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Summer days are meant for relaxing pool side, hiking new trails, discovering new parks or building some sand castles on the beach.  Summer nights are fun when spent making s’mores by a campfire or catching lightning bugs. These days and nights can quickly become ruined by intruding insects that can be nuisances or bite and/or sting. No one wants to have to worry about spraying themselves or their children with harmful chemicals but the idea of suffering from a bee sting, mosquito bite, spider bite or tick is equally as disturbing.

There are products on the market that advertise themselves as DEET free but they are often pricey and sometimes difficult to acquire. With just the right mixture of Young Living essential oils from your home supply you can create an all-natural homemade repellent spray that will protect you and your loved ones from getting bit while enjoying the great outdoors. 

To get started with creating your natural DIY spray recipes you are going to need a glass spray bottle. It is best to use a blue or amber colored bottle to help keep direct light from passing through your diluted mixture. You will want a spray bottle that holds at least 8 ounces of fluid. Your home made bug spray is comprised of ingredients you most likely already have around your house. You will need to mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar along with half a cup of witch hazel and 8 drops of each of the following oils; lemongrass essential oil, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree essential oil and rosemary oil. Shake your mixture before each use.

If you do not have these oils on hand you do not need to worry. There are a few oil blends that you can create this summer that are also natural mosquito repellents.  Another great recipe consists of 2 ounces of distilled water and 1 ounce of witch hazel combined with 50-75 drops of any combination of oils we are going to discuss. If you do not have witch hazel you can substitute it with vodka or rubbing alcohol.

Depending upon where you live you may experience bug bites from certain bugs but not from others. There are certain essential oils that will help ward off specific insects. If you are trying to repel mosquitos you will have good luck creating your base of distilled water and witch hazel, vodka or rubbing alcohol along with basil essential oil, clove oil, thyme, citronella, peppermint oil, geranium, lavender essential oil and lemon oil.

Ticks dislike

Fleas are repelled by

You can use any combination of the above oils to help ward off mosquitos, fleas and ticks; simply add any combination of 50 to 75 drops to your base recipe. This may be a trial and error experience due to the amount of each type of insect you have around you. Some essential oils such as lavender are great at repelling both mosquitos and fleas so you may want to add a few extra drops of that if those are the insects you are bothered by more frequently. 

Applying homemade essential oil based bug repellent sprays should be done cautiously. If you have previously used the oils that you are adding to your and not reacted negatively to them then you should be fine. If you are using oil that is new to your skin then you may want to avoid spraying a large amount of your new blend directly to your skin. Perform a test application of your blend. Only apply a little bit of your essential oil blend to a small area on your body. Check the area every 10 minutes for a reaction. If you do not react after an hour you are most likely in the clear to use the new blend that you have created. If you do not want to risk an allergic reaction you can still use your spray in a different manner.

Simply spray the air around you and the fabric you are wearing with the oil blend. This method will have the same repelling factors as if the spray is spritzed directly to your body.  Always use oils cautiously around children. Even if you are using a blend of oils that is entirely child friendly you should still apply to the child’s clothing rather than directly to their skin and you should always avoid spraying on the face.

There are many pet friendly essential oils also and you can create a pet safe essential oil blend that will deter ticks, fleas and mosquitos from pestering your pets. Cedarwood, geranium, lemongrass, eucalyptus and lavender oil, tea tree are all safe to use on dogs to deter insects form hitching a ride on their fur into your home. Application for your dogs is the same as it is for you and your children. Test a small area first before spritzing liberally and you can also spray the area around your dog to keep insects at bay. 

Citronella, lavender and peppermint are powerhouse oils when it comes to repelling bugs. If you find yourself in need of replenishing your essential oil cabinet you can still create a highly effective insect deterring spray with a combination of these three oils. You can also create a roller ball to keep on hand that contains these three oils blended with carrier oil.

Citronella, lavender and peppermint combined with carrier oil have healing qualities that will help take the itch or burn away from a fresh bite or sting while warding off additional unwanted insects.  You can also diffuse citronella outside near your picnic space or place a few drops of it on a non-scented candle inside a glass candle holder. This is a great alternative to burning extremely scented store bought bug repelling candles or spraying harmful yard fog. Your DIY creations with natural insect repelling essential oils is nearly limitless and you can take back your backyard and outside space with just a few drops of your favorite oils.