DIY Natural Bug Repellent ~ DEET-free

DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is the active ingredient in many repellent products and is used to mask a human’s scent so bugs won’t bite. Although considered “safe” by many health organizations, many still wish to stay clear.  It is a chemical, after all, and I am all about reducing chemical exposure and getting back to basics.

bug spray2

Mosquitos and other flying, biting insects most often dislike the smell of woodsy plants and essential oils. It is the plant’s natural deterrent as a form of protection. I originally formulated this recipe for my baby years ago. I find it to be very effective and safe.  You do have to reapply it every hour or so, but I found that spraying your clothes with the formula worked well as it absorbed in to the fibres, making it last a bit longer.

What you will need:

  • A glass measuring cup
  • A spray bottle
  • Witch Hazel
  • Essential oils of Tea Tree, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, & Chamomile
  • Fresh lemon
  • Dried Rosemary


  • Steep dried Rosemary in hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Fill a jar with 1/2 Rosemary liquid, 1/2 witch hazel
  • Add 5 drops each of Tea Tree oil, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender & Chamomile
  • squeeze in juice from 1/2 fresh lemon

Shake well and apply as needed. Avoid eye area.

bug spray1




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