Keep the Bugs Away!

I’m sure all bugs serve some ecological purpose, but if it were up to me, I’d wipe mosquitoes, ticks, and chiggers from the face of the earth.

But since I can’t actually do that, I’ll have to settle for repelling them in the safest way possible. If you’ve ever read anything about DEET, you probably read about its questionable toxicity. We do know that it can be fatal when ingested, so why put it on your skin? When it comes to putting potentially toxic chemicals on my body, I err on the side of safety and avoid them — especially with my kids.

When it comes to outdoor protection, there is no better defense than Mother Nature’s offerings. Thankfully, there are several essential oils that have proven to be effective at repelling certain bugs while being harmless to humans.


The human skin is a protective layer that stops infections and inflammations to cause internal complications directly; thus, proper care and attention should be given to promote healthy skin. Using products with synthetic chemicals as mosquito repellent may not be the best move if you want to protect your skin from any potential hazard. Using a natural repellent, such as essential oils, is a much safer method to repel insect bites without harmful side effects.

Not many people prefer to use essential oils. This is quite understandable as synthetic insect repellent products are more convenient, not to mention that they are readily available in all leading drugstores. However, natural essential oils offer a lot of health benefits while keeping the nasty insect bites at bay.

When it comes to the concern of skin sensitivity, essential oil users have nothing to worry about. Essential oils are free from harmful chemicals that can potentially cause skin allergies and other skin diseases. Essential oils do not contain parabens and petroleum, which usually irritate sensitive skin.

While there are a number of DEET-free repellents out there, they are still not as natural as using a DIY essential oil bug spray that you can easily make at home. Even DEET-free insect repellents consist of some toxins that are damaging for human consumption. They also frequently have to get used more liberally if you want to make sure you’re utilizing the correct amount for them to be effective.

Overall, I’m just not a fan of spraying chemicals onto my skin, so I vote for natural essential oils mosquito repellent every time. Using a home made solution, I also know exactly what’s in it, and I don’t mind spraying and re-applying it as needed throughout the day.


There are several essential oils that reportedly repel mosquitoes, so a combination of any of them added to witch hazel/vodka and water makes a nice bug spray. You could also purchase doTerra’s repellent blend, TerraShield, and combine it with your witch hazel and water mixture — whichever you prefer OR purchase TerraShield Spray already made for a quick and easy application.

Oils that mosquitoes dislike:

  • TerraShield (repellent blend)
  • Melaleuca (AKA tea tree oil)
  • Cedarwood/Pine
  • Citronella
  • Lemon/Orange
  • Clove (use sparingly — it’s very strong!)
  • Peppermint (avoid if nursing)
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Basil

Here is a recipe for a 4-oz. spray bottle (preferably glass):

1/4 cup witch hazel (or vodka)

1/4 cup water

20 drops TerraShield

5 drops Cedarwood oil

5 drops Lemon oil

5 drops Lavender oil

3 drops Peppermint oil

Combine all in spray bottle and shake before each use.

Again, use whichever oils you have, blend them however you like, and make sure the smell is potent!


Because we don’t always have bug repellent on, basil oil is a great oil to use in the summer (well, that and aloe vera)! Basil and lavender are good for soothing bug bites, so I decided to give them a try. The lavender didn’t really do much, but the basil oil worked instantly — no more itching! You can also try combining peppermint and melaleuca (tea tree) or lavender and melaleuca. All of these oils help with inflammation and itching.

Basil, Peppermint and Lavender are oils that can safely be applied “neat,” which means you can put it on your skin undiluted. You will probably want to apply it more than once, and definitely reapply after bathing. Try not to scratch the bite after applying though, because you will remove the oil and keep itching.

If you accidentally get the oil in your eyes, wash your eyes out with another oil. Anything you have in your house will work. It will seem very strange to pour a few drops of oil into your eyeball, but I am telling you, this will work. Oil pulls oil out. Remember water and oil do not mix. Rinsing your eyes with water doesn’t help.

You may think that essential oils are too expensive — and yes, they are an investment — but each bottle is extremely concentrated and lasts a long time (250 drop for each 15 ml bottle). You can buy them directly from the doTERRA website or order them through me.

I am a wellness advocate and can help you save 25% with every oil purchase.

You can purchase the Top 10 essential oils in The Family Essentials Kit when you enroll as a wellness customer for $150. You will receive your kit AND your annual membership. This is a one time savings during enrollment.

The 10 essential oils are:

  1. Lavender
  2. Lemon
  3. Peppermint
  4. Melaleuca
  5. Oregano
  6. Frankincnese
  7. Deep Blue
  8. Breathe
  9. DigestZen
  10. On Guard