DIY Non-Toxic Bug & Insect Spray
















It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer by the day, afternoon rains are setting in and plants are in full bloom all are a invitation for bugs to start larking around, especially those nasty mosquitoes. There have been times that we can’t even sit outside in the evening because the bugs are so bad, and it kills me. I spend countless hours on my garden and yard to make it beautiful for the season only to enjoy from the inside. Well, not anymore!!

Since using essential oils I’ve made countless DIY versions of my favorite cleaners and household products. It only seemed logical to make a DIY non-toxic bug spray, too. Why not just use commercial brands? Most commercial brands have DEET and other harmful chemicals that I don’t want on my body or my kids' bodies.  If you haven’t heard how bad DEET is for you, then let me give you the short and sweet version: DEET is a registered pesticide. DEET contains toluene, which is a solvent used in rubber and plastic cements and paint removers. Bug spray containing DEET absorbs through your skin and into your blood stream, which can induce significant neurobehavioral deficits and neuronal degeneration in the brain. You can read more on the hazardous effects of DEET here.

Making a DIY insect & bug spray is easy, inexpensive and a healthier alternative than using a chemical-filled product. Thank goodness I discovered the power of essential oils and their ability to deter bugs not only for your body but home as well.


Here are the main ingredients you need to fill a 4-oz. spray bottle:

  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
  • 1/4 cup distilled water

Add one of the following:

50 drops each of lemon and eucalyptus oils are a good alternative to DEET but not recommended for children under 3 yrs.

20 drops of citronella

I’ve also made a mixture of peppermint, lavender and purification that works well, too:

15 drops of peppermint

15 drops of lavender

15 drops of purification

Something to Think About

Regardless of what recipe you use, place everything in the spray bottle and shake well before using. It’s best to reapply every few hours for best results.  For women who is pregnant or nursing, it’s always best to consult a doctor before using. It’s also best to apply a small amount on a one part of your body to test for an allergic reaction and be cautious when applying spray to young children.

Trina O'Boyle is a Drexel Hill, PA mom of two boys. This post is adapted from her blog, O'Boy Organic.

Categories: MomSpeak