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This homemade bug spray and tick repellent is simple to make with only 3 ingredients! If you have essential oils, you probably have all you need to make it.
Homemade bug spray and tick repellent
Updated: July 13, 2019
It’s the perfect time to post a recipe for a homemade bug spray and tick repellent – it’s tick season. I live in an area where ticks are supposed to be bad this year. Boy, I can sure attest to that, as you’ll see.
Incident #1: About 2 weeks ago, my boys and I (my husband, son and bump lol) took our dog for a walk at the beach. There is a nice walking path at this beach. So we took the path, being careful to avoid the long grass because they say to avoid long grass during tick season. We also walked through the woods.
Once at the beach, we spent some time sitting on the sand helping our son build a sand castle. When we arrived home, I found a tick on my son’s pants, as well as one on my husband’s jacket.
Incident #2: Two days later, we got a call from my son’s school explaining that we would need to come and pick him up because he had a tick embedded in his head…ahhh! Thankfully, I was unable to pick up our son (I say this because my husband would be better able to remain calm lol). So my husband left work and took our son to the doctor where the tick was removed with tweezers. The tick was sent away for testing. I’m sure most people know, some ticks carry lime disease and can spread it to humans. Hence, we check my son daily for rashes, etc. Good news so far…phew!
I’m unsure if my son got the tick from the beach or if he got it from the playground at school. He had been eating a snack when the school called and he had been outside playing prior to that. Now, there is not much long grass, if any, on the school playground. But, it doesn’t seem to matter these days, you’ll see why.
Incident #3: My husband and I were outside (in our backyard) playing soccer with our son. Soon after we went inside, I found a tick crawling up the wall in the bathroom (it had come from someone’s clothes that were dropped on the floor while showering). There is no long grass in our backyard.
My son had told us that his classmate also had a tick in her head about a week before he did. Furthermore, upon sharing the story of my son, my cousin shared that her granddaughter got a tick in her head after visiting this area.
Scary! Ticks are everywhere this year. That’s why it’s important to use some kind of tick repellent. Please also check yourselves, your children and your pets after being outside.
As you know, mosquitoes, bugs and other insects are rampant as well in the spring and summer. That’s why I I decided to make a homemade bug spray and tick repellent all in one.
Why not DEET?
First of all, DEET is a registered pesticide. That alone is good enough reason not to use it. In addition, according to Dr. Mercola, DEET has been shown to harm brain and nervous system functioning.
Furthermore, children are at greater risk because they absorb chemicals more easily and the effects are more harmful.
After extensive research, I have found what I think are the best, and most effective, natural ingredients for homemade bug spray and tick repellent. It smells amazing too!
Where I buy my ingredients
I am very frugal. My mom taught me well. I always hunt down the best products for the best price. Here is a list of what I used and where I bought it.
- Citronella essential oil – Plant Therapy or Amazon
- Eucalyptus essential oil– Plant Therapy or Amazon
- Peppermint essential oil – Plant Therapy or Amazon
- Lemongrass essential oil – Plant Therapy or Amazon
- Cedarwood essential oil – Plant Therapy or Amazon
- ¼ c distilled water
- ¼ c vinegar witch hazel, alcohol (vodka) or rubbing alcohol*
- 10 drops of citronella essential oil
- 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil
*Important: These essential oils are not considered safe for children under 2-3 years old, unless they are diluted even more. Because of this, I strongly suggest you only spray your children’s clothes, not their skin.
*From my research, this recipe appears to be safe for dogs. Spray your pet between the shoulder blades and at the top of the tail before heading out.
*If you would like a recipe that you can spray on your children’s skin or you are not comfortable spraying your dog with this recipe, you can use diluted water and vinegar (1/4 c of distilled water and ½ c vinegar). This combination for a homemade bug spray and tick repellent should be just as effective; ticks and mosquitoes do not like vinegar either.
*Water alone does not combine well with essential oils. Add vinegar, witch hazel, alcohol (vodka) or rubbing alcohol to help with this.
*Witch hazel is a great addition to your natural product collection. It is an astringent and can be used as a toner, to treat acne, to treat hemorrhoids, etc. I also use it in my homemade Noxzema. You can get it at your local pharmacy (Shoppers Drug Mart).
*Other essential oils that work well in a homemade bug spray and tick repellent are geranium rose essential oil, rosemary essential oil and, a little less effective but still helpful, lemon eucalyptus essential oil. Geranium rose and lemon eucalyptus are not just a combination of those oils, they are individual plants.
If you’d rather not make your own, you could try this kid-safe bug repellent.
Please share if you know someone who might find this helpful.
Have you tried a homemade bug spray and tick repellent? Do you have a favorite non-toxic store brand? Share your comments below.
I wish you health and happiness,
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