If you’re interested in making your own homemade bug repellent, but often find many recipes too overwhelming or full of ingredients that you wouldn’t typically have on hand, today is your day.
I’m going to show you how to make the simplest homemade bug repellent you’ll ever make. It’s not a bug spray. It’s a bug oil, and it works fabulously well. All you need are two simple ingredients.
- Carrier oil
- Essential oil
When it comes to choosing a carrier oil, you want to look for something that is lightweight and absorbs into the skin easily. You don’t want to put this oil on your kids when you’re outdoors and have them be a slippery, greasy mess, right?
Jojoba oil and sweet almond oil are two of the best oils to use on the skin. Not only will they not leave your skin greasy, but they’re very nourishing to the skin as well. If you have a child that is allergic to nuts and sweet almond won’t work and you don’t happen to have any jojoba on hand, coconut oil will work great as well although it will take a little longer to absorb into the skin and it will harden up if it gets cold.
All your carrier oil does is dilute your concentrated essential oils so they aren’t too strong. We’ll talk more about this later when we get to mixing the two.
Essential oils come from plants and resins, and they’re usually very strong and concentrated. Not only do they all smell, but most are effective at helping the body in some form or another. It could be helping to ease the burn from touching a hot pan or even by inhibiting bacteria and fungus from growing.
Essential oils are not recommended to use full strength on their own. They need to be diluted with a carrier oil.
Like I said, essential oils each have their own scent. Some have a light, sweet scent (lemon) whereas some have a strong, earthy smell (patchouli). When it comes to deterring bugs, stronger scents tend to work better, but it’s not always the scents that smell bad. A lot of the better smelling oils can be used individually or blended together to create a blend that smells great to you… just not to the bugs.
For my homemade bug repellent, I used the following essential oil blend.
- 15 drops lavender
- 5 drops eucalyptus
I wanted to keep it simple and smelling good. Who doesn’t love the smell of lavender anyway? Not to mention this blend will help calm your little ones a bit.
If lavender and eucalyptus aren’t your thing, here are three other essential oils blends that work well for keeping bugs away.
Bug Blend 1
This bug blend smells like a fall campfire with the cinnamon and cedar blending together! It’s very grounding.
Bug Blend 2
This bug blend has a very lemony-mint aroma to it that is exciting and uplifting.
- 12 drops lemongrass
- 6 drops eucalyptus
- 2 drops citronella
Bug Blend 3
This is the easiest blend of all since you only need one oil, and it gives you a very floral like smell. This one even works great on cats and dogs. Just put 1 drop right on your pets collar to keep ticks away!
- 20 drops rose geranium
Premixed Bug Blends
If blending your own essential oils together seems too overwhelming for you, don’t stress… many essential oil companies make premixed blends that you can purchase and use instead of blending your own. Just add 10-20 drops to your carrier oil and you’re good to go.
- doTERRA’s TerraShield Repellant Blend
- Plant Therapy’s Bug Off Synergy Blend
- Eden’s Garden Four Thieves Synergy Blend
How To Make A Homemade Bug Repelling Oil
Okay, now to the nitty gritty of putting everything together and making your oil.
The first thing you’ll need is to choose your carrier oil and put about 2 TBSP into a bottle or jar.
Next, choose the essential oils or blend of oils that you want to add to your carrier oil.
For my bug oil I’ve chosen to use lavender and eucalyptus oils. You want to get around 20 drops for 2 TBSP of carrier oil so that your oil isn’t too strong, but just right.
Slowly add your essential oils to your carrier oil.
I used 15 drops of lavender oil since it’s light and airy and 5 drops of eucalyptus oil since it’s a bit stronger. Both of these scents work well together and keep the bugs away without making you or your kids stink!
Lastly, shake or stir your oil well to mix everything together and store it in a place that’s out of direct sunlight.
To use your homemade bug repellent oil, just pour a bit of oil into the palm of your hand, rub it together, and massage it into your little ones skin before going outdoors.
Okay. That’s it. It’s that simple. Two ingredients, it’s quick, easy, and you’re done! Enjoy a bug free summer!!
If you also want to see an easy natural tick repellent that really works, CLICK HERE!
What’s your favorite scent for natural bug repellents?
Meet Meagan from Growing Up Herbal
Meagan Visser is the owner of Growing Up Herbal on Etsy where she offers natural, herbal skin care products for children. She also teaches parents how to take charge of their children’s health naturally on her blog, GrowingUpHerbal.com, and she’s enjoys living a simple and healthy life with her husband and 3 little boys in the southern Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee. Connect with her on her on Facebook and Pinterest.
