Oh, summer! What a beautiful season full of beach days, vacations, and outdoor fun. There are only a few downsides to the fun season, like being a prime target for mosquitoes and no-see-ums, especially in Florida. A lot of commercial bug repellents have DEET and other harsh chemicals in them that can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. More and more people are wanting an alternative to what’s commonly found on store shelves. An essential oil bug spray is an all-natural, safe, and effective option.
Top 5 Essential Oils for Repellents
- Patchouli has a strong and deep earthy aroma and wards off bugs. Patchouli is a skin moisturizer that also helps with wound healing and scars. The essential oil is steamed distilled from the leaves of the Pogostemom cablin plant.
- Orange essential oil contains 90% limonene. Limonene is a natural mosquito and gnat deterrent. Orange essential oil has the well known citrus smell and is cold pressed from the rind of the fruit.
- Peppermint’s minty aroma keeps flying pests and rodents away, even in the garden. Alternatively, you can use spearmint instead of peppermint for those who are more sensitive to essential oils such as dogs and children under 5.
- Lemon essential oil has a 70% limonene content. The essential oil is cold pressed from the fruit’s rind and has the recognizable sour, citrus aroma of lemon. Lemon can be skin irritating so always properly dilute.
- Lemongrass is high in citral. Citral is another great natural bug combatant. Lemongrass has a crisp, summery aroma.
Ways to Use Essential Oils to Repel Bugs
These 5 essential oils are incredible substitutes to commercial bug sprays. Nontoxic and more skin-friendly, there are several different ways to use these oils to repel insects.
- Diffuse an electric or fan diffuser outside on the porch
- Wear a diffuser necklace and add 4-5 drops of any above essential oil
- Make your own topical blend or follow our DIY Homemade Bug Spray recipe below
Homemade Bug Spray
2 ounce glass or PET plastic bottle spray cap
1 ounce aloe gel
1 ounce jojoba oil
4 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops lemongrass essential oil
3 drops patchouli essential oil
4 drops orange essential oil
Add essential oil drops to container. Add aloe gel and jojoba oil. Cap and shake. Spray on before going out especially at dusk and dawn. Store in a cool, dark location for optimal shelf life.
This bug repellent recipe is too strong for kids under 5 and pets. For children under 5 and dogs reduce the number of drops to half of the recipe above and replace peppermint with spearmint.
As for those who would like an already made bug repellent, we have our own natural Bye Bye Bug Spray!