Recipe for Homemade Bug Spray

Recipe for Homemade Bug Spray

“Mosquitoes are stupid” is a phrase that my children say on a regular basis. And our farm is surrounded by them. I’m not entirely sure why, since we live in a rather dry part of the province. Perhaps it is due to the irrigation dugouts. Or maybe the giant sprinkler system running in the field right next to the house. Either way, they came out in droves last summer and I am anticipating the same thing this summer. The kids spend about 8-10 hours per day outside when the weather is nice so, in addition to ridiculous amounts of dirt, I deal with ridiculous amounts of mosquitoes. Thankfully, I am fully prepared with my trusty recipe for homemade bug spray.

Recipe for Homemade Bug Spray

I have been using this recipe for several years and, though it isn’t quite as effective as some store-bought brands, it is great to know that I’m not spraying poison onto my children. Not only does this spray repel bugs, it has the added benefit of helping heal any bug bites they do get.

1 cup witch hazel
1 cup distilled water
25 drops citronella essential oil
25 drops lemongrass essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix it all into a spray bottle and apply liberally every couple of hours. Give it a couple of good shakes before using it.

My boys often like to rub it right into their arms and legs because it smells so good and feels soft on their skin. I purchase Aura Cacia essential oils and have had great success with them . They are an excellent quality essential oil (read more about third party testing of essential oils) and are available at a great price on Amazon, some even with free shipping. That means this recipe for homemade bug spray is so affordable you’ll be able to spray all the neighborhood kids!

If you don’t feel like smelling like bug spray, you can add 3-5 drops each of citronella and lemongrass essential oil to a candle for a more localized bug repellent. (Safety precaution: Put the oil on the candle before you light it and don’t put it too close to the wick.) I love doing this in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed and I just want to sit on the back deck with a good book and not get eaten alive. It creates a nice ambiance on a warm summer’s evening.

Now I’m dreaming about warmer weather…

One day all this snow will melt… right?

How do you deal with the bugs throughout the summer?
Have you hit bug season yet? Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.

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