Bug Spray.

So along the same lines as my sunscreen post, I also wanted to experiment with my own natural bug repellents. A couple of months ago we were headed up to our ranch for a camping weekend, and monsoon season had started, so I decided to whip up a bug spray and see what happened. Here’s what I put together the first time:

  • 2 oz distilled h20
  • 2 oz witch hazel extract
  • 20 drops lemon eucalyptus EO (essential oil)
  • 20 drops citronella EO
  • 10 drops close EO
  • 10 drops lemongrass EO
  • 10 drops peppermint EO
  • 10 drops lavender EO

I had found a couple of cool websites with various recipes and which oils repel which types of bugs, and so I wanted to do a little of each and just see. In SW Colorado there are mosquitos, cedar gnats, flies, and ants that are the annoying insects. When we were there the mosquitos weren’t bad but the cedar gnats were terrible. And those things leave painful little red welts all over you (and all over Loki, poor guy). Well, the bug spray did not work. It may have repelled the little buggers a bit, but overall it was not a success. So I scratched that.


Vile, useless creature.

Then, we went to Southern Minnesota for a couple of weeks to visit R’s family before our big move. In August. Hot. Humid. Sticky. Itchy. Minnesota. I brought all my oils with me and tried something different. I did this:

  • 1/2 cup witch hazel extract
  • 100 drops lemon eucalyptus EO
  • 50 drops citronella EO
  • 50 drops lemongrass EO

Yay oils!

I went on the strong side… because I got destroyed by mosquitos the first couple of days. It’s like they knew I wasn’t from there. After this mixture, R and I sprayed it on ourselves then went outside into the long grass and stood there. And we watched in amazement as the mosquitos would land on our arms, then just take off.


They don’t seem to bother her… she’ll just eat them.

The only drawback is you do have to reapply the spray “often.” By often I mean once an hour maybe. But it smells nice, and leaves no sticky, greasy, or disgusting residue on your skin. You don’t feel like you need a shower the moment you spray it on. I made this spray recipe twice while we were there, and it worked like a charm. Hooray!

If you want a good recommendation for witch hazel and oils, check out these guys: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/

3 thoughts on “Bug Spray.

  1. Stefanie, so happy to get your new blog site from your Dad. You two are certainly busy and I LOVE the natural bug repellent and sunscreen you are doing – no I haven’t made any myself but sure admire you for what you are doing! Seems Ralph and I aren’t the only “pioneers” in the family. Truly admire you and R for “living off the grid” as we have for so many years. Solar panels are so much cheaper these days too (we now have 4 ha ha) and the lighting options are good. Have you considered a gas stove (as in propane)? Do you have access to water or collecting as we have also done for years. Would love for you and R to visit our simple abode one of these days. It’s really quite comforting to be off the grid when we notice every once in awhile that the entire “neighborhood” across the bay from us is dark because the electricity on the island has gone off – and we still have lights, tv, stereo and are cooking dinner and laughing our asses off! Oh, yeah we crank up the stereo too!

    Can’t wait to meet R – our very best wishes to you both. Enjoy and embrace the simple life – its a lot more fun and so much more rewarding when you are able to slow down, look around and enjoy! With love, Aunt Wacky lives on! Ralph sends his love also!


  2. This is so exciting! I’m sorry I missed you but am so happy to see you two living the dream and starting off in your adventures! I’m sorry I missed your goodbye party but hopefully I’ll see you soon!


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