I’m a bug magnet. And I always have been. Craig and I can be sitting outside, and within five minutes, I’ll get bit no less than 10 times, and the bugs wont even come near him. When I was a kid, people used to say it was because I was so sweet! And while that’s a nice sentiment, it doesn’t make the thousands of bug bites I’ve gotten over the course of my life any less itchy. I’m not sure what it is about me that is so attractive to buggies, but man, I really wish they’d, uh, bug off.
If I want to sit outside in the summer, I literally have to surround myself with citronella candles and douse myself in bug spray. I never really felt great about spraying super chemically bug spray all over my skin, but it was the only thing that made being outside in the summer tolerable. I finally found some all-natural bug spray last year that actually worked really well for me, and while I was really happy to be bite-free and chemical-free, I wasn’t happy about the $10 a bottle price tag. Especially considering I could go through a bottle in only just a few weeks!
So I did some research on the ingredients, and decided to come up with my own bug spray. It’s really simple. It just requires a specific mixture of essential oils that turn off bugs, and, oh my gosh, it actually works! I mean, I’m not guaranteeing you’ll never get bit again wearing this stuff, but it definitely reduces my bite-levels dramatically. Now, instead of getting bit 70 times in an evening (this literally happened one night while visiting Canada—we counted), I might get bit once or twice. I’ll take it! And, of course, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than $10 a bottle. It takes a bit of investment to buy all the essential oils if you don’t have them on hand, but for $20 worth of essential oils, you can make hundreds of dollars worth of bug spray.
What You’ll Need
- 1/4 cup witch hazel
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid vegetable glycerin
- 5 drops each of these essential oils: rosemary, citronella, lavender, clove, peppermint, and eucalyptus
- 1/4 cup water
- Glass spray bottle
How to Make It
Mix together the witch hazel, vegetable glycerin and essential oils. Add in the water, pour into spray bottle and spray liberally on your skin before going outside.
Why It Works
There are a lot of smells that bugs hate, and this particular combination makes them buzz off! You can feel free to tweak the mixture and figure out what works for you and the bugs in your area. Peppermint, citronella and rosemary are three good “base” smells that keep away a lot of biting insects. Also, feel free to up the amount of essential oils if you need a stronger bug spray.