DIY: Herbal Bug Spray |
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DIY: Herbal Bug Spray

admin May 1, 2015

Written by Kate Tietje and updated by Sarena-Rae Santos in February of 2024. 

Sometimes, we just need something that repels bugs.  But who wants to douse themselves in unsafe chemicals from commercial bug sprays that absorb into our skin just to prevent a bite or two?

Luckily, there’s a perfectly safe way to avoid those bites without the junk.  I promise it works, and it’s so safe you could (almost) eat it.  I don’t worry at all about spraying it on my kids.

What is it?  A simple, easy-to-make herbal bug spray.

If DIYs aren’t your thing, check out Earthley’s Pest-Aside, an all-natural bug salve alternative!

Herbal Bug Spray

These ingredients are available at almost any store.  There are three main ones: witch hazel, rosemary, and catnip.  Yes, catnip, like cats go crazy for.  See, bugs don’t like catnip at all.  Catnip is one of the most effective bug repellents out there — and yes, humans could actually eat it.  I’ve used it in various tea and tincture recipes because it helps people calm down.

Rosemary is also a natural bug repellent.  So is peppermint.

You could use essential oils, but I chose an herbal infusion because it’s milder and safer for young skin.  And you can buy these ingredients very easily.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. catnip
  • 4 oz. witch hazel

Directions:

Step 1: Combine the herbs and witch hazel in a small glass jar with a lid.  Shake to combine.

Step 2: Let this mixture sit for 2 – 3 days until the color has deepened.

Step 3: Strain the mixture through a cloth, squeezing it to remove all the liquid.  Reserve the liquid and toss the herbs.

Step 4: Pour the infused liquid into a 4-ounce  spray bottle.

Spray your homemade herbal bug spray on your skin in buggy areas like the woods.  Super simple!  It takes about 2 minutes to put together and another 5 minutes to strain and pour.  Super quick — anyone can do it.

By the way, planting these herbs in your garden will help naturally repel bugs from your yard.  Try planting them around the patio.  You can use them for cooking, teas, or other medicinal purposes; they are pretty and keep your yard bug-free.  And they’re completely kid and pet-safe.  Not bad, huh?

How do you repel bugs naturally?

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7 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply

  2. Can you review the recipe to make sure you wrote it up how you intended? You mention that peppermint is a natural bug repellent, but it is not in the recipe, but there is a bullet in the ingredients with nothing next to it. I’m guessing you meant to put a few drops of peppermint EO there. Just wondering.

    Reply

  3. Did it work this summer? What is the last ingredient with a bullet point and nothing listed?

    Reply

  4. […] common sense — if there are a lot of mosquitos, stay indoors or wear long clothing.  Use a natural bug spray.  But honestly, the worst thing you’re facing is a headache and a fever.  The flu is more […]

    Reply

  5. How long does this mixture last after its put into the spray bottle?

    Reply

  6. Hi, is it distilled with hazel water you use?

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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