Thanks for sharing! Where can one find the jojoba or sweet almond oils and also the essential oils? Can’t wait to try this!
Hi Brianna, I included Amazon links to all the oils – just click on the name (jojoba or any of the essential oils) and it will take you to the Amazon product 🙂 If you don’t like shopping online, you might be able to find them at your local health food store, too.
Would this work on bud bugs? How and what would I need to make it?
Humm, not sure about bed bugs Anna, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. What I’d do is skip the carrier oil and put your essential oils into plain vodka then dilute it in half with water. Spritz the bed heavily several times and see if that helps. I’m honestly not sure if it will. I’ve also heard that diatomaceous earth (http://bit.ly/QK1I8I) will help as well.
we’ve experienced bed bugs and it was horrible… until we tried diatemacous earth. We applied a thin layer on beds, furniture, floors, etc and it worked! We also made sure to sprinkle it around the legs of our beds and put double sided tape on the legs of the bed as well.
The best remedy for keeping bed bugs away is rubbing alcohol diluted in water. Spray the bed and wait 5 minutes before getting in. Also look at dusting with diatomaceous earth.
I don’t like to put chemical stuff on my dogs to prevent fleas&ticks, so I put an amethyst gem in their water bowl and no more fleas, (it’s not effective for ticks) what happens is that the amethyst vibrates, so by doing that is annoying to the fleas, keeping them away.
You can find the gem at the new age stores, or on the internet, they cost around $5.00. good luck
Rosane, thank you for that wonderful tip! I love amethyst (I wear one around my neck almost always!) and I had no idea it worked for fleas. I am so excited to try it. Thank you!
Do you find one works better than another?
Over the years, I’ve tried different blends of oils to repel bugs. What I’ve found is that it’s not so much which oils you use, but how you use them. Bug sprays tend to fade away faster than body oils, although they’re more convenient.
As far as the blend you use, I think that’s just a personal preference. Some people can’t stand the smell of citronella so they’d rather go with something else. Then you have people who think it’s not going to work at keeping bugs away unless it has citronella in it. Again, just personal preference.
I’d suggest starting with a blend of oils you already have on hand and you know you like. If it doesn’t work like it should, try a different one until you find the right thing for you. Hope that helps!!
Would avocado oil work as a carrier?
Yes Patty, Avocado oil would also work well. Great question!
Are any of these ok to use on a horse? and what do you mix with it to make it go further?
Trish- I use “Avon” “Skin-so-soft” oil mixed 50-50 with water on horses. (and on myself)
Love these recipes! I’m going to try the Lavender/Eucalyptus recipe soon!
Hi, I was just wondering if these recipes are safe to use on infants?
I’m not for sure on all of them Kristie… it would be worth looking into each of them individually just to make sure. Most EOs are too strong for babies under 3 months, but most times a baby under 3 months won’t need them. If you’re concerned about the eucalyptus or the cinnamon (since those tend to be stronger) then dilute them more with more carrier oil and less EO. Hope that helps a bit!
Eucalyptus oil is not safe to use on or around children under the age of 10. It can affect their nervous system and breathing. Always do your research before using essential oils around your kids, they are great but not all are safe around little ones.
You can get netting that covers a stroller or play yard until the baby is older. you can rub a little oil where the baby can’t touch, like under the stroller or carseat, if they are at least 6 mos old and you use kid-friendly oils. Plant Therapy has a KidSafe line.
Thank you, will try these on my daughter who gets welts from mosquito bites.
Any recommendations for deterring flies, we have 3 Ducks and with the warm summer we get tons of flies. We use the reusable fly baits but they attract the flies. Any help would be great.
Have you heard of hanging plastic bags filled with water? I thought it was nonsense until a friend tried it and she didn’t even get one fly in her home, even with the back door wide open. Instead of attracting the flies and trapping them, it just repels them — and it’s cheap to boot! Something about light refraction. Here’s an article about it: http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/insects-arachnids/water-bags-repel-flies1.htm Hope it helps!
That is so crazy! I’ve never heard that, but am going to try it! Thank you!!
I have tried making my own bug repellent with essential oil and it didn’t work before — I’ll try again with your lavendar/euc idea….
