When it comes to repelling bothersome bugs the natural way, that is, WITHOUT the toxic/harmful DEET that can be found in commercial repellents, essential oils are a must! The essential oils that we (humans) think smell so good are downright repulsive to bugs. Ha ha! So not only will we smell good when we use these EOs (essential oils), but we’ll send bugs flying in every direction but ours. Give these natural insect repellents a try the next time you’re heading outdoors. Spray onto exposed skin, avoiding eyes and mouth. Reapply after the scent starts to fade or immediately after swimming or exercising.
Repellent Spray for Kids/Pets
8-10 ounce spray bottle
EOs for small kids: peppermint, clove, lavender, lemon grass
EOs for big kids/pets: lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree
- In the spray bottle, make a 50/50 mix of the water and witch hazel.
- Add 15 drops of the essential oil (listed above) of your choice and blend well.
Repellent Spray for Adults
8-10 ounce spray bottle
Essential oils, such as lemon, citronella, tea tree, rosemary, or eucalyptus
- In the spray bottle, make a 20/80 mix of water and witch hazel.
- Add 1 tsp. of vegetable glycerin and 30 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Blend well.
*Try a fragrant blend of lemon/eucalyptus or tea tree/rosemary.
*Thank you to inhabit.com for these recipes.
For the following bug repellent sprays, choose from these EOs: lavender, rose geranium for ticks, coriander seeds, peppermint, cajeput, and citronella. Combine the following ingredients in a glass jar and stir to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothes to repel those annoying little buggers!
Bugs Be Gone Spray #1
10-25 drops of essential oil (listed above)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. aloe vera gel (optional)
Bugs Be Gone Spray #2
25 drops of essential oil (listed above)
¼ cup water or organic apple cider vinegar
*Thank you to goodhousekeeping.com for these recipes.
In addition to bug repellent sprays, here are a few tried and true things you can do around your campsite to rid the area of annoying insects:
- Put a few drops of lavender oil on ribbons and hang them around your RV’s windows or doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Throw a few stalks of rosemary on hot coals in your grill to give off a mosquito-repelling aroma.
- Toss sage, lavender, mint, lemon balm, or citronella in a roaring campfire to keep bugs away.
- Eat garlic. It’ll repel insects (and humans!).
- Add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your drinking water once a day. Drinking this may change your pH balance, making you not so delicious to feed off of.
- Avoid wearing perfumes, hair products, and skin products that smell fruity and sweet. Mosquitoes love sweet things!
When using EOs, always read the product labels for proper usage directions. There are many different brands of essential oils available, so do your homework before purchasing any. These powerful oils have various beneficial effects and uses when used correctly. Say “Later Tater!” to bugs by putting EOs to work for you!