Mother Earth Living

Natural Insect Repellent Recipe

Photo by Fotolia/Maridav

Natural Insect Repellent Recipe

This formulation is safe for pregnant and lactating women, children 3 years and older, and those with sensitive skin. Its delicate floral-green scent appeals to everyone except bugs. This version uses oil as its base ingredient, which leaves skin feeling velvety-soft and nongreasy. Organic soybean oil has natural bug-repellent properties, but you can substitute any lightweight base oil.

Caution: Use one of the two species of eucalyptus essential oil specified. Do not use other species of eucalyptus.


• 16 drops each of the following essential oils: lavender, geranium, eucalyptus (species radiata or smithii)
• 1⁄2 cup organic soybean base oil
• 4-ounce spritzer, pump or squeeze bottle


1. Add essential oils to storage bottle, then add soybean oil. Screw on top and shake vigorously.

2. Allow spray to synergize for 1 hour.

3. Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year.

Application: Shake well before using. Put a bit of this formula on your palms, then massage it onto areas that need protection. If skin feels greasy after application, you’ve used too much. Reapply as needed.

Note: To make a lighter-textured version, which some people prefer, especially in hot, humid climates, replace the soybean oil with a combination of 1⁄2 teaspoon each liquid castile soap (peppermint- or eucalyptus-scented) and vegetable glycerin, and 1⁄4  cup each purified water and unflavored vodka. Reapply this version every 20 to 30 minutes.

Excerpted from Naturally Bug-Freeby Stephanie Tourles with permission of Storey Publishing.

  • Published on Jun 9, 2016
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