DIY Bug Spray

Regular store-bought bug spray comes with some hidden side effects... learn how to make healthier alternatives with ingredients you already have! Our outdoors experts at RVbooking have spent plenty of time camping and these are their best creations.

Written by

Bronwyn Laurence

Published on

November 8, 2021

Is anyone else adored by millions of fans the second they walk outside on a beautiful warm evening, having to shoo them away with the flick of a wrist or even a playful slap?
Ok, ok, no I am not famous, and chances are neither are you. So what if I said that by “adored” I mean bitten and by “fans” I mean mosquitos? Is this blog suddenly too relatable?!

Let’s face it: Mosquitos are a nuisance in many parts of the world, and in others even carry harmful diseases. But we need them. They provide food for both aquatic and terrestrial life, and help pollinate plants! That is, lots of our food and all of our ecosystems need them. So they are not going anywhere anytime soon.
That being said, how can we still embrace their presence while enjoying our own?

Enter: Bug Spray.

You might remember the uproar about the active ingredient in bug spray called N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide. No? Doesn’t ring a bell? Well it’s street name is DEET, and I bet it had your parents in a tizzy.

It is touted as the most effective compound to keeping the ‘skeeters at bay, and though it is still legal and used in many repellants there are countless contradictory findings out there in terms of its safety. And personally, I’d rather be proactive in keeping things that may be harmful to my health out of my life instead of reactive when bad news may come out of using it.

Because of all of these reasons, we’ve put together a list of some easy and effective recipes for homemade bug spray that do not contain DEET, are safe for kids, and might even smell good!

All recipes are designed to be mixed in a spray bottle and sprayed topically onto the skin.

1. The Witchy Way: Half witch hazel, half distilled water, + essential oils like 20 drops lavender + 20 drops lemongrass + 10 drops peppermint
Other yummy and effective essential oils are cedarwood, rosemary, eucalyptus, and citronella (which you may know from the candles that are to help keep the bites away!)

2. The Buggy Beauty: Distilled water, 4 tbsp vanilla extract and lemon juice, and 15 drops of lavender essential oil.

3. The Listorine Queen: Your mouthwash of choice! Yep, turns out it burns their mouth too ;)

4. The Russian Roundhouse: 1 cup vodka, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, cloves and peppermint extract. Let sit overnight — the longer it marinates the stronger the punch!
Give these a whirl and be sure to let us know how these recipes went for you! We wish you the happiest of camping, without a thousand uninvited guests tagging along for the ride!

Bronwyn xx

Other news from around the campfire

The latest industry news, blogs, articles, and what we're up to.

View all posts