Homemade Bug Repellent With Essential Oils

| | Education

If you’re interested in making your own natural bug repellent, but often find recipes full of ingredients that you wouldn’t typically have on hand, today is your day.

We’re going to show you how to make the easiest homemade bug repellent. This is a BUG OIL, and it works fabulously well to either diffuse, use as a rub-on, or as a spray-on. All you need are two simple ingredients.

Homemade Bug Repellent Oil


  1. Carrier oil
  2. Essential oil

Carrier Oils

When it comes to choosing a carrier oil, you want to look for something that is lightweight and absorbs into the skin easily. You don’t want to put this oil on your kids when you’re outdoors and have them be a slippery, greasy mess, right?

Jojoba oil and sweet almond oil are two of the best oils to use on the skin. Not only will they not leave your skin greasy, but they’re very nourishing to the skin as well. If you have a child that is allergic to nuts and sweet almond won’t work and you don’t happen to have any jojoba on hand, coconut will work great as well although it will take a little longer to absorb into the skin and it will harden up if it gets cold.

Carrier oils are being used simply to dilute your concentrated essential oils so they aren’t too strong. We’ll talk more about this later when we get to mixing the two.

Essential Oils

Essential oils come from plants and resins, and they’re usually very strong and concentrated. Not only do they all smell, but most are effective at helping the body in some form or another. It could be helping to ease the burn from touching a hot pan or even by inhibiting bacteria and fungus from growing.

Essential oils are not recommended to use full strength alone when applying to your skin. They need to be diluted with a carrier oil. But when diffusing with a cold air atomizing diffuser, full strength is best.

Essential oils each have their own scent. Some have a light, sweet scent (lemon) whereas some have a strong, earthy smell (patchouli). When it comes to deterring bugs, stronger scents tend to work better, but it’s not always the scents that smell bad. A lot of the better smelling oils can be used individually or blended together to create a blend that smells great to you… just not to the bugs.

Three Blends for Bug Repellent

Depending on your personal preference and scent tolerances, we’ve listed  three different blending options to choose from for your bug oil:

Bug Blend #1

This is the most basic bug repellent and is also very effective. Plus it will calm your little ones!

Bug Blend #2

This bug blend smells like a fall campfire with the cinnamon and cedar blending together! It’s very grounding.

Bug Blend #3

This bug blend has a very fresh aroma to it that is exciting and uplifting. 
See BUG OFF DIFFUSER BLEND at Diffuser World

To diffuse these blends in a cold air essential oil diffuser, it is best to use the essential oils without a carrier.

Don’t forget to experiment with some different combos and mix it up! Your bugs may be repelled better by some essential oils more than others. 

Rub-On Method | Homemade Bug Repellent

Okay, now to the nitty-gritty of putting everything together and making your oil.


  1. The first thing you’ll need is to choose your carrier oil and put about 2 TBSP into a bottle or jar.
  2. Next, choose the essential oils or blend of oils that you want to add to your carrier oil. You want to add around 20 drops for every 2 tablespoons of carrier oil so that your oil isn’t too strong, but just right.
  3. Slowly add your essential oils to your carrier oil.
  4. Shake or stir your oil well to mix everything together and store it in a place that’s out of direct sunlight.

To use your homemade bug repellent oil, just pour a bit of oil into the palm of your hand, rub it together, and massage it into your little ones skin before going outdoors.

Spray-On Method | Homemade Bug Repellent

If you prefer a spray-on repellent this works great although it uses a few more ingredients.

Ingredients / Supplies

  • 1 tsp carrier oil
  • 15-25 drops essential oils
  • 1 ½ tbsp distilled water
  • 1 tsp Vodka or Witch Hazel or vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • Glass spray bottle


In a two ounce bottle or jar combine ingredients. Shake well before spraying on your skin. 

This recipe could easily be doubled or tripled for a camping trip or frequent outdoor activity and put in a larger glass spray bottle. Always avoid getting the repellent in your eyes or mouth!

The Best Essential Oils for Bugs

  • Mosquitoes: Peppermint, Lemon, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Geranium, Clove, Sage, Cinnamon, Rosemary
  • Flies/Gnats: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Melaleuca, Rosemary
  • Ticks: Peppermint, Geranium, Thyme, Melaleuca, Cedarwood
  • Ants/Spiders: Tea tree, Peppermint, Lemon, Orange, Clove

As you can see, it’s very easy and very cheap to make your own homemade bug repellent. The strong scent of essential oils not only repel bugs away, but will give you added aromatic benefits.

Enjoy a bug free summer!!  

See all of our essential oils

Source: http://www.primallyinspired.com/favorites-how-to-make-a-homemade-bug-repellent-oil-easy-essential-oils/, http://info.achs.edu/blog/green-cleaning-10-essential-oils-that-naturally-repel-insects

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