Yes, do try. It’s been working for me (although, I will say that bugs never bothered me that much) BUT flies love my dog down at the lake where I take him swimming. This completely works on him. I have to respray him a few times (I put the oil in spray bottle), especially if he’s swimming, but they completely leave him alone now!
Thanks much….can I add water to this mix and use it in a spray bottle??
Nancy, I’d think if you put water in a spray bottle it would dilute it further and it may not work. If you wanted a spray, I’d do water with a tiny bit of vodka and your EO mix. The vodka helps the EOs to disperse in the water more, but still shake it well before spraying yourself. Good luck!
What would the ratios be for a spray, essential oil drops, water, vodka? Thanks
Does peppermint or tea tree essential oil work? That is what I have on hand and would love to make some right away. Also, do you put all over your skin? I’ve heard that just a drop on the ankles, knees, elbows, neck, etc. would do the trick.
Great question Katie… I’ve not heard of peppermint or tea tree working for bugs, but they may. It’s worth trying. As for where to put it, you just have to try and see what works best for you. Try the little spots here and there first. If that doesn’t work… try all over. What works for one person won’t always work for the other.
Actually, Katie, peppermint and tea tree essential oil do work, just not for as many bugs…..
thanks for the great post. I’m headed to MI next week and I’ve heard the tick problem is terrible.
So i can use coconut oil??? how do you keep the oil liquidy? or do i just put it in my hand to activate the liduid??
Hi Megan! You can use coconut oil, but it will harden at temperatures under 76 degrees. A lot of times, I just put it in my hands to activate the liquid, like you mentioned. If it’s hot, sometimes I just set it outside, too. Sometimes I put the jar in a bowl of hot water to melt it, too. Have a great time in MI!!
Megan, if you want to use coconut oil but don’t want it to harden, use fractionated coconut oil. It stays liquid no matter the temperature. You can find it at most health food stores, or on Amazon.
Great suggestion Janna! Thank you!
Can you use this along with sunscreen? If so, which would you apply first?
I’d say so… I’d put the bug oil on first, then top it with the sunscreen. If you’re using a natural sunscreen with zinc… you want the zinc to cover your skin so it will need to be on the top.
Can’t wait to try this bug repellent out. To repel mosquitoes in particular, which blend would you recommend?
P.s: Not sure if you’re American but if you are- Happy Independence Day! 🙂
Hummm… that’s a tough one Sarah. I’d say blend 2 or 3. There’s something about the cedarwood and the citronella that just help keep them away. And yes, I’m American! Thank you, and you too if you’re here in the states!!
Do you know of a natural FLEA remedy/repellent for dogs?
I JUST came across this… maybe it will help –> http://www.likeamustardseed.com/2013/06/20/fleas-get-rid-of-them-naturally-and-effectively/
This link is not working.
I went camping last weekend and brought some along made with coconut oil and it worked like a charm! Thanks for this recipe!
YAY! So glad to hear this Hannah! Thanks for sharing!
Would Aloe Vera Gel work for the ‘carrier oil’?
Hummm Kristin… now that I don’t know. It may, but then again, the aloe may absorb quickly leaving the concentrated essential oils on the skin which wouldn’t be good. I’m not sure though. I’ll have to check into this question a bit more. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!
How about grapeseed oil?
I’m sure that would be fine Allison!
Does this work on bud bugs? If so what would I need and how would I mix?
Honestly Anna… I’m not sure. These are oils known to repel bugs. I think if I were dealing with bed bugs I’d first of all vacuum and seal the bedding off (I think that’s what you’re supposed to do). I’d also use diatomacious earth on it as well as a dusting powder during the time it’s sealed off. After that, I’d use the essential oils. Basically you can take your EOs and mix them with vodka… put it in a spray bottle and really spray the bed down well. Again, I’m not sure if it would work, but it would be worth trying before using chemicals. Hope that helps!
Does this also work for fleas. If not is there a recipe for a flea repellant?
Jan, I don’t have personal experience with fleas, so I can’t tell you based on my experience (or maybe I do have experience since my dog hasn’t gotten fleas and we use rose geranium lol), but I’ve heard rose geranium does helps repel fleas. But here’s an even better solution that most people swear by: Diatomaceous Earth (often referred to as “DE”). It’s completely safe for humans and pets (it’s just very finely ground up sedimentary rock and marine algae/fossils). To humans and dogs and big insects, it just feels like a very fine powder (almost like baby powder). But to small insects like fleas, the powder feels like super sharp glass that kills them. It’s an amazing insect repellent that I use around my house and garden. It works amazingly well. I’ve heard it works wonders for fleas. If you can’t find it, here’s where I get mine: http://amzn.to/1bc8Mme
Hope that helps!
