spray recipe (3)

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Combine all ingredients in a small four-ounce spray bottle.  Country Living had a great source for cheap: an amber glass mister for $1.07 at Specialtybottle.com — this 6 pack is similarly priced, or this 12-pack is even cheaper per bottle!

When you use it, be sure to shake the bottle contents before spraying (You can see in the picture below how the oils separate from the witch hazel)  p.s. It smells divine!

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Since the weather has been nice enough to enjoy, we’ve spent a lot of time outside.  I had to show these funny pictures.  We got the girls new bathing suits.  The tops are fine but the bottoms don’t fit at all.  Oh well, they were wearing diapers anyway.  But I had to get some low rider pictures before I helped Lydia cuz it was so funny!

homemade natural bug spray recipe (12)  homemade natural bug spray recipe (13)

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homemade natural bug spray recipe (17)

Let me know what you think if you make it!

What have you all been up to lately?

More ideas for your summer:

Free “Chill Out” printable

Free Printable Graphic Chill Out AD Aesthetic For Remodelaholic Vertical

A collection of The Best Outdoor Projects to DIY this summer

The Best Outdoor DIY Projects #remodelaholic

7 Ways to Get Your Patio Ready for Summer

7 ways to get your patio ready for spring and summer - Tipsaholic.com

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. I was thinking about making some bottles up for Christmas gifts. My concern is how long will these last and how to store them? Thanks!

    1. Hi Michelle! If you store the mixture in a dark glass bottle and keep it somewhere cool, it will last long past Christmas. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  2. Ya’ll please don’t put essential oils in plastic! The oils will take the toxins out of the plastic (or styrofoam, etc.) and you will be putting toxins on your skin, or ingesting them if taken orally! Only use glass bottles. The glass bottles sold for essential oils are pretty thick and sturdy and don’t break easily, and I don’t have kids, but I wrap a washcloth around my glass bottles and hold it on with rubber bands, like in the shower in case I do drop it – if it breaks, at least it’s held in the washcloth, but hopefully it won’t break at all. It’s just way too dangerous to put them in plastic!

  3. Have you tried without the eucalyptus oil? All of my research, and then a call to my pedi, says that eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under 10 because it is bad for their lungs. Wondering if it will work without. Thanks!

  4. Great article thank you! Just so you know most essential oils will break down plastics and that is why the original recipe that you saw suggested the glass spray bottles. I totally get wanting them to be kid friendly but the oils will degrade the plastic and the toxins from the plastic will leach into your bug spray. Just my 2 cents. 🙂