DIY Essential Oil Bugs Repellent Spray
Many of EssentialSurvival.Tips’ readers have expressed an interest in learning how to keep bugs from biting them and what methods we use to prevent bites, especially ticks and mosquitoes.
According to the CDC, there are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world but not all of them bite humans. The Aedes vexans species, which is found in every U.S. state, does feed on humans however, and there are plenty of them. Only the female mosquito bites, and draws blood, which is needed in egg production.
The problem is how to keep them away from you?
Many survivalists know that if you are in the wild, there are a lot of natural plants that you can use as an insect repellent.
For example, Peppermint can be found growing wild. Its active ingredient (Mentha Piperita), also know as menthol, can help repel insects. Menthol is an ingredient that is cooling to the skin. If you don’t know how Peppermint looks like, you can easily recognize it by its scent.
In Southern regions, citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) is specially cultivated for repelling insects, in particular mosquitoes. Citronella oil is extracted from the plant and is used in insect repelling candles and other products sold commercially worldwide. While quite rare in many areas of the world, citronella can be grown in certain parts of the US as an ornamental grass, so it can still be found locally. Bruise the stems of grass, rub on, and then hang the bruised grasses in and around your shelter, especially near your sleeping area.
Other wild plants known to repel insects include lemon balm, wild bergamot, snowbrush, cedarwood and sweet fern. There are of course other plants, but the listed ones below and its essential oils that are extracted from them are the most common and can be found in various places in the country and around the world.
A lot of essential oils are really well-known for being efficient natural insect repellents; I am thinking about Eucalyptus, Lemon Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Catnip, Lavender, Peppermint, Basil, Rose Geranium, Cinnamon Oil, Thyme, Lemon, Orange, Pine, Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree.
Many of these essential oils above work particularly well for certain particular bugs:
- Ticks – rose geranium, juniper, rosewood, thyme, grapefruit, oregano
- Mosquitoes – citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, catnip, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, lavender
- Fleas – cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, lemongrass, lavender, orange, pine,
Some studies have also shown; additional effective ingredients include: Neem Oil, Soybean Oil, Vodka, Garlic and Vanilla Extract
DIY Essential Oil Insect Repellent Spray
- Distilled water (2oz)
- Witch Hazel/Vodka (1.5oz)
- 75 drops of essential oils (list above according to the type of bug)
- Jojoba Oil (optional – 1tsp)
- Citronella essential oil (30 drops)
- Peppermint essential oil (25 drops)
- Tea tree essential oil (15 drops) (please make sure to read above for all of the different options of oils so you can make your own custom mixture)
- Makes 4 ounces
- Take a 4 oz spray bottle, fill it with 2oz of distilled or boiled water.
- Add 1oz of witch hazel or vodka
- Add 50-75 drops of essential oils, any combination of the above oils should work.
- If you want to add different oils, just add less of each oil you are adding in, if you wish for it to be less strong of a mixture, just add fewer drops.
- Keep the total % of Essential Oils below 35% for skin safety.
- Optional: add .5 ounces of jojoba oil for its moisturizing properties
- Don’t completely fill the bottle to keep room to shake the blend each time you need it
- Since Essential Oils don’t blend well with water, you will NEED to skate the bottle everytime you need to spray it into your skin
- Shake well.
- Spray onto exposed skin and/or clothing,
- Avoid eyes and mucous membranes.
- Reapply every 2 hours, or as needed.
- Store in a dark spray bottle, away from heat or sunlight.
Homemade Essential Oil Insect Repellent Spray
**For best results, please make sure you are handling high-quality therapeutic grade Essential Oils.
Avoid using this on pregnant women, babies, kids or people under treatments: essential oils may interact with certain medications. Lavender and tea tree oils are the only essential oils that you can directly apply to the skin. Make sure you dilute all others essential oils, especially if you plan to use them on children. This blend could also be sprayed on your dog’s collar to help keep pests off of him/her, but never use on cats, as many essential oils are toxic to cats.**
This blend above is a repellent, but sometimes no matter what we do, insects are nastier than we think. So, even if you get a mosquito bite you can still use Essential Oils afterward to cool down the pain.
- Spray lavender or tea tree essential oil directly to the insect bite.
- Apply apple cider vinegar to the bite
- Massage the affected area with a lemon slice
- Dip a chilled already brewed chamomile tea bag to the bite to soothe to reduce inflammation.
- Place an ice cube on the bite.
- Create a paste with water & baking soda and apply directly around the bite
- A slice of onion has been known to quickly remove pain when applied to insect bites
You can also use a necklace pendant for that repellent blend. Just place 4-5 drops on the pad, wear it all day, and voila…