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Summer of Bugs (Homemade Bug Repellent and Treating Bites!)

June 14, 2012

Love being outside.  Hate the bugs!

Nothing ruins a good picnic or camping trip like being a buffet for mosquitoes or gnats!  And then there the paranoia of ticks to ruin a hiking trip!

So, what’s a natural mama to do?

(photo source)



2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon aloe vera gel

For mosquitoes add:

  • 5 drops Pennyroyal essential oil (Pennyroyal is contraindicated during pregnancy, so just leave it out if you are expecting)
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops thyme essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon balm (citronella) essential oil

For ticks add:

  • 10 drops Rose Geranium essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil

For flies and gnats:

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops pennyroyal essential oil (Pennyroyal is contraindicated during pregnancy, so just leave it out if you’re expecting)
  • 5 drops cedar essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon balm (citronella) essential oil

Combine base solution and applicable essential oils in a jar and shake well before applying to skin.

But, what if you’re too late?!  You forgot to put it on and they’ve already made a snack out of you!


1. A drop of pure lavender essential oil directly on the bite relieves the itch almost instantly and heals it quickly.

2. Apis Mellifica, a homeopathic, is excellent at fighting bug bites as well as other rashes of sudden onset.  We always take it camping with us.

3. You can make a poultice of plantain leaf and comfrey and apply directly to the bite until pain and itching is relieved.

  • How to do this:  Place herbs in a sieve or colander.  Place over rapidly boiling water.  Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot.  Allow the herbs to soak in a lot of moisture and completely wilt.  After about five to ten minutes, spread the warm, softened herbs on a clean white cloth (such as cheesecloth).  Apply it directly to the affected area.  To hold in the heat cover the whole thing with another cloth or plastic wrap.
If you need a source for essential oils, bulk herbs and carrier oils, we heartily recommend Mountain Rose Herbs!  Sustainably grown and organic!  We love the quality of everything we have purchased from them!

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

Disclaimer – The herbal information on this web site is intended for educational purposes only. It is not the intention of the writers to advise on health care. Please see a medical professional about any health concerns you have.  Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  The information on this web site is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

(Linked to Simple Lives ThursdayTiny Tips Tuesday, Morris Tribe Blog Hop, Little Natural CottageFrugal Days Sustainable Ways and Wildcrafting Wednesday)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. sk* permalink
    June 14, 2012 9:33 pm

    We use this:

    or the Bug Block from here:

  2. June 24, 2012 10:02 am

    Thank you for your post. We go camping a lot. I really do not like using the chemical sprays. I can’t wait to try these out.

    Stopping by from the Homesteading Blog Carnival.

  3. June 25, 2012 9:21 am

    This is good stuff! We just came back from visiting family in south Florida and brought back some nasty mosquito bites as souvenires LOL 😉 I’ve tried a few homemade solutions in the past with no luck, but I’m definitely going to try your recipes here. Thanks for sharing at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

  4. May 8, 2013 8:54 am

    I can’t wait to try these out this summer. I hate using all the chemical solutions and this will be great for my children. Thanks for posting this on Wildcrafting Wednesday. Oh yeah, and I am going to start following your blog too!

  5. May 8, 2013 9:39 am

    Reblogged this on homesteaddad and commented:
    I have been wanting to find a chemical free way to protect the kids from bugs this summer, I will be trying these methods.

  6. May 11, 2013 6:27 pm

    i do something very similar although not quite as many essential oils. Seems to work well (if I remember to use it.). Thanks for sharing at Wildcrafting Wednesday.


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