Natural Homemade Bug Repellents


October, 2017


Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, it seems there are always a few unwanted pests trying to make their way into your home or even bugging you outside. But, these natural repellents are quick and easy to make and will help you keep the bugs at bay!

While most natural repellents are safe for children and pets since they lack harsh chemicals, some oils used may be irritating or dangerous to your dog or cat, so make sure to double check before sharing these repellents with them.

natural bug spray

For Mosquitos and Other Insects

This recipe works best when applied to your gear or clothing rather than directly to your skin, which will quickly absorb it.

Any combination of the following oils will help keep bugs at bay: Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Cajeput, Tea Tree, Cedar, Eucalyptus, Catnip, Lavender, Mint, or Geranium.

Here’s a recipe that combines these oils. It’s typically highly effective, even against huge swarms of mosquitos:

  • 30 drops citronella
  • 30 drops geranium
  • 20 drops lavender
  • 20 drops lemon eucalyptus
  • 10 drops rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol (or vodka)
  • ½ cup of Natural Witch Hazel
  • ½ vinegar (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin (optional)


Place all of the oils and the alcohol into a glass spray bottle, then shake to combine.
Add the witch hazel and shake again.

Add the vegetable glycerin, if you’re using it, and shake again (this helps it all stay mixed up well).

Add the water/vinegar and shake it again.

Make sure to shake this mixture up before each use as the oils and water will naturally separate themselves over time.

natural bug repelent

For Spiders

Who wants to look down and see a spider crawling on their leg? Spiders are agreeably one of the worst (and creepiest) outdoor pests around, which is why many spray-on spider repellents exist to help protect you from these crawling menaces. Spiders hate some very particular natural oils: lavender, peppermint, citronella, cinnamon, citrus, tea tree, and clove.

Here’s something you may not know: spiders have taste buds on the tips of their legs, meaning as soon as they come across a surface with one of these oils, they will taste it and dart the other direction.

That means these sprays work great for the perimeter of your walls and windows, around interior doors, and on carpets to help deter them from entering your bedroom. Here’s the ideal mix:

  • 5 drops of lemon (or another oil from the list above)
  • 5 drops of dishwashing liquid
  • 1 quart of water

Pour this into a spray bottle and shake it up well to combine.

A few final reminders about this spray:

Test it on your carpet/furniture in a small area just to be sure it won’t spot it up.
You can use this mixture in your garden or lawn. It will deter spiders and has a pleasant scent to it.

Reapply once each week during “spider season” (typically when the weather starts to warm up or cool down, or when rain pushes them inside).

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