How to make all natural bug spray

Why would anyone want to make their own all natural bug spray when you can easily buy it at the store?

all natural bug spraySince moving toward a more natural lifestyle, I am always on the lookout  for ways to reduce my family’s exposure to chemicals. I’ve never been a fan of bug spray because I don’t like how sticky it feels on my skin, and I always feel like I need a shower whenever I spray down with bug spray. Since I don’t know exactly what’s in commercial repellents, I don’t know to what I’m exposing myself, my family, and my pets.  

My solution?

I’ve been making my own all natural bug spray that is just as effective as the commercially available bug repellents.

It doesn’t contain DEET, it smells nice and it doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky.  Is DEET bad for you?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 1980, as part of EPA’s Registration Standard for DEET, over 30 additional animal studies were conducted to assess acute, chronic, and subchronic toxicity as well as mutagenicity, oncogenicity, and developmental, reproductive, and neurological toxicity. The results of these studies neither led to any product changes to comply with then-current EPA safety standards nor did they indicate any new toxicities under normal usage. The EPA’s Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED), released in 1998, confirmed that the agency believes “normal use of DEET does not present a health concern to the general U.S. population.”

So, while there is no proof that DEET is harmful when used according to directions, I guess I just don’t want to risk it. My feeling is that we are bombarded with SO many chemicals, that while individually they may be benign, when you add up your entire exposure to all chemicals, we are slowly poisoning ourselves.  I believe it’s best to reduce your exposure as much as possible.  And there are natural alternatives to DEET.  The CDC recommends  “the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing. Of the products registered with the EPA, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. EPA registration means that EPA does not expect the product to cause adverse effects to human health or the environment when used according to the label.”

Here is the recipe I use for all natural bug spray:

Mix the oils in a 4 oz opaque spray bottle. Add 1 ounce of vodka (I use Everclear) and swirl together. Fill the bottle with water and shake well.  


  • Apply often
  • Always shake bottle before use
  • Eucalyptus Citridora repels mosquitos and is as effective as DEET
  • Rose Geranium repels ticks
  • Lavender soothes and protects the skin
  • Peppermint cools skin and repels insects
  • This all natural bug spray is safe to use on dogs

I would love to hear from you.  Let me know how this all natural bug spray works for you! 

PennySue Mueller


Penny Mueller
Email: Penny Mueller




Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c


  1. Man this was an awesome post and quite fitting for this time of year. And not to mention the bug spray is NOT cheap. I have some left over from last summer and it must go bad as I think I am attracting bugs with the expensive stuff.

    I too believe we need to minimize what we put in our body that is NOT all natural. Thank you for also including where to find the ingredients. We go camping a lot, farm, ranch, and enjoy our patio…so we are outside. I tend to wear jeans most of the time because the bugs biting drives me literally to insanity.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Dena, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! We’ve had a lot of rain this summer so far, so our crop of mosquitoes and ticks is a bumper one! We’ve been getting great results with these essential oils repellents and bite treatments. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment! Enjoy your summer!

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