You can learn how to make homemade bug spray – it will take you less than 5 minutes of your time! With summer in full swing, you’re spending lots of time outside. You’re going to need bug spray to keep away all the pesky bugs!
We went camping a few weeks ago. The sun started to set while we were celebrating my 2-year-old son’s birthday with cupcakes. It was a perfect.
Our perfect setting quickly became a feeding ground. The mosquitos were EVERYWHERE! Within 5 minutes everyone had at least a few bites.
My husband got it the worst – he had 15 bites in those 5 minutes. I ran for the homemade bug spray. We were able to stay outside without getting eaten alive.
You can make effective and all-natural homemade bug spray at home with just 3 simple ingredients… in 5 minutes or less.
Remember to apply it before you go outside to keep the bugs at bay! Don’t learn the hard way like we did!
This bug spray also repels ticks, do you know the 7 surprising things you need to know about Lyme Disease?
Why Natural Bug Spray?
Normal bug spray contains DEET.
DEET is designed to be applied directly to the skin so the insects cannot smell us. It doesn’t repel them like I originally thought. (Source: EPA.gov)
If you apply DEET to plastic – the plastic will melt. So we’re applying DEET directly on the skin. You’re child’s skin. (Source: EWG.org)
You have to ask yourself – Is that really something you want on your child’s skin?
Here is more information on the potential side effects of DEET from Mercola.com.
“In children, the most frequently reported symptoms of DEET toxicity reported to poison control centers were lethargy, headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, and convulsions. Further, in a study of more than 140 National Park Service employees, 25 percent reported health effects they attributed to DEET, including:
- Transient numb or burning lips
- Skin or mucous membrane irritation
- Difficulty Concentrating
In addition, Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia spent 30 years researching the effects of pesticides. He discovered that prolonged exposure to DEET can impair cell function in parts of your brain — demonstrated in the lab by death and behavioral changes in rats with frequent or prolonged DEET use. Other potential side effects DEET exposure include:
- Memory Loss
- Muscle Weakness & Fatique
- Shortness of Breath
- Muscle & Joint Pain
Everyone makes choices based on their circumstances. I’m just here to provide factual information for you to make your own choice. No judging if you use DEET insect repellant or essential oils.
Essential Oils as A Safer Homemade Bug Spray
I choose to avoid DEET products and use essential oils instead. We have experienced a lot of success using them. I feel they are a natural and safer alternative.
Not all essential oils are kid safe. It’s confusing and overwhelming.
To make things simple, I use Edens Garden “OK for Kids” essential oil line. Edens Garden created essential oil blends that are safe for kids and effective. They completely take the guesswork out of what’s safe and what’s not. Cause who really have hours to spend researching safe essential oils for kids?
Less time researching safe options, more time playing outside!
How to Make Homemade Bug Spray
It’s best to get all your ingredients together first. Then set your timer for 5 minutes. I bet you can get it done in less than 5 minutes! And yes, even your first time.
First, you’ll need to make sure you have everything you need. That makes the process smooth as butter.
- Measure 2 ounces of witch hazel into the spray bottle. Pour into the bottle using your funnel.
- Measure 2 ounces of water into the spray bottle. Again use your funnel.
- Add 50 drops of the essential oil blend.
- Put on the spray bottle lid and give it a good shake.
- Attach a label so you remember what’s in your bottle.
- Shake each time before applying (the oils will separate). Spray your legs and clothing before going outside. I like to spray their backs and ankles. That way it keeps it out of their eyes.
Store out of sunlight. Sunlight can break down the essential oils and makes them less effective.
A cheap and easy bottle to use for bug spray is a recycled hydrogen peroxide bottle. The bottles are solid brown and plastic – perfect for little kids.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus the magic solution?
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus may be the golden ticket when it comes to repelling insects.
Studies have shown that oil of lemon eucalyptus to be as effective as DEET in repelling insects. (Source: EWG)
While I wanted to make my own, I was unable to find oil of lemon eucalyptus to buy and make my own. Bummer! Remember oil of lemon eucalyptus is very different from lemon eucalyptus. From the same plant, but the oil of lemon eucalyptus is what really to repel insects.
Both contain 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus and 60% p-menthane-3,8-diol. P-menthane-3,8-diol is the refined version of oil of lemon eucalyptus. While I’m not sure what the other 5% of the ingredients are, I think the benefits outweigh the costs.
As a parent, you have to weigh the pros vs the cons for your children. After my son was diagnosed with a severe case of Lyme Disease, it put things into perspective for me. Lyme disease is often a lifelong disease. As a parent, you make the best choice for your children, whatever that may be.
Whatever you decide is best for your family – apply some sort of bug repellent before heading outside.
Take a leap and try making your own bug spray – you can do this!!
Make sure to pin this so you can easily find it later!