Carly Clark Zimmer DIY Bug Spray
Healthy Recipes, Skin Care

Essential Oil Bug and Tick Spray

Looks like summer is finally here in the Cove! While I love spending as much time as possible outdoors, annoying bugs, mosquitos, and ticks come with the territory.

While bug bites are only a bit of a nuisance, a tick bite can cause serious health issues. So when it came to choosing a non-toxic bug spray that is both safe and effective, I did what I always do and turned toward nature. After a ton of research, I found that many essential oils are a natural insecticide! I also learned that ticks, in particular, operate mostly by using their sense of smell, which is why pure therapeutic grade essential oils are a great alternative to traditional bug spray. Nature has our back! 

This recipe works great! You have to reapply more often than traditional bug spray, but wouldn’t you rather do that and smell fantastic than using a stinky bug spray? When I’m outside, I carry a little bottle with me and apply liberally to myself, and anyone in my vicinity. It makes everyone smell great and keeps the critters away!

The essential oils that repel bugs and ticks are peppermint, geranium, lemongrass, cedarwood, lavender, and citronella. Use any combination of these oils, but try including peppermint and geranium as they were found in the research to be most effective.

Remember, the safest way to make sure you are protected from ticks is to do regular tick checks for our family and fur babies every time you come in from the outdoors.

Before trying the recipe, please be mindful of the safety precautions when using essential oils:

  • Always choose a therapeutic grade essential oil from a reputable company. Oils found at drug stores, and even health food stores often contain synthetic versions of the plant and can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
  • For children under 1 year, stick to spraying on their clothes instead of skin to reduce the risk of skin sensitivity.
  • Always do a test patch on both yourself and your pet before applying liberally.
  • This recipe is safe to use on dogs, but please remember their sense of smell is much more pronounced than ours so start by introducing the spray a bit at a time so they get used to it.
  • DO NOT use with cats. Essential oils can be toxic to cats.

Essential Oil Bug and Tick Spray

20 drops Geranium
20 drops Lavender
20 drops Cedarwood
20 drops Lemongrass
20 drops Peppermint
1 tablespoon castile soap or sweet almond oil
2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar – ticks hate the smell of vinegar too!

Place all of the ingredients into 4oz glass spray bottle. Top with water and
Shake well every time before you apply. Make sure you label your bottle!

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