homemade bug spray

as mentioned in the last edition of {small style}, we are fans of all natural bug spray.  the challenge with using all natural is that it's only effective for a short amount of time {only as long as the smell lasts}.  the kids usually go off & play for about 15 minutes & then come find me once the bugs begin to pester again.  now it's just become a part of our routine. a few mosquito bites never really hurts & helps build up their little bodies' tolerance {we use kids afterbite or a little witch hazel for any big itching issues}. the upside of using natural solutions is not only staying away from harmful chemicals but that scrumptious smell!

i usually buy it at a health food store or at loblaws but after going through an entire bottle this past weekend, i figured it might be wise to learn how to make it myself.  so here are some recipes from wellness mama that i am experimenting with...

wellness mama bug spray

  • essential oils: choose from citronella, cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, lavender, mint
  • natural witch hazel
  • distilled or boiled water
  • vegetable glycerin {optional}
  1. fill spray bottle 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
  2. add witch hazel to fill almost to the top
  3. add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using
  4. add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent.  the more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be.
find other cool recipes here for bug spray like fresh or dried herb bug spray or super strong vinegar of the four thieves insect repellent {i like the story behind this one!}.


  1. TOTALLY trying this this summer - thanks Sarah! I totally hate "real" bug spray...the smell, the chemicals, all of it. I do, however, really like Outside.

    We actually have these wristband things that are treated really strongly with some kind of mint oil - we wear them, or loop one around the handle of the stroller or whatever, and they do a really good job of keeping the bugs off. I'll see if we have any left from last year and will bring you one sometime - they're kind of great for the smaller babies because you don't have to put it ON them - just the stroller or the carseat or whatever. xo!


  2. Nice! Where did you get this wonder wristband? Sounds perfect for the Wilkins crew!

    1. Randomly at this toy store near our house. We bought a bunch of them last year to have around & to share with folks who needed some - I'll check; I think Brandon still has some! We're away this weekend but remind me if I forget about it!



  3. Thanks for the info Sarah! I am going to have to try this!