Essential Oils that Bug the Bugs

2015-06 Mosquito EONothing announces the imminent arrival of summer in the Adirondacks like itchy mosquito bites. I love to walk outside, but can’t bear to coat my skin with harsh chemicals to keep the bugs at bay. I also don’t want to spend all summer scratching.

Of course, the earth provides natural bug repellents. You can make your own bug spray with essential oils, water and witch hazel. Which essential oils bug the bugs? Choose one or a combination from this list:

  • Blue Cyprus
  • Citronella
  • Clove
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Basil
  • Rose Geranium
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Lavender (this is the only one recommended for use on young children)
  • Peppermint
  • Juniper
  • Thyme

Here’s how I make my bug spray:

Essential Oil Bug Repellent


You’ll need:

  • A spray bottle (8 oz works well)
  • Boiled water (unless you have untreated well water)
  • Witch hazel
  • 30-50 drops of bug bugging essential oils (here’s my combo: 6 drops of clove, 6 lemongrass, 3 basil, 3 cinnamon, 3 lemon, 3 eucalyptus, 5 cedarwood, 6 lavender, 6 peppermint and 5 thyme)

Fill half of the spray bottle with the boiled water and fill the rest with witch hazel. (Leave some room at the top so you can shake it.) Add your essential oils. Cap the bottle and shake it. Spray on your skin, clothing and hair, being careful not to get any in your eyes. Reapply as the scent fades.

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