Essential Oil Bug Spray—Is It Effective?

Do you want an alternative to store-bought insect repellants? One option is essential oil bug spray that’s DDT-free, 100% natural, and eco-friendly. Some options include eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender.

Lavender Essential Oil For DIY Bug Spray

Are you looking for a safe and effective insect repellant? There are many options available including essential oil bug spray. Many people want to avoid chemicals like DDT. This was the first synthetic bug spray and was developed during the 1940s. Other people are concerned about the spray’s effects on their household’s health or the Earth’s environment. For example, people in your household might have breathing problems like asthma. In that case, you’ll want to prevent them from breathing in toxic chemicals. This is one of the main reasons to consider DIY bug spray. You also might want to use a product that produces the smallest carbon footprint.

What should you look for? It’s important to have some know-how about the smells bugs like and don’t like. This is a foundation for picking one or more essential oils that will help to keep the bugs at bay. It might be surprising what flying insects like mosquitos, flies, and gnats consider to smell good or bad. Fun Fact: Mosquitos can pick up scents to 50m (164 feet) away. The right combo of essential oils can make them turn up their nose and stay away. The big question is: what’s the magic formula?

Why Do Bugs Bite?

1. Heat/Sweat

Mosquitoes seem to have a nose for a certain chemical compound that sweat gives off. They include ammonia and some kinds of acid.

This explains why mosquitos seem to like physically active people versus couch potatoes. When people do gym workouts, for example, their bodies produce something called “lactic acid.” Mosquitoes love the stuff.

2. Blood Type

This is one of the main reasons mosquitoes are attracted to people. Since humans don’t have a nectar scent it’s certain blood types that might make them attracted to you.

Female mosquitoes “bite” because they need the blood for their eggs. Studies show that mosquitoes are most like to bite people with Type O blood, followed by Type B. They’re least attracted to Type-A.

Another factor is a certain scent that 85% of the population gives off. Mosquitoes are more like to bite those people than the other 15%.

3. Beer 

It’s a thing. If you’re a beer drinker then there’s a greater chance you’ll get bombarded by mosquitoes. Scientists believe that the cold brew boosts “ethanol” in the skin and sweat.

So, get ready to swat away bugs after you’ve had a few beers on a hot summer day.

4. Clothes

This might be a surprising one. We usually think of bugs being attracted to “sweetmeat.” It’s actually about the clothes’ color instead of other factors like fabric.

Mosquitos and other biting insects look for dark colors like black or navy. They’re more likely to make a beeline towards you if you’re easier for them to see.

5. Skin germs

Research shows that how much skin bacteria a person has can affect how much mosquitoes want to make a skin sandwich.

We’re not talking about how clean the person’s skin is. Mosquitoes are more attracted to certain microbes. Interestingly, this bacterium is usually found on feet and

Best Essential Oil Bug Sprays

When picking different essential oils, it’s important to consider what kind of bugs you want to—well, bug off! Here are some suggestions:

1. Fleas

  • Cedarwood
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Orange
  • Pine
  • Tea Tree Oil (TTO)

2. Mosquitos

  • Basil
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme

3. Ticks

  • Geranium
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper
  • Oregano
  • Rosewood
  • Thyme

These are individual essential oils that can be effective to get rid of certain kinds of insects. If you want a more powerful repellant then you can also use different combos of various oils. Certain combinations work better than others so you should certainly consider using them.

Here are some tips when using DIY bug repellants:

1. Shake before using: It’s a good idea to shake up the bug spray before using the spray bottle each time. This will keep the ingredients well-mixed. That, in turn, will provide the best results since you’ll have the most powerful repellant possible.

2. Do your homework: The web and social media are excellent sources for different bug spray recipes. For example, you can get recipes, feedback about them, and even info about using certain ingredients.

3. Go beyond sprays: Bug sprays are the most common types of DIY repellants people use. However, there are other forms you can use including candles.

This is a great option when you want to keep insects away from an entire area. Make sure you’re using tea light candles to get the best result. These candles not only light up your life while keeping flying insects away.   

4. Check skin allergies: You should also make sure to check about any skin allergies your family has. This will help to avoid allergic reactions like skin rashes when making DIY bug repellants.

What if someone is allergic to an ingredient? In that case, you could swap in a different essential oil that works well.

How to Use Essential Oils

1. Massage

It is a great way to relax after a stressful day at work or school. Essential oil is highly concentrated. Make sure to blend the essential oil with a “carrier oil” to help dilute it. Otherwise, it might cause a skin reaction.

2. Dry Evaporation

Put many drops of any essential oil on a tissue or cotton ball. Then just let the essential oil evaporate in the air.

Do you want a stronger dose? Just put the cotton ball close to your nose and take a deep breath. It is a quick and easy way to get an energy/mood boost during the day.

3. Steam

There’s nothing like a steaming hot bowl of essential oil and water. The hot water quickly converts the oil into vapor.

Here’s how you use the steam. Put a small towel over both your head and the hot water/oil. Then just breathe deeply.

It is a powerful and direct way to experience the benefits of the essential oils. Make sure to close your eyes so the oils’ vapors won’t affect your peepers.

4. Spray

This option provides many applications. For example, you can make a DIY bug spray that will keep mosquitos and other critters away.

You can also spray a room to create a mood or removes funky smells.

5. Diffuser

It is a method for using the essential oils as aromatherapy. You simply put the oils (and sometimes water) in the device.

This process adds an essential oil scent in the room you’re in. It’s a good option for yoga classes or just creating a relaxing environment like an essential oil bug spray.

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