DIY Bug Repellent

The warmer months of the year mean hiking, camping, fishing, and other great outdoor adventures with your kids! One thing we always plan for in these fun activities is preventing bug bites, bringing along our DIY bug repellent and other helpful products. 

Recipes for non-toxic DIY bug repellent - safe for kids and pregnant and nursing moms!

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A few years ago I started trying out some different recipes for bug repellent. I don’t want our kids (or ourselves) to get eaten up by bugs and ruin our activities, but I also didn’t want to apply those sprays from the store. 
Adding DEET and similarly harsh chemicals to the skin – which is a highly absorbent body organ that effects overall health – wasn’t appealing at all! The good news are that there are some natural solutions that can help you and your family ward of those pesky pests. 
I have worked on those recipes and come up with a few great options I think you’ll love!

Non-Toxic DIY Bug Repellent

You will find a lot of recipes and natural remedies for bug repellents. Some of them are more effective than others, and it’s worth it just to try a few until you find one that works well for you and your family
Personally, I love having a spray on hand to quickly cover our exposed skin before a hike or during the day while camping. Several essential oils have properties that repel bugs and provide other therapeutic benefits to the skin as well. Here are a few essential oils that are commonly used to repel bugs.

Bug Off DIY Bug Repellent (Kid Safe)

Use the Bug Away blend from Rocky Mountain Oils to make an easy bug spray that will keep the bugs off for hours. It contains citronella, cedar wood, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus radiata and citriodora, thyme, and lemongrass. 
A few notes: 
  • Keep this and other DIY bug sprays in a PET plastic or glass spray bottle
  • Add the oils to a roller bottle and fill the rest with a carrier for a quick topical application if desired.
  • Reapply every 2-8 hours (you’ll have to experiment)
  • Due to the hot oils eucalyptus and peppermint, do not use Bug Off on children 5 and under. 

Even Easier Bug Repellent for Kids

If you want something super quick and easy for those outdoor adventures, get the Bug Away roller bottle! It’s already diluted and you can easily swipe it on before going on a hike. 

Bug Spray for Smaller Children

For kids under 2, you may want to consider trying a hydrosol instead of a DIY bug spray. Hydrosols are aromatic waters produced during the distillation process while making essential oils. 
Hydrosols have trace amounts of the essential oils in them at a level much safer for children. As a bonus, you can also use these hydrosols as a base for your DIY bug sprays instead of water. 
Hydrosols to try:


I hope you enjoy these and have fun having outdoor adventures with your family!

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Such a helpful list! Great tips on choosing an essential oils company.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Emily

    I am looking forward to trying out a non-toxic bug spray. I just purchased my Witch Hazel the other day and now I need to figure out what I want to mix up. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    1. Tauna

      Thanks for stopping by Emily! I use witch hazel for all sorts of things 🙂

  2. mrstea

    I don’t think alcohol and oil mix that may just be my experience. I am referring to the witch hazel which has alcohol in it.

    1. Tauna Meyer

      It has worked fine for me if I just shake before using. 🙂

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