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Posted in Essential Oil Basics by Rocky Mountain Oils

Best Essential Oils For Your DIY Bug Spray

Bug spray is often a must-pack necessity when you are planning an outdoor trip for the spring or summer months.

And while you may be tempted to buy the first bug spray you find at your local store, you might want to pause, read the ingredients, and do some research before you make your purchase.

General store-bought bug sprays are often filled with harmful and potentially toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals have been proven to have a negative effect on the body and skin, especially for long-term users. And while the market is growing and trying to cater with more natural options, it is often found that even these natural bug sprays do contain some hidden artificial ingredients. To ensure that you and your family are not only protected from insects and bug bites but also from harmful toxic chemicals. we recommend you make your own bug spray. Discover the best essential oils to use to make your own DIY bug spray, and never have to worry about the safety of your family and children again!

Chemical Bug Sprays

One of the most common chemicals found in bug sprays is DEET. This chemical was originally developed during World War II, and was used to aid in jungle warfare. And while it is effective at repelling insects like mosquitos, ticks, fleas, flies, and more, this chemical has often raised a lot of safety concerns. Most recent studies have revealed that DEET can interfere with the activity of your body's enzymes. According to these studies, DEET has been found to block certain enzymes that are essential for transmitting messages to and from the nervous system. This can cause reactions in your body like delayed reaction time, muscle spasms, irritated skin, and more.

Bug sprays that don't contain DEET can also pose to be harmful through their chemical combinations and chemical reactions. Bug sprays that contain forms of pyrethrins can cause breathing problems for those who are sensitive or have breathed in the chemical in large amounts. Even if not brought in close contact, children and even some animals like dogs can be more sensitive to such chemicals. 

That is why it is important to use only natural bug sprays. And what is more natural than a bug spray made with essential oils! Make your own bug spray, and feel safe knowing it is made with 100% pure and natural essential oils!

Best Essential Oils For Your DIY Bug Spray

1. Citronella

Bright herbal fragrance to repel insects; may help with Athlete’s Foot

Known as one of the best essential oil bug repellents, citronella essential oil has a strong floral and citrus-like aroma. Its scent, natural makeup, and benefits help keep insects at bay. The essential oil is also effective at preventing mosquito bites and has been proven to provide mosquito protection when combined with vanillin for up to 3 hours before needing to be reapplied.

The citronella also has antifungal properties and has been shown effective at treating parasitic infections and wounds. it can also help fight fatigue and promote overall wound healing.

This essential oil can be mixed into sprays, creams, or even other carrier oils for topical application and home use to help keep the bugs away.

2. Lemongrass

Lemony-fresh energy; may help treat chronic pain & arthritis.

Containing aldehydes, organic compounds that work as natural bug deterrents, lemongrass essential oil is a particularly effective essential oil at keeping bugs away. With a strong citrus and herbal aroma, this essential oil is a great insect repellent that can be mixed into sprays, lotions, and even candles. Mixing lemongrass oil into candles can be very helpful in protecting larger outdoor areas from insects. Just form a perimeter using these candles or lanterns, and enjoy a night out in a park or garden without having to worry about bug bites.

This oil is also great for pain relief, stomach problems, and fevers due to its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.

3. Peppermint

Minty, cool, invigorating; alleviates headaches & migraines.

One of the most popular and versatile essential oils, peppermint oil is one that every essential oil user must have. With a strong minty and methanol-like aroma, peppermint oil is great for providing relief from general pain, itching, muscle aches, stomach cramps, headaches, and even more. People who suffer from IBS, digestive problems, chronic headaches, or menstrual cramps often find peppermint oil to be very helpful in providing relief. 

And while the oil is great for helping out with health-related issues, it is also a great oil to include in your DIY Bug Spray. Studies have proven that peppermint oil has a great track record at repelling spiders and keeping them from frequenting your home. Including it in your natural bug sprays will make it all the more powerful at keeping all kinds of insects away, no matter how many legs they have!

4. Cedarwood

Clean, woodsy scent; men's favorite; may help with psoriasis & eczema.

With a deep and grounding scent, cedarwood oil is a great essential oil for repelling the most annoying of insects. While it is safe to use around people and pets, it can be quite toxic to certain kinds of pests. The strong scent of cedarwood can be overwhelming and debilitating to insects and spiders, making the oil quite effective at repelling and killing these pests. However, while it can be deadly to certain insects, it does not harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. This factor makes it a great option to use around your plants or garden to help keep parasitic insects away without deterring beneficial pollinators. Incorporate this oil into your DIY Essential Oil Spray and spray around your potted plants to keep them pest-free!

5. Eucalyptus Citriodora

Bright, menthol, floral; may help with asthma, allergies & colds.

Sometimes referred to as oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), eucalyptus citriodora essential oil is quite effective at repelling insects like mosquitos, ticks, and spiders. The oil is an extract from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree and is often used to repel bugs that can leave bites. This essential oil has been recorded to offer better protection against ticks than DEET, the chemical often found in artificial bug sprays. Not to get confused with lemon eucalyptus essential oil, the oil of lemon eucalyptus, also known as eucalyptus citriodora essential oil, is safe for use as a bug repellent in and around the home.

6. Bug Away

Fresh, citrusy scent; repels bugs, no harsh chemicals.

A Rocky Mountain Oil's Specialty Blend, Bug Away, features the best essential oil combination to keep those pesky bugs away. With a mix of Citronella, Cedarwood Atlas, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Thyme, our Bug Away Neat Blend will protect you and your family during outdoor adventures. Designed for maximum power and maximum safety, this blend can be diluted and used with kids, topically, through diffusion, or even around the house. 

This blend is also available as a roll-on as part of our Kids Line! Diluted with a carrier oil, our Bug Away Roll-On is also safe for kids. It is easy to use for quick, on-the-road applications for parents and kids alike! Include our Bug Away neat blend in your DIY natural bug sprays, or carry it along with our Bug Away Roll-on to be fully protected from insects and bug bites during your summer holiday!