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Natural Bug Spray That Works! Non Toxic, Deet Free DIY

Clean bug spray (and sunscreen!) have been top product priorities since we moved to the islands.  Both are notoriously brimming with chemicals that can leach into both your blood stream and into our water run off.  By creating these DIY’s, I’ve been able to share the wealth with you and decrease my use of packaging, pollutants, and chemicals.  Oh, and they won’t cost a pretty penny.  Up front, it may seem like an investment but a little bit goes such a long way and there are endless ways to repurpose each ingredient from diffusing to diy cleaning and beauty solutions and more (like my homemade deodorant-more on that below).  I purchased todays specific essential oils over a year ago and they’re still going strong and used regularly from my arsenal.

It’s taken awhile to perfect my recipe to share with you but I’m so happy with the final product.  It’s lightweight and moisturizing, deet free, and full of nourishing yet effective ingredients that harness the power of plant medicine.  Not to mention, it’s probably one of my simplest DIY’s clocking in at just 5 minutes from start to finish (no heating, melting, or fancy steps).  It’s not only better for you, it’s better for our environment and it’s now been tried and tested for over a span of several years with us hiking deep into the bush to camping right after a downpour.  The insects were particularly heinous after the hurricanes and had it not been for this spray, I would’ve been eaten alive.  The only thing that I regret is not making more (each batch yields about 1/2 cup) and after the hurricanes, lots of shops were closed and it was difficult to get in mail so I didn’t have the ingredients to make more and insect attacks were aggressive to say the least when I ran out.  Since then, I’ve included several bottles in my hurricane kit and found batches that have remained effective for over 2 years when stored properly.

I would recommend storing in a dark cool place, screwed tightly in opaque spray bottles (preferably bpa free amber glass), and shaken vigorously before each application.  For me personally, I find that a reapplication every 2-3 hours suffices but your body chemistry may be different (or if you sweat profusely or go swimming right afterwards).  If you’ve grown accustomed to the chemical laden conventional stuff, it may take awhile for your body to become acclimated to this formula -much like with my healthy homemade deodorant but I assure you it’s so so worth it!

Natural Bug Spray That Works! Non Toxic, Deet Free DIY
Prep time
Total time
Serves: ½ cup
  • ¼ c raw apple cider vinegar, with the mother
  • 2 tb unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 tb vanilla extract
  • 60 drops of citronella and lemon eucalyptus
  • 30 drops of cedarwood
  • 20 drops of tea tree, mint, vetiver, lavender, and geranium
  1. Combine everything into an opaque/amber glass bottle.
  2. Shake vigorously before use.


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