Hello, I am very excited to read all these comments and know that we can do this naturally. I was wondering if the DE would kill spiders and snakes?
Does this work on gnats? My husband won’t move to Florida because of them
Worked on gnats for me, Jane! I can’t stand gnats either!!
Can I use olive oil as a carrier oil?
Yes! Sometimes it has a strong scent, but if the smell doesn’t bother you, olive oil makes a great carrier oil!
Thank you for these natural options! I’m going to try the rose geranium on my dog.
Do you have any suggestions for bee/wasp repellant? I’m allergic to wasps, yet they always seem to find me when I’m outside.
Can geranium oil be used in place of rose geranium, not sure of the difference or if the two are interchangeable.
I quit using perfumed laundry products in summer. Then add lavender/eucalyptus oil to a paper towel and throw in the dryer. It scents my work clothes so I’m already armed before I ever hit the outdoors. I have found the smell fresh and really seems to keep the bugs off even after my tee shirts have “set” for several days. I do use oil mixes on my skin but avoiding the perfumes in my work clothes really has helped!
Love that idea, Karen! Thank you so much for sharing!
I was wondering… Instead of carrier oils, can they be mixed in alcohol and water and placed into a mister spray bottle?
Yes, great idea!
Hello there! Thanks for the great post, I really want to try the tick repellant, here in Finland we usually have ticks only in the coast, but due to the warming climate they have started to spread across the country. And they totally creep me out, don’t want my kids having one of them stuck.
Only I haven’t been able to find the oil from Pelargonium capitatum x radens, as it is in your link, but Pelargonium x asperum here in Finland. Do you have any idea would that work as well?
Can you use terrashield repellent blend to prevent fleas and ticks on dogs?? Has anyone tried it?
I think it’d definitely be worth a try. I have not used it so I don’t have personal experience with it, but I’ve heard great things about it.
This is a fantastic post! My rose geranium oil just came in the mail yesterday and I am so excited started using it! A few questions for you:
1) I noticed in the replies you posted about Diatomaceous Earth (DE) being used in your gardens and flower beds. Do you think this would help kill fleas we have in the yard? My dog and I recently moved to the country and there are TONS of ticks and fleas. I am wondering if this DE would do well in eliminating the fleas but keep the “good” bugs in the yard? Also is it safe to use around veggie gardens?
2) Do you know if the above 3 repellents that Megan posted would guard against mosquitos? Specially the combination using just rose geranium oil and a carrier oil? Or do you have any other natural mosquito repellants you recommend? The “Deep Woods” by OFF works well but it is FULL Of chemicals which I do not like!
Any advice would be great! Thanks so much 🙂
Hi Niki! Yes, Diatomaceous Earth kills fleas very effectively. But, yes, It will kill the beneficial bugs as well so avoid putting it directly on plants and flowers. It does not harm worms or beneficial soil microorganisms, though! I like sprinkling some around my windowsills and door frames to kill and keep the bugs out of the house.
Yes, the recipes posted by Megan have worked well for me in keeping mosquitoes away. I’ve found the rose geranium keeps all types of insects away from me fairly decently – must be something they really don’t like about it. I also have found Bug Off, an essential oil blend, by Plant Therapy (you can find it here: http://amzn.to/1jiFHd2) mixed with sweet almond oil (or any type of oil – you can even mix it with witch hazel for a bug spray) works extremely well – that’s the one my husband likes the best for mosquitos and I think I have to agree – it seems to work the best for us. It’s just a blend of pure essential oils of Citronella, Eucalyptus, Cedar wood, Lemongrass, Lavender, Litsea, Tea Tree, Patchouli & Catnip and that combination seems to be a winning combination.
Hope that helps!
Beni Bug off, if that is what you are referring to stopped producing here in SC….
Fight Back 2 made by Mission Essentials is available in the sc Whole Foods Stores and is fabulous, in my opinion much better.
What is a good site to purchase quality oils ?
