Homemade Chemical-free Insect Repellent

Bug Repellant - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

Here comes the sun!  The rain has finally stopped here in Minnesota, however, after a spring as wet as this one we are no doubt going to be left with a summer full of bugs and flying pests!  Over the years, my preference has been to OPT OUT of the chemical-filled bug sprays (DEET has always freaked me out).

Now that I have my son to think about (and as much as we love being outdoors), I felt it was time to actively repel insects, without harmful chemicals.  Turns out it’s super simple to make your on concoction!  Just pick a carrier oil and add essential oils based on what insects you want to repel!

I worked off of these Google search results:  Natural Insect Repellent Recipe (for the recipe) Natural Repellents (to decide which oils to use).  Here’s what I ended up with:

Homemade bug spray - MinnesotaFromScratch.wordpress.com

The Ingredients:

  • 4oz blue glass spray bottle – $2.99 at Whole Foods
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Sunflower Oil – left over from my homemade lip balm
  • 30 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil –  repels mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, flies, ants
  • 30 drops Citronella Essential Oil –  repels mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, flies, ants

Simply measure and mix.  Done!  I used my handy Pyrex measuring cup with the spout so I could easily pour the potion into my jar.  Just spray onto your skin and rub in.

Substitution:  Replace the Carrier Oil (sunflower oil) with Vodka or Witch Hazel for better “spray action” and a try bug spray that can be used on clothes, etc.

You need a dark bottle and/or store in a dark place.  Use or replace within a few months.

Thanks for reading,

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Savannah miller
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 08:03:09

    I want to try this! My current insect repellent smells horrible from all the chemicals! thank you for sharing 🙂


  2. Dee Mauser
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 08:04:29

    Oh I need to try this. One thing I noticed when using brand name (toxic) insect repellents is that when I sprayed them on my kids on the lawn, our lawn turned brown. Imagine what it does to our bodies. Ick!


  3. Melanie
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 08:06:36

    Wow! I didn’t even know you could make your own!


  4. Jenn McCullar
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 08:07:20

    Must try this, we live in the woods and have a pond the mosquitoes are horrible.


    • MinnesotaFromScratch
      Jun 19, 2013 @ 08:09:19

      I could not even imagine living close to a body of water! I hope this works for you. I have read about lemon grass lately. You can plant it in pots and put it around your patio or where ever you are outside. That is supposed to be a natural repellent too. They sell it at our local farmer’s market but they were all sold out last weekend so I have not tried it out first hand.


  5. Pam
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 08:12:46

    We don’t have too many issues with insects here in southern California but when I go home to Wisconsin to visit we do. I will have to share this post with my family and friends from back in the midwest. Thanks!


  6. earthlingorgeous
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 11:16:19

    thanks for this citronella plain is effective against mosquitos


  7. Ronnie
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 15:55:59

    How did it work out?? Was it as effective?


    • MinnesotaFromScratch
      Jun 19, 2013 @ 16:28:23

      Well I have been putting it on my daughter almost daily but not on myself as often. She loves to play in the backyard which is ultra buggy. She has only gotten two bites in the last week and a half since this was made and I have about 10 and I’m out less than her! So, I’d say it works.


  8. Filipino Beef Recipes
    Jun 19, 2013 @ 22:43:24

    I must try this, my insect repellent smells awful!.. Thanks for sharing.. 🙂


  9. indypassionlady
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 06:09:34

    I am so going to try this. We live near the river and we get absolutely bombarded with bugs.


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