DIY bug spray for summer

Do mosquitos have you buggin' out this summer? Never fear, your favorite D.I.Y. bug repellent is here! This homemade insect repellent is great for mosquitos, flies and other annoying summer bugs...not to mention, it smells like a sunny day in the garden. Great for most skin types, this formula uses soothing witch hazel and cold-pressed essential oils to get the job done. 

What you need

  • 4-oz. dark spray bottle
  • 3 oz. witch hazel 
  • 5 drops citronella oil
  • 10 drops lemon oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil (lavandula angustifolia)
  • 1/2 tsp. grapeseed oil


Add witch hazel to small spray bottle. Add oils. Shake well before each use. Apply the bug repellent every few hours for maximum effectiveness.  

There are a lot of bug-repelling oil options out there. Interested in some alternatives to the ones listed above? Check out the following options: 

  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree
  • Peppermint
  • Cypress
  • Rose
  • Geranium
  • Bergamot
  • Lemon eucalyptus (recommended by the CDC as an alternative to DEET. Should not be used for children under three years of age, though!)

Use it safely

  • As always with essential oils, women who are pregnant or nursing should consult a health practitioner before using.
  • Use caution when using essential oils on young children.
  • Do a patch test to check for an allergic reaction before using an essential oil for the first time.
  • Make sure to label homemade products well.
  • Dark-colored bottles work best for products containing essential oils. Store in a cool, dark place when not using.  

Check out our how to video and let us know if you try out the recipe for yourself!

Hitting the great #outdoors this weekend? Before you go... You may want to pack one of these! #Homemade #Bug #Repellent (for a 4 oz spray bottle) 3.5 oz Witch hazel 5 drops Citronella oil 10 drops Lemon oil 10 drops Grapefruit oil 10 drops Lavender oil 1/2 tsp Grapeseed oil Shake well before each use. You're welcome! #naturalremedies

A video posted by USGBC (@usgbc) on Jul 10, 2015 at 12:41pm PDT