Friday, August 3, 2012

Homemade Bug Repellent

I have an odd aversion to bug repellent.  Even though I have absolutely no scientific reasoning for it, I cannot help but imagine the chemicals soaking into skin*, etc.  I'm sure it's actually totally fine, but I can't shake my reluctance to use the repellent.  And I really don't like the children using it- especially when I know they will not be showering that day!  Fortunately, I can afford to have this attitude because bugs don't really seem to like me!  Bryce can be getting eaten alive and I will be totally unbothered by those pesky insects!

When I saw a recipe for homemade bug repellent by Amanda Soule in Country Living, I knew I had to try it.  I got all the ingredients on Amazon and with the exception of the witch hazel there will be plenty for later batches.  It took about 2 minutes to make and so far it really seems to work!  My only complaint is that the smell isn't exactly pleasant.  It's not awful but smelling of lemongrass and citronella isn't exactly my perfume of choice.  However, the smell fades quickly after the first spritz so it's not really a concern.

Amanda Soule's Homemade Bug Repellent

3 1/2 ounces witch hazel
1/2 teaspoon lemongrass oil
1/2 teaspoon eucalyptus oil
1/2 teaspoon Citronella oil

Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle.  I find it's best to shake the bottle before applying the repellent.

*I also feel this way about sunscreen but I still dutifully slather my children with sunscreen because it seems that sunburn is the greater evil!


  1. I have been using the California baby bug spray on my kids for this exact same reason. It is pretty expensive though. I wonder if your way would be less expensive? It has most of the same ingredients in it.

  2. Leah- I spent less than $20 on all the ingredients and I made three batches. I'll have to buy more witch hazel but have plenty of oils to last awhile. How does that compare?

  3. I use the California bug spray too, for the same reasons, but bugs aren't a huge problem out here so we've had the same bottle for 2 years now. We've only used it on vacations. I actually have no idea if it expires either. :) But it wouldn't be worth it for me to make my own. Yours looks so cute though!

    I feel the same way about sunscreen as well, but like you, I figure I'll take the chemicals over skin cancer, especially when my family is prone to it.

  4. I hate using bug spray too, thanks for the recipe!

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