Ah, sweet summer. It's the season of camping, hiking, sunbathing, grilling on the back patio and...well, bugs. No matter where you stand on the subject of insects, there's no denying that they can be a bit pesky during outdoor adventures—especially if you find yourself unwinding near standing water (hello, mosquitoes!) or venturing into wooded areas.
If you're not keen on spending loads of cash to fend off mosquitoes, ants and other common summertime creatures, we've got you covered with a roundup of six simple DIY bug repellent ideas that can be created at home. As always, exercise caution around kids and pets.
Here's to a fun, safe and (relatively) bug-free summer!
1. DIY Citronella Candles
If you've ever tried to repel mosquitoes, you know that citronella is the name of the game. TikToker @onecrafdiygirl shows us how to create citronella candles right at home using natural ingredients. You'll need hollowed lemon peels, wicks, beeswax, coconut oil, lemongrass oil and—of course—citronella oil! Decorate with leaves or fresh flowers and display. We've never seen such a downright adorable natural mosquito repellent.
2. Pet & Garden–Safe Ant Traps
Anyone who's dealt with an ant infestation knows that it seems to appear out of nowhere. One moment, you're sitting peacefully. The next moment, armies of ants have taken over! Luckily, TikToker @rooftop2table offers a simple DIY ant trap that's safe for gardens and pets (kept at a distance). To make it, you'll need water, sugar, borax, recycled shallow containers, shredded cardboard and a few pieces of bread. You'll be capturing those pesky ants in no time.
3. Nontoxic DIY Bug Spray
Many of us spend the summer months dealing with itchy, uncomfortable mosquito bites. Thankfully, TikToker @ecoconsciouschristina offers tips for making homemade mosquito repellent with water, witch hazel, a spray bottle and essential oils such as tea tree oil and eucalyptus. Mix, shake, spray and kiss bug bites buh-bye!
4. Easy Fruit Fly Trap
Fruit bowls add color and vibrancy during the summer months, but they also attract unwelcome guests: hordes of obnoxious fruit flies. Never fear! TikToker @home_reimagined offers a super simple way to banish those tiny pests once and for all with a DIY trap. Simply fill a cup with apple cider vinegar (or wine, if that's what you have on hand). Next, add a few drops of dish soap and pop a funnel on top so fruit flies can easily enter. Genius!
5. DIY Bug-Repelling Centerpiece
If you're searching for a more aesthetically pleasing way to keep bugs at bay, try this natural bug repellent centerpiece from @athomewithshannon on TikTok. Fill a large bowl with distilled water, then add sprigs of rosemary and sliced lemons and limes. Add a few drops of essential oils, top with floating candles, light and display! We're suckers for anything that doubles as a decor piece and an effective insect repellent—and between the lemon juice, essential oils and candles, we can only imagine that this centerpiece smells heavenly.
6. Pest Control Plant Spray
Okay, so we've covered some of the most common pests: ants, mosquitoes, fruit flies and more. But what about the bugs that target your beloved plants? If you're dealing with garden pests such as spider mites or mealybugs, TikToker @plants.with.sofi has an incredibly easy DIY solution to keep your garden safe. Simply fill a spray bottle with dish soap and water, then spray plant leaves once a week. The best part? This spray also doubles as a general household cleaner, so start spraying those countertops!
From homemade mosquito repellent spray to lovely centerpieces boosted by soothing lavender essential oil, we hope these functional DIYs help your family avoid bug bites throughout the summer months. See you never, mosquitoes!