Natural Bug Repellent that Really Works!

Updated: May 29, 2021

If you're like me, Spring harkens the opportunity to get back into the garden and surround your home and property with life and color. Hand and hand with this pursuit is managing insects. While wild orange oil can attract pollenators like bees and butterflies, how can we naturally repel pests without creating toxicity?

Making your own sprays are simple, cost-effective, and safe for the whole family. We have a pup who needs help to repel insects and ticks too and perhaps you have little ones that you just don't want to use that nasty commercial crap that's pushed on us.

DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toulamide) is found in most commonly used bug repellants. It's a known chemical that was originally created to be used by the US Army in the 1940s and became commercially available in the mid 1950s. Safety studies by the Centres for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency, American Academy of Paediatrics, and the World Health Organization recognize it as a safe ingredient in mild doses of between 20-50%.

The Environmental Working Group conducted their own studies and concluded that while DEET is not as bad as it is purported to be, it still has some concerns that consumers should be aware of. These health concerns include skin irritation, eye irritation and neurological effects.

A study out of South Africa into natural mosquito repellents to assist in stopping the spread of malaria found in fact that pure lavender essential oil was MORE effective than DEET at repelling mosquitos.

Personally, I choose to avoid chemicals on my skin and around those I love, especially if there are all natural alternatives that work just as well and do not have side effects. A blend of essential oils can have the same protective properties as products with DEET in them and actually benefit you in other ways too.


10 d Lemongrass

10 d TerraShield

10 d Geranium


1 tsp witch hazel or a pinch of epsom salts

8 oz spray bottle

Combine all ingredients into the spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Message me for some cute labels for your DIY project.

Creating a roller of this blend give you the added benefits of sweat / water resistant qualities as we'll use fractionated coconut oil as a carrier.


5 d Lemongrass

5 d TerraShield

5 d Geranium

Add to a roller bottle and fill with fractionated (just liquid at room temperature) coconut oil. Shake well and if you can, leave for a day to let the oils blend.

Apply your spray or roller to hats, pant and shirt cuffs, collars of shirts or jackets. For babes, spritz on hats, stroller shields, and little shoes to help them enjoy the beautiful outdoors. For our pups, you can spritz or soak their collars in the spray or use the roller by applying to your own hands and patting down their back. Not only are they going to smell GREAT (one lady we bumped into on the trail said India smelled like she just got back from the spa!) but it will also help them enjoy their beloved outdoors.

Remember, if you do get a bite, just apply a drop of lavender oil (also safe for kids and pets) to the bite to take away the sting/itch and help the healing.

How easy is that? If you're wondering where to get the essential oils for this recipe, I can help! I'm a passionate mom and educator and would love to help. Let me help you bring doTERRA into your home. Join us for a virtual class or we can simply chat to determine what your goals are and the most effective way to get started.

Here's to a bug-free summer!