Great site, my wife and I placed an order as soon as we read your blog. I have two questions. Can you combine Rose Geranium for ticks with the Lavender and Eucalyptus for Mosquitoes? Second question is specific to Rose Geranium and dogs. Do you place the drop on the neck and tail using full strength or do you dilute with carrier oil for them as well? Thanks for the info! Lance
Lance, rose geranium has a VERY strong scent. I would suggest mixing those oils in a small batch to see if the smell is okay to you. Use more lavender than geranium and eucalyptus since they are so potent. It really comes down to what works for you.
You can apply the geranium undiluted on a large dog, however, I would dilute 50:50 on a small dog just to be safe.
I just posted about a product called Fight Back @ by mission essentials (www.mission-essentials.com). It contains both Lemon Euc and Rose Geranium (and others) so it works on mosquitos and repels ticks. It can be sprayed behind the head of dogs in the same spot you would apply flea medicine – works fabulous!
The best all natural bug spray out there by far is made by a company called Mission Essentials (www.mission-essentials.com) – it’s called Fight Back 2…it smells great, works fabulous and has no alcohol so it feels good.
What about Fleas? does this work for fleas?, and does this work on Cats as well? if not do you have a natural repellant for fleas?
Thank you .
I want to say thank you so much for this recipe. I made this for my children and I. When we went to a cookout at a friends farm with lots of goats, chicken and cows. When we got there I robbed some on our body and was pretty amazed that I did not see any bug around me. The last time my hubby went there he came home with ticks. But we were bug free. Now our friend is asking me to make them the solution. Thanks again.
So great to hear!
I have tried several natural, DIY remedies but none seem to work. A friend told me about a product called QuickBayt Fly Bait that is supposed to be the best fly repellent on the market. Does anyone have experience with it?
The cheapest price I can find online is on BugRepellentZone.com which seems to be an Amazon product. http://bugrepellentzone.com/flies/quickbayt-fly-bait-fly-repellent/
Hi, I need a tick and mosquito repellant. Can I use the rose oil and one mixture with citronella together? Or do I have to just pick one?
Would this work to repel chiggers?
Hi! These are such great suggestions……unfortunately, I have severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and do not tolerate essential oils. Do you have any effective recipes that do not require essential oils? Thanks so much, Inge
• Stay cool and don’t wear dark clothing during warm weather. Mosquitoes are attracted to your sweat and the carbon dioxide from your exhalation. Mosquitos can sense the carbon dioxide from your breath up to 100 feet away! Floral patterns may attract other insects such as bees.
• Eliminate any standing water around your home as this is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Change bird baths or pets water bowl frequently during warm weather.
• If you have a pond in your back yard, stock the pond with mosquito fish which feed on the larvae of mosquitoes.
• Mow your lawn frequently, overgrown vegetation attracts mosquitoes.
• Plant marigolds in your garden. This flower gives off a smell which mosquitoes don’t like.
• Have screens on your windows and doors. The screen should be 16 to 18 mesh.
• Use a yellow light outdoors which attracts fewer mosquitoes than regular bulbs.
• Dawn and dusk are the times when mosquitoes are most active. If you must be outside at this time of day, where loosely fitting long sleeves and trousers.
• Mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers therefore having a fan blowing directly on you will make it difficult for the mosquito to land on you.
• Avoid shady areas as this is where mosquitoes tend to rest.
* If you know you will be in heavily infested areas, consider wearing mosquito proof clothing such as a hat with netting available at Sierra Trading Post or Amazon.com and other online stores.
Here’s a 20% off coupon code for Sierra Trading
Also consider indirect usage of essential oils. Place EO blend on tissue or napkin & have it in your area.
Good luck with the chem. sensitivities, I went through a time where I was severely chemically sensitive. Cleaning up my diet & lifestyle helped get me to where I am today!
Denise “Niecey” Williams
Sierra Trading Coupon Code YCA6157S (I forgot to include it in prior post)
Denise “Niecey” Williams
I make my own deet-free insect repellent too (roll-on oil based & alchohol /water based spray . Started out making it for myself, then family & friends. Now it’s available to all at http://www.nieceysnaturals.com
My idiot dog keeps picking fights with wasps this summer so I thought it might be best to spray him with the lavender/eucalyptus/sweet almond oil solution. When I applied it onto his fur with a spray bottle he got REALLY pissed. Screw him. I give up.
lol! My dog HATES when I spray him with that mixture, too! But it works! I hold his collar so he can’t get away and then spray, spray, spray! lol. He gets mad at me, but it keeps the bugs away!
Hello, does the smell remain on for awhile?I find it goes after quite quickly even though I used alot of essential oils and YL at that.Does it meanits no longer effective at this point?
