Homemade Bug Spray

It seems to always be "a bad year for mosquitos" here.  Sometimes we even have a truck come and spray our neighborhoods late at night, and the last several years we have had multiple confirmed cases of West Nile Virus from mosquitos in our town. I also happen to be one of those people that steps outside and apparently becomes a cartoon steak, because if I don't have repellent on I get bit about five times a minute. That said, I hate the greasy bug sprays. So when I found this natural one on Pinterest (via Remodelaholic),  I was excited to see if it would work. After about a month of using it, my boys have only had a couple of bites, and whenever I am wearing it, the mosquitoes don't get me either, so I feel like it works! I've seen several different recipes for this, but decided to go with this one because it was simple and originally came from Country Living Magazine. I figured if they were going to publish it in a magazine, someone there hopefully tested it and found it to be effective. I didn't want to post about it until I had done the same. : )

I found the pure essential oils at several grocery stores. Even our King Soopers has a natural health section, so these are not hard to find, but you might want to wait until they are on sale. We got lucky and two of the three were on sale when we bought them. I bought both the witch hazel and the spray bottle at Dollar Tree, yes you can get witch hazel there! Here's the recipe I used:

Homemade Bug Spray

1/3 cup witch hazel
1/2 tsp lemon grass oil
1/2 tsp eucalyptus oil
1/2 tsp citronella java oil

I used a funnel to pour everything right into the bottle. It does separate, so it's important to shake the bottle every time before you use it. I keep one by the back door and one in the car. We went though a bottle in about a month (and we use it pretty much everyday). I think two bottles of witch hazel and one of each of the oils should be enough to make about four spray bottles, or a whole-summer supply.

I don't know if this is back-woods strength, but it keeps the mosquitos off in the back yard and at the park. It's nice to know exactly what I'm spraying all over my kids' skin.

Thanks for reading!
- Haley


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