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Homemade Bug Spray and Tick Repellent


  • 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

Recipe Notes

*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.