Fighting biting insects can be a pain and over-the-counter products are expensive. Using natural remedies for bug repellents is more affordable and may be less abrasive on your skin. You can find most of the ingredients to make these natural remedies in your own home. Try these natural, homemade remedies before spending money on commercial products.
Use pure vanilla extract as a natural bug repellent. Put a dab of vanilla on your wrists, behind your ears and on your neck, says Garden Mandy, because most bugs do not like the smell of vanilla and will stay away.
According to Tipnut, if you have access to lavender flowers, crush and rub them on your ankles, wrists, neck and behind your ears. Mosquitoes do not like the smell of lavender. You can use citronella, basil and catnip in the same way. Crush the leaves to release the aroma and apply directly to your skin or clothes.
Mother Earth News recommends 1 cup of 190-proof grain alcohol (available at any liquor store) and a combination of any of the following essential oils (available at any health food store): palmarosa, rosemary, pine, cedar wood, basil, citronella or lemon. Mix 2 tablespoons of your choice of essential oil with 1 cup of 190-proof alcohol and shake well. Test a small amount on your skin to make sure you are not allergic to the mix, and then apply to your clothes, using a spray bottle, or apply directly to any exposed skin. For a better smell, you can add a few drops of peppermint oil to the mixture, according to Mother Earth News.
Homemade Bug Spray
Pioneer Thinking recommends pouring witch hazel or olive oil in a spray bottle and mixing with your choice of essential oils, such as lavender oil, peppermint oil, cedar oil, lemon grass oil or tea tree oil. Mix, using a 10 to 1 ratio. Shake well and spray all over your body when going outside.
Pioneer Thinking also provides a recipe for making a bug repellent moisturizing lotion. Add 2 ounces of distilled water to a mixing bowl with 120 drops of your choice of essential oil (citronella is recommended as working best for insect repellent). Use a wire whisk to beat in 2 ounces of olive oil and beat until creamy.