DIY bug spray is all natural, smells great and so easy to make!

Excited about today’s post – so much good stuff!

It is FINALLY warming up in New York and we FINALLY have our backyard in decent shape. We had so much work to do on this house when we moved in three years ago that the front and back yards were the last to get our attention. But we have grass, we cleaned up our patio furniture, we’ve set up the badminton net and are enjoying our little piece of nature.

I appreciate this now more than ever, not only because we waited so long to be able to use our yard, but because we have been confined now for several months like the rest of the world. I feel so lucky to be able to open my door and plant my feet in the grass.

Of course, with the warm weather comes the bugs. And the bugs LOVE ME TO PIECES. Seriously, we could be in a crowd of 20 people and they will find me every time. And while I know commercial repellents are effective I hate the thought of spraying those chemicals onto my skin – I mean, any product that instructs you to wash it off the minute you’re back indoors can’t be good.

Well as it turns out, there’s an oil for that!

DIY Bug Spray l

Four, actually, and combined they make up this all-natural, lovely smelling and effective bug spray!

DIY Bug Spray l

I’ve got the recipe here but I thought it would be fun to also do a little giveaway, and highlight another small business during this time.

Let’s make some bug spray!


All Natural Bug Spray

2-ounce glass spray bottle
3 – 5 drops each Citronella, Lemongrass, Peppermint and Lavender essential oils
2 tablespoons witch hazel
distilled water

Place the essential oils into your spray bottle and swirl to blend. Add the witch hazel and swirl again. Fill with distilled water, close the bottle and give it a shake prior to each use.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver

The giveaway!

DIY Bug Spray l

I’ve got 3 pretty green glass bottles – with the oils and witch hazel – to give away today! And if you’re local I will also deliver a gorgeous potted lavender plant by the talented Tracee of The Garden Room (all images courtesy of Tracee Neumann).

the garden room pelham l

the garden room pelham l

I’ve been a fan of Tracee’s for years – her work is beautiful, chic and a little different. I’ve come to rely on her when I need a non-food gift – she can make even the most petite pot of oregano look special.

the garden room pelham l

the garden room pelham l

I’m focusing on a strictly local business today to encourage you all to take a look at similar shops in your area. Being a small business is unbelievably challenging during this time, and doubly so when your “product” can’t be shipped. Father’s Day, graduation and end-of-the-school-year are all perfect opportunities for giving – so take a look at your local small businesses and show them some love!

But don’t worry if you are not local and still want to enter – I’ll also send 3 “not so local” winners the glass bottle/oils/witch hazel to make the bug spray, along with this sweet little wool ball car diffuser and a sample of Lavender oil. Simply clip the diffuser onto your car vent, drop some oil onto the wool balls, and make sitting in traffic feel just a little more chill!

DIY Bug Spray l

To enter, leave a comment below. I’m switching things up a bit today, and I want your questions! Specifically about essential oils and toxic-free products. I’ve gotten a bunch so far and want to put them together with your comments in an upcoming post – so hit me! What do you want to know? What makes you say “no way” or “maybe but……” – I want to hear! Be sure to include your e-mail address if it’s not already linked to your comment.

The contest will run till 11:00 p.m. EST; the winner will be chosen at random and announced on Thursday, May 28th. Good luck!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. As a Rewards Style influencer I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases – at no additional cost to you.

Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. If you are currently on medication, please do not stop.


  1. Nina on May 27, 2020 at 11:15 am

    If this really works i need !
    I am also the only one who gets bit even by flys
    Dry the lavender and crumble and put in one of those small jewelry bags but they need an oil to keep it smelling
    Which one?
    Ps trader joes here is out of the lavender plants

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      It really works! Yes, the dried lavender loses its scent quickly – you could diffuse the oils that go into the bug spray and that would work too!

      • patty on May 27, 2020 at 10:37 pm

        so excited to have a non-chemical bug spray! i can not stand the smell of “off”!

        do you know if oils that work as a sunscreen?

        thank you for the chance to win those pretty green bottles of natural bug spray!

        • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 10:57 pm

          I feel just the same – this smells so good; we diffuse these oils outside too! They unfortunately will not work as a sunscreen – I wish! 🙂

    • Amber Corkin on May 27, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      Such a fun giveaway! What does the witch hazel do? Would it still work if I left this out? Thanks for the great post!

      • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 5:14 pm

        The witch hazel is an emulsifier – it “binds” the oil to the water. You could sub with vodka if you have that! Thanks so much!! 🙂

  2. Stacey Kaplan on May 27, 2020 at 11:19 am

    I’d like to know if there is an essential oil I can use to clean tile and mold. If not, what can I use that’s not bleach based but still gets the job done on tile and grout?

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      We have a household cleaner that is infused with essential oils, contains zero toxins and cleans like a CHAMP. Will e-mail you with more details!

  3. Thyra Roff on May 27, 2020 at 11:48 am

    What would you recommend as a “starter kit” that includes a couple of basic oils and diffuser?

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      I’ve gotcha – will message you shortly! 🙂

    • Debbie on May 27, 2020 at 8:55 pm

      If mosquitoes are out, I’m getting bit!! Would love to try this spray. Time to toss the Off!

  4. Barb Slikkers on May 27, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    Wondering what oils are good for dry unruly hair?? And if there are any…can I add to my existing conditioner to offer a bit of a boost …or need to start from scratch with a “blank” conditioner??

    Thanks. Humid and high hair in Holland MI!! Lol.

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      Will e-mail you later Barb- there are a few ways to go! 🙂

  5. Roselle on May 27, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I love the look of your bottles! My question is, which essential oils will keep rabbits from eating from my garden? Also, why should one use witch hazel and not alcohol?

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      I will send you a note re: the rabbits Roselle! Witch hazel is an emulsifier that binds the oils to the water. Alcohol would not work the same way and you wouldn’t want to spray that on your skin the way you could witch hazel!

  6. Laurie on May 27, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    What so recommend for hormone balance. I can’t use PPlus because I am on the pill.

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      I will send you a note shortly Laurie!

  7. lauren on May 27, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Love your organic diffusers

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you! Those are some of my favorite DIYs!! 🙂

      • Maddy on May 27, 2020 at 7:12 pm

        I usually purchase Avon Bug Spray which is also natural. You’re looks very interesting. Wondering if the oils can be purchased at Trader Joe’s?

        • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 7:31 pm

          I don’t know! But just make sure that you are getting 100% pure oils – otherwise they may be mixed with synthetic oils or other ingredients in which case they may not be as effective!

          • Maddy Melzer on May 27, 2020 at 10:31 pm

            Thanks Sheri

  8. Katherine on May 27, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    I love this bug spray idea … what can’t essential oils do ?! I was wondering what the difference was between the “ingestible” essential oils that are specifically made for ingesting and then those that are not specifically labeled as ingestible but seem to be ok for water / or to cook with ( like the lemon and peppermint ones you sent us from the oil class)? Hope that makes sense …

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 5:18 pm

      That’s a great question – I saw your DM – let’s talk!

  9. Carla on May 27, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    This is a dream combination. The mosquitos in NJ are awful!

    I’d also love to know what you recommend for dry skin for little kids (ages 9-12). Seriously dry on firearms and torso.


    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      My 11-year-old has dry skin too – sending you an e-mail shortly! 🙂

  10. Joanie on May 27, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Will the bug spray ward of ticks?

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 5:50 pm

      No I would not consider this a fail safe tick repellent – I wish!!!

  11. Deb on May 27, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Sheri, love this idea and the bottles are so great. Thanks for sharing this idea. Where did you find the bottles?

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      Aren’t they pretty? Right above the spray recipe is a picture of the bottles – if you click the link it will take you to the site!

  12. Katy on May 27, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Sheri, love your website! I have a memory from many years ago of a local bank branch that smelled of mint when you walked it! I’m new to essential oils and am trying different essential oils to keep me energized while working from home.

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      Smells are so powerful in terms of memory, right? Thank you so much for your kind comment; let me know if you have any questions I can answer!

  13. Steph on May 27, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    I have no doubt that works for average, run of the mill NY mosquitoes but will it work for the flying teeth we have here in SC?

    • sherisilver on May 27, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Oh my – I’m guessing maybe not???

Leave a Comment