Say Goodbye to Itchy Bites: Homemade Bug Repellent for Happy, Joyful Skin

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If you’re in a hurry, you can skip to the recipe section and start making your own natural homemade bug repellent right away!

If you’re looking for a natural and safe bug repellent that the whole family can use, creating your bug repellent is effective and gives you complete control over the ingredients. And by avoiding the harsh chemicals found in many commercial insect repellents, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re using a safe and natural alternative. So, make your own homemade bug repellent today and keep those pesky bugs at bay!

Here are some of the most commonly used essential oils for bug repellent and the insects they can help keep away. 

Discover the Best Family Friendly Natural Ingredients for A Homemade Bug Repellent

Instead of using chemical insecticides, try using the power of essential oils to keep them at bay. But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to know which ones are safe for you and your loved ones. But fear not. We have you covered! Discover the most popular essential oils for repelling bugs and say goodbye to those unwanted visitors once and for all.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)

This is a must-have for any outdoor adventurer. Not only is it a powerful insect repellent, but it’s also completely natural, making it a safe option for the whole family. And it has been approved by the CDC for its effectiveness in repelling bugs. 

Note: oil of lemon eucalyptus is not the same as lemon eucalyptus oil. While they may sound similar, lemon eucalyptus oil is ineffective at repelling mosquitos. 

Lavender Oil

While lavender oil is well known for its calming and relaxing properties, it’s also effective at repelling bugs like mosquitoes, flies, and moths. Lavender oil is safe for children and pregnant women and has a pleasant scent that makes it an excellent choice for those sensitive to strong smells. This oil can be used on its own or in combination with other insect-repelling oils.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is another essential oil that is effective at repelling bugs. Its fresh and invigorating scent prevents ants, mosquitoes, and spiders from invading your space. It’s also safe for children and pregnant women, making it a perfect choice for families. However, to avoid irritation, remember to dilute peppermint oil with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin. 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil might just be your new best friend. It has a wide range of uses, including repelling insects like mosquitoes, ticks, fire ants, spiders, bees, bed bugs, and fleas. It’s also an antiseptic and can relieve itching, making it a must-have essential oil in your natural remedy toolkit. Tea tree oil is safe for the whole family but should be diluted before applying it to the skin.

Citronella Oil

Citronella oil is a common ingredient in many bug-repellent products, and for a good reason. Its strong scent effectively repels mosquitoes and other insects. 

Using a combination of essential oils and other natural ingredients, you can create a homemade bug repellent that is safe for the entire family while also being effective at keeping annoying insects at bay.

How to Make Your Own Bug Repellent: Simple Recipe for The Entire Family

Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from pesky insects with this simple homemade bug repellent recipe.


  • 30 drops oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • 20 drops of lavender oil
  • 20 drops peppermint oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree oil
  • 10 drops citronella oil
  • ½ tbsp glycerin
  • 1/2 cup witch hazel or rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 ounce distilled water

Substitutes for Glycerin:

  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Vegetable Glycerin
  • Jojoba Oil


  1. In a dark-coloured 16 oz glass spray bottle, combine oil of lemon eucalyptus, lavender oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and citronella oil.
  2. Add the glycerin (or a substitute) to the bottle and shake well to combine the ingredients.
  3. Next, pour the witch hazel and distilled water into the bottle and shake well to ensure all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. 
  4. Your bug-repellent spray is now ready to use! Before each use, give the bottle a good shake and reapply as needed.

While essential oils can be a great natural option for keeping bugs away, it’s imperative to remember that not all essential oils are safe for everyone. Always do a patch test before using a new essential oil, and check with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Tailored Protection: Customizing Your Homemade Bug Repellent for Your Family’s Needs

Bug repellents can be very effective in keeping pesky insects at bay. However, not all bug repellents are created equal; some may work better for specific situations or individuals than others. Various advanced options are available for customizing your bug repellent to suit your particular needs.

One option is to adjust the concentration of the essential oils used in your bug repellent. For example, suppose you live in an area with a high cluster of mosquitoes. In that case, you may want to increase the amount of oil of lemon eucalyptus or citronella oil in your repellent. On the other hand, if you’re dealing with ticks or fleas, you may want to increase the amount of tea tree oil or lavender oil, as these oils are known for their tick-repelling properties.

Another way to customize your bug repellent is to choose the carrier oil or base you use. While glycerin is a common carrier oil in bug-repellent recipes, other options may work better for your skin type or preferences. For example, coconut oil is a popular carrier oil known for its moisturizing properties, while jojoba oil is a non-greasy option easily absorbed by the skin.

With some experimentation and customization, you can create a homemade bug repellent tailored to your specific needs, helping you and your family enjoy the great outdoors without the nuisance of irritating insects.

Long-Lasting Protection: Tips for Storing and Applying Homemade Bug Repellent

Now that you have created your homemade bug repellent, it’s necessary to know how to store it properly and apply it for maximum effectiveness.

The Dos and Don’ts for Maximum Protection


  • Label your mixture with its ingredients and store a dark area or in the fridge to preserve potency for longer.
  • Dress in clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • Apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second if using both.
  • Adults should spray insect repellent onto their hands and then apply it to a child’s face.
  • Reapply every two hours, but if you’re sweating or swimming, you may need to reapply more frequently.


  • Use plastic spray bottles for the homemade bug repellent because they can react with the oils. Instead, opt for a dark-coloured glass spray bottle. 
  • Use essential oils on children under three years old without consulting a medical professional. 
  • Apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin.

The Bottom Line

Making your own homemade bug repellent is a safe and effective way to keep those pesky bugs at bay. For even more helpful tips, check out our article on how to keep bugs away!


How long does homemade bug repellent last?

Homemade bug repellent typically lasts for a few hours and should be reapplied as needed.

How should homemade bug repellent be stored?

Homemade bug repellent should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat.

Can I use homemade bug repellent as a room spray?

Yes, homemade bug repellent can be used as a room spray to repel bugs from your home. Dilute the ingredients with water, and spray in areas where bugs are known to congregate.

What should I do if I experience any allergic reactions to my homemade bug repellent?

If you experience allergic reactions like itching or swelling, discontinue using the homemade bug repellent and seek medical attention if necessary.

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Meet AJ Yarwood, the outdoor enthusiast and the Creative Director of, dedicated to sharing unforgettable outdoor experiences with a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step. Join him as he navigates the wonders of nature, from towering peaks to hidden trails, sharing a treasure trove of tips and tricks along the way!