Dr. Axe > Beauty

Homemade Bug Spray

Homemade Bug Spray - Dr.Axe

Bug bites can be both uncomfortable and dangerous. It’s important to keep the bugs away, but instead of using conventional recipes and showering your body in harmful chemicals, try this homemade bug spray recipe.

Most store-bought bug sprays contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), which has received mixed reviews during research. According to Scientific American: (1)

Duke University pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia, in studies on rats, found that frequent and prolonged DEET exposure led to diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes, and concluded that humans should stay away from products containing it. But other studies have shown that while a few people have sensitivity to DEET applications, most are unaffected when they use DEET products on a sporadic basis according to the instructions on the label.

Using an all-natural alternative rids any risk of side effects from using this hazardous chemical. This natural solution is also quick and inexpensive! To make my homemade bug spray, you need witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, tea tree or rosemary essential oil and one eight ounce glass spray bottle.

In addition to keeping away bugs, this bug spray also helps kill bacteria and nourish your skin with the powerful benefits of witch hazel, apple cider vinegar and essential oils.

Cosmetic and beauty products often contain witch hazel because of its healthy benefits for the skin. Witch hazel has proven helpful against acne, skin sores, bruises, redness, psoriasis and eczema, oily skin, excess sweating, varicose veins, cracked skin, razor burn, sun damage and so much more.

Apple cider vinegar helps restore the proper pH levels to your skin, therefore smoothing the skin, reducing oiliness and decreasing the appearance of fine lines. The beta-carotene in apple cider vinegar also helps to counter future skin damage.

And unlike conventional brands, this homemade bug spray smells amazing. Try it today to keep the bugs away. Simply combine the witch hazel, apple cider vinegar and essential oils of your choice in an eight ounce glass spray bottle. You can then spray the mixture over your body, avoiding your eyes and mouth.

Avoiding Zika virus? Consumer Reports testing found Repel Lemon Eucalyptus repellent kept the mosquitoes that commonly carry Zika virus at bay for 7 hours.

[webinarCta web=’eot’]

Homemade Bug Spray

Total Time: 2 minutes
Serves: 30


  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 40 drops essential oils (eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, tea tree or rosemary)
  • one 8 ounce glass spray bottle


  1. Mix witch hazel, apple cider vinegar and essential oils in 8 ounce glass spray bottle.
  2. Spray over all portions of the body but avoid repellent in eyes and mouth.

Josh Axe

Get FREE Access!

Dr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world...Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!

Free eBook to boost
metabolism & healing

30 Gluten-Free Recipes
& detox juicing guide

Shopping Guide &
premium newsletter



  1. Kiri on

    Which one of the essential oils that you listed in the recipe do you recommend for use on children <4yrs? We live in the tropics where mozzies and sand flies are a big issue, and I have two boys aged 3.5yrs and 15mths.

  2. Ashleigh Abbott-Smith on

    Quick question, after making the spray how long does the spray keep before it spoils? Also, I really love all the remedies that you have on your site! Would there be a way for you to add how long each product will last before it goes bad?

  3. Reece Martin on

    Is there a good bug spray for plants? I use dish detergent in water, but I wondered if there is a good essential oil mix.

  4. Amy R on

    Is this safe to use on a 2 & 1 year old? My 2 year old has some poriasis spots on his legs that we are working on. Would this bother that? Thank you!!

  5. LIsa on

    For the life of me, I can’t find glass spray bottles or glass dropper bottles. I checked pharmacy and everywhere I can think of. Where do you get yours?

  6. Sharon Brothers on

    Would like to know where to buy the cracked cell chlorella product and best source of lemongrass oil. Thank you!

  7. Dee on

    Why do you have to use a glass spray bottle? The picture with this article looks like it is a metal spray bottle. Can you use plastic bottle?

  8. Saundra D Ashley on

    Who makes the best oils for consumption and for aromatherapy? I’m just starting to use them along with Advocare vitamins and I have high blood pressure and Barrett ‘ s esophagus disease. What oils do you recommend for these issues?

    Saundra D Ashley

  9. Sherri on

    We are moving into a farm house have tons of field mice around we have seen them in the house as well. Before I move my NEW furniture in for them to nest in ugh I was told peppermint oil sprayed in and around the house will get rid of them. Is this true please help.

  10. Sheila on

    I am moving back home to Manitoba where there are a lot, and I mean a lot of mosquitoes and black flies. Have you heard of good results in areas where you have to be coated in spray in order to not be covered in bug bites. I would like something healthy that keeps the bugs away in order to be able to enjoy the outdoors. also what do you recommend for a natural suncreen as well. thanks

  11. Sandra Borrel on

    Thank You Dr. Axe, i have using some of our remedies and recipe for the past year.. i like the healthy organic snacks..
    thank you for sharing these tips with us.. it help

  12. Sandra Borrel on

    Thank You Dr. Axe, i have been using some of our remedies and recipe for the past year.. i like the healthy organic snacks..
    thank you for sharing these tips with us.. it help

Comments are closed.

More Beauty