Hi Dee! I’ve found this is pretty effective for about 4 or 5 hours. The smell should remain on for awhile. I’m surprised it isn’t for you! I wonder if it’s just because you’re nose got acclimated to it and so you can’t really smell it after awhile?? Can other people smell it on you?
I have heard NO essential oils on cats? Are you sure you want to put your spray on cats?
I just started using a conbination of Rose Geranium and coconut oil on my dogs. I put the mixture on a container with a dropper to apply it along the neck and back to the tail like a “spot on”. When using the rose geranium alone,ticks where still getting attached to them. Less. But still.
Now its been two days and*knock on wood* i haven’t seen any on them.
i alsp discovered a post in another blog that talked about coconut oil being inmensely good for ticks and fleas.
Here is the post if you want to check it.
As a side note – I seasoned my outdoor furniture with lavender oil 3 hours ago, just to prevent spiders, larger moths, and the like burrowing into the little nooks. Since then, several bees have arrived to check out the furniture. They fly around for a bit, and test the surface, but seem to know it’s not an actual lavender plant. Still – I remembered an old friend had a heap of lavender growing in her garden, and it was always teeming with bees drinking nectar from the flowers. So if bees are an issue, lavender may actually attract them. Might be worth always combining the lavender with something else instead of using it straight like i did!
I was just sitting outside getting eaten alive and checked out your recipes, Kelly!! I make my own Thieves blend and put 20 drops with 20 drops of lavendar, combining 2 of your recipes- the Thieves Oil has eucalyptus! I used a 24.ounce spray bottle n filled it with about half witch hazel and half dizstilled water. I’m back outside and haven’t been bothered by a single bug!! Thanks for the great ideas!! I also sprayed some on my hands and hunted down my dog, who tries to escapexwhenxhe hears me spray and rub my palms together , lol! But I got him too! Feeling comfortable enough to spray myv9 year old daughter tomorrow!
Thanks for another great post . It’s an older one but I’m sure that lots of people will be revisiting!!
Awesome, Jodi! Thank you so much for sharing your tip – love your brilliance to combine the two! My dog runs and hides whenever I bust out the spray bottle, too lol – he hates when I spray him but it really works so well for him, too and I would imagine it’s much better than getting bit by bugs! 🙂 Thanks again for sharing your experience!
love your natural repellents 😀 i’m going to stock up on these oils, have to give this a try as the mozzies/bugs just love me 🙁 if its anything like your natural fles powder then im going to be very happy and will be able to spend more time outside in our garden 😀 Thank you so much Kelly ♥
I hope this works for you, Wendy! Happy gardening 🙂
For the tick repellant on kids do you mix the rose geranium oil with a carrier? Or will 1 drop of pure oil on each wrist , ankle and neck be safe for them and effective against ticks? TIA!
Hi Kim, for the kids, I would recommend mixing 1-2 drops with a teaspoon of oil.
Love your ideas! I wanted to let you know that I have used the lavender eucalyptus oil in my granddaughters kid pool to keep the bugs away and it works like a charm! I live in WI which can be very buggy in the summer and by the time she is done swimming for the day her pool use to be full of bugs, not anymore! No bug bites to boot. It smells wonderful and the lavender calms her. Makes for a perfect summer day in the backyard! 🙂 I use organic essential oils only. Enjoy the summer everyone! Peace!
Love that idea, Kari!! Thank you so much for sharing!
I have a question I went out and bought the rose geranium do you dilute that with oil ? Also any ideas on how to use these as sprays and still be effective, I used the Almond Oil as the base but find it to be quite greasy for a while after rub on any hints on this ? Be nice to find a quick spray to use on kids in between play breakes instead of the oil ? I used the bug blend with Lemongrass seems to work but as I asked before can I mix with water to reduce the amount of oil, I have been obessed with finding the right mosquito spray for 3 summers now and the lemongrass blend seems to be working so far but just find it messy especially with little ones ? I also made up the first blend the one with Lavender I have yet to test out.
Hi Nicole! A spray is a great idea.
You can mix 1 tablespoon vodka or witch hazel with 20-30 drops Rose Geranium Essential Oil. Then mix in 1/3 cup of water. You may need to up the amount of essential oil if you’re finding it’s not effective, but 20-30 drops is a good place to start. Shake before each use.
