Homemade Bug Repellent Recipes

Make your own homemade insect repellent for natural, lasting protection


These homemade bug repellent recipes are non-toxic and smell fabulous. The spray is dead easy to make, the lotion takes a little more time.

The body lotion formula makes a light, lasting moisturizer that helps repel mosquitoes and black flies while soothing your skin.

Think about this: the reason plants produce essential oils is to protect them from insects and other predators.

So when you use essential oils to protect your skin from bugs, you're using a completely natural, effective approach. Without harmful chemicals!

This homemade insect repellent has a fresh, light citrus scent that keeps you smiling while also keeping the bugs away.

Homemade Bug Spray


1/2 cup distilled water, warmed up a bit

1/8 teaspoon Epsom salt

1/2 cup witch hazel

10 drops Citronella essential oil

10 drops Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops Lemongrass essential oil

5 drops Tea Tree essential oil

5 drops Cedarwood essential oil


Pour the water into an 8oz (250ml) dark glass or PET plastic spray bottle. Add the Epsom salt and shake until the salt is dissolved. (The salt emulsifies the essential oils and the water so it's not as big a deal if you forget to shake the bottle before using your bug repellent.)

Pour in the witch hazel.

Add the essential oils. That's it! Simple!

To use, just spritz onto the bits you want the bugs to avoid. Don't spray it into your eyes or mouth because it will sting and also taste bad.

Homemade Bug Repellent Body Lotion Recipe


2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons (8 to 10g) Emulsifying wax (depending on how thick you want it)

1/2 teaspoon (2g) Stearic Acid (plant based stabilizer)

1/3 cup (75ml) Grapeseed oil

1/2 cup (125ml) distilled Water or Lavender Hydrosol (lavender floral water)

1 teaspoon (5ml) Vitamin E

10 drops Grapefruit Seed extract (natural preservative)

10 drops Citronella essential oil

10 drops Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops Lemongrass essential oil


  1. Stir together the oil, emulsifying wax and stearic acid in the top part of a double boiler, warming slowly over a low heat until the wax is completely melted. Remove from heat and pour in the Vitamin E.

  2. In a separate pot on the stove, gently warm the water/hydrosol just until lukewarm.

  3. Slowly pour the water/hydrosol into the oil, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture is thick, cream-colored and smooth. Let cool slightly.

  4. Stir in the essential oils and the grapefruit seed extract. Pour the homemade bug repellent lotion into a clean, sterilized 8oz (250ml) dark glass or PET plastic bottle and allow it to cool before putting the lid on.

  5. Shake the bottle occasionally as the lotion cools to prevent the ingredients from separating. Store in a cool, dark place.

This homemade insect repellent recipe makes approximately 8oz (250ml) bug repellent lotion.

30 More Recipes in  One Handy Guidebook



30 awesome blends for your next adventures in making lotions, salves and lip balms. Get your base recipe for each item, then play with the blends that go with.

I especially love some of the lip balm flavors I created, like Zing Tingle. So yummy!

All my best lotion, salve and lip balm blends for under $3.00 :)

Now you can play AND help your family with recipes for...

   ...  Smooth, Clear Skin

   ...  Massage & Romance

   ...  Babies, Men & Athletes

   ...  Snoring, Weight Loss, Energy

   ...  Mood Blends: Calm, Comfort, Happiness

Buying Essential Oils and Supplies

I've recommended Mountain Rose as my favorite supplier since starting out on this journey. I always research suppliers for quality, ethics, price and selection, and they're great on all fronts. So I feel good about offering their products to you.

Having said that, I have to share another supplier for essential oils that I personally now use because I've found their quality to be the best. I switched to doTerra after buying a few oils like lavender and tea tree and comparing them in my recipes.

What I found was that they worked faster and more effectively than any other brand I've tried. So I want to offer their oils to you as well. It's always good to have options, don't you think?

Here's how I see it...

Buy from Mountain Rose when you're watching your budget. Also for base ingredients like emulsifying wax.

Buy from doTerra when quality is your most important factor. You can shop retail by clicking the Shop button at the top. Or click Join & Save to become a wholesale customer and get 25% discount. Message me to learn more about the perks of going wholesale.

Buy from Amazon if you love variety. You can always find deals, and you'll never run out of options. Just remember that if you pay a low price you're going to get a low quality, especially in the land of essential oils. This is an area where you need to buy the best you can afford, trust me.

What Next?

Try making some other yummy lotions and potions using the recipes below. For summer fun, the sunscreen is great.

Peppermint Lotion

This easy homemade body lotion recipe makes a cool, creamy moisturizer that refreshes and soothes hot, thirsty skin. Especially good for itchy, bug-bitten, sunburned skin.

Sandalwood Spice Lotion

This rich, creamy homemade lotion recipe soothes, hydrates and alleviates dry, suffering skin. It's a great moisturizer for men.

Homemade Sunscreen

This natural sunscreen recipe makes approximately 8oz (250ml) homemade sunscreen with ingredients you recognize. Has an SPF of about 20.

Lotion Recipes Main Page

These healthy homemade lotion recipes use natural skin moisturizers to nourish, support and rejuvenate your skin.

Aromatherapy Recipes Homepage from Homemade Bug Repellent