DIY Bug sSpray, that works and is nontoxic

My life needs bug repellant. I live at the shore, I play in the woods, and I love being out doors all year round. Not to mention my main squeeze is so tasty he attracts every bug in town to come and feast. So needless to say we needed something that was safe to use on a daily basis, did not ruin our clothing, and DEET_productsdid not smell like “that guy“.

I first got freaked out about bug repellants when I was really into Cyclo-touring, or long camping trips traversed by bicycle, where everything is a synthetic fabric. Those fabrics melt and get weird in contact with DEET. My head spun like WHAAAAAAAT? Yes your bug spray may be ruining your bathing suit, athletic gear, or fancy dress you shopped for all week so you could look fantastic with out trying too hard at that barbecue.

Being the curious cat, I immediately needed to know what this was doing to my body, while on my skin. How could it affect my pets with their need to like my arms and hands? (and legs, well anything near their faces)

Health Effects from Commercial Bug Spray.

Any chemical rubbed on your skin gets absorbed into the body. Your vascular system runs right up along the under surface, and this stuff goes right intoPortraityour blood stream. From there the chemicals are on a fast paced highway system that has access to the entire body. I don’t know about you, but I rub this stuff everywhere. More thoroughly then I soap in the shower.  Think about that surface area for a moment. Such a massive part of the blood stream getting a big chemical dump.

With a healthy body chemicals or foreign objects get filtered out by the kidneys and sent for pee pee OR filtered by the liver and dumped into the intestines to be sent out with poo. Now the chemicals are in your digestive tract wreaking havoc on your immune system and our bacteria buddies. This will mess up digestion of your next few meals and open you up to catch any colds going around.

If the Liver/Kidney/Digestive systems are already overloaded, stuff slips through and remains in the blood stream. Hopefully it gets pulled out of your lymph and blood streams, and shoved into some fat stores. All of which will eventually need to be opened up and cycled through the body again once that fat is burned.


If you are a good fat builder, you may be living a very toxic lifestyle.

“Chemicals and toxins can build up in your system and cause problems regardless of your body weight. But when body fat begins to accumulate, that usually means toxins are accumulating too. The body retains fats as a way to protect the vital organs in the body from the toxins that we ingest (and create through stress). Body fat accumulation, especially around the mid section, is a visible sign of toxic build up and a good indication that the liver is not functioning as efficiently as it should.

Cedar repels tons of bugs including gnats, lice, and flees

If toxins build up faster than they can be eliminated, in an attempt to protect your organs, your body will actually make body fat for the specific purpose of storing toxins as far away from vital organs as possible. This fat is particularly stubborn fat that is very difficult to lose unless you decrease the toxic load and you do something to help your body detoxify.” Read more from Eco Mall Here:


The other option is for these chemicals to pile up like garbage in the corners of your body. This could really mean any organ. Ama is the Ayurvedic concept of goop that gathers around the body. This truly sludges up the system in a kind of green slime that can be hard like plaque, or drippy sloppy mucus.

Rosemary Flowering
Rosemary repels Horse Flies and Green Heads

Sometimes the body tries to push it back out the skin, contributing to eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and acne. But really we are talking about the weak points in your body becoming exploited. Any disease on it’s way to being formed, or any disease already in action is going to get worse. Think of it as feeding the monster of destruction. Anyone with an autoimmune disease must remove all chemicals from their life. As well pregnant women, small children under the age of 8, and the elderly should not be exposed to toxic bug sprays.


The Recipe


For the base you want to consider your type of skin. I like to use Oil, Water, and Alcohol. Water to thin it out enough to spread. Oil in the form of essential oils, plus a little extra for moisturizing. Plus an Alcohol like witch hazel or vodka to dry the solution so that you are not all greased up and sticky.

Grapefruit Oil repels Ticks


Essential Oils are the key here. There are countless herbs and plants that have developed their own natural pest deterrents. A lot of which we eat on a regular basis. You can grow your own herbs, harvest them, and soak them in the vodka or olive oil to make a solution, but I just go right for my essential oils on this one. A few drops a piece and you are set. Different insects will respond to different oils, so it is good to make a blend focused on what pests you want to keep at bay. This is were you get to experiment. I have found that this blend works well on the Jersey Shore, as a broad spectrum tick, flea, gnat, green head, mosquito, no seem um’ repellant. I even gave a bottle to a friend who was back woods camping in PA and she said it worked marvelously. By harnessing the power of what grows and occurs naturally we can easily protect ourselves with natural oils.

and add your blend and location in the comments section!

This to me is crucial. On a trip to Guyana in the Amazon Rainforest River Delta, we used just this plus a chrysanthemum extract called pyrethrum. This
stuff is pretty toxic and we only put it on our clothing. But I can’t help want to experiment with chrysanthemum essential oil. For now they are planted in the yard where we like to sit.

Lemongrass is the most potent Mosquito Repellant


This is a great list from Herbal Academy Of New England:

My Mix: 25 drops – Peppermint EO, 10 – Cedar EO, 10 – Eucalyptus EO, sprig Rosemary, 10 – Grapefruit EO or Peels, 30 – Lemongrass EO.

Spray: 2 oz water, 1.5 oz witch hazel or vodka

Lotion: mix Essential Oils into 8 oz coconut oil. Dab on wrists, inside of elbow, behind knees, and around ankles.



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