You also may want to try jojoba oil. It blends into the skin really easily and won’t leave you feeling greasy, like all of the other oils do. Hope that helps!
Does it work on chiggers? I hate chiggers.
Ugh, I hate chiggers, too! I haven’t gotten chiggers since I’ve used this, so I do believe it works on chiggers. Bugs in general really don’t like this stuff!
I can’t find rose geranium essential oil in my city but I can get geranium oil. Is it the same?
Hi Heather! Rose Geranium is so tough to find. I can’t find it locally either. It is not the same as geranium essential oil, though. Rose Geranium has the botanical name of Pelargonium capitatum x radens, which is different than geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – each offer different benefits, but rose geranium is the one you want for ticks and bugs. I buy mine online, from Amazon (http://amzn.to/1FC9Igv).
Do you use the bug spray and tick repellent together? Do they still both work when both used? There aren’t any scents that attract ticks right? Lol I’m more concerned about ticks. But have you come up with an all in one that works?
Hey Christy! I sometimes use them together. But mostly I just use the Rose Geranium – it seems to do really well at repelling ticks, & mosquitos. The only thing it doesn’t seem to work on are those biting flies. If I notice a lot of biting flies are out, I’ll go get the homemade bug spray and put a little around my dog’s head – that works like a charm 🙂
If you are making the bug spray and use witch hazel, is it ok to use witch hazel that contains NO alcohol? Or does the witch hazel need to contain alcohol because the alcohol helps make the bug spray work properly?
Hey Gina, you can use non-alcoholic witch hazel!
will any of these keep flea’s,tick’s and mosquitoes away from my puppy and my self
Hi Ruth! Using rose geranium will keep the ticks away and prevent fleas, too! We’ve been using it for the past 4 years and it’s kept us all, including my dog tick-free. The bugs don’t bother us either 🙂 You can read more about how I use it here: http://www.primallyinspired.com/easy-natural-tick-repellent-that-really-works-essential-oils/
HI for my bug spray can I use just Witch Hazel and water? or do I need an oil in there? If so is Sunflower oil ok?
Witch hazel and water and your essential oils are perfect – no need to add any other oil!
I have a question on using the tick repellent recipe aka rose geranium on puppies or just the use of EO???? And what age should start using on puppies that would be safe????
Just so you know, coconut is a tree nut and anyone who is allergic to almonds will also be allergic to coconut. It will not work as a substitute for those with allergies.
Hi Jeremy, that’s what I used to think, too, but I learned that coconut isn’t botanically classified as part of the tree nut family. While it’s possible to be allergic to both coconut and tree nuts, it’s quite rare: https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/coconut.html and http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/tree-nut-allergy for further information.
I was so worried about ticks when we planned our vacation to Maine that I researched the problem and decided on trying the recipes from this wonderful website. I ended up using a combination of Rose Geranium, cedarwood, lemongrass, lavender mixed with witch hazel and distilled water in a glass spray bottle. Most of the essential ouls as well as glass spray bottle were found on Amazon.com. I am happy to say my Standard Poodle, Frannyas well as we were tick free. We still checked daily but were fortunate to have no problem. We did avoid thick woodsy areas but otherwise had an anxiety free vacation due to having this recipe. Thank you so much, Cheryl, Jim & Franny
That is so great to hear, Cheryl!
Do you have an Amazon link for an appropriate container to mix these things in? I’ve got the other products in my shopping cart from your links, all ready to go!
I see essential oil bottles that come in packs of 12 (I need only one!) or spray bottles, but I’m not sure about sizes, etc., for your recipe (bug blend #1). I’m assuming your recipe is for dabbing the oil on the skin directly rather than spraying…
I’m new to essential oils but just love your recipe and want to try it as I travel with my adorable new puppy (9 months) and hubby through the eastern states this summer. Thank you!
Oh how fun to travel the eastern states, Emily! I’m wishing you fun and bug-free travels! I use a 4 ounce glass dropper bottle and double or triple the recipe to fill the bottle up. Plus, I really like the blue glass color 🙂 Here is the link for that —-> https://amzn.to/2ltSr5X
Or you could use a 2 ounce glass dropper bottle if you want to make the recipe as is, but it doesn’t make very much. Here is the Amazon link for that —-> https://amzn.to/2tsmrTp
I’ve found the spray type bottles don’t work well with oils…it clogs the spray part up and then it just doesn’t spray. The droppers work best for the oils!
Enjoy and have a wonderful summer with your new puppy!