Bug Off
Anyone else feel like they’re a bug magnet the minute they walk outside? You know, pesky mosquitoes that fly around your head and nibble on your skin, leaving bumps and itchiness for days?

Like it or not, summer and bugs go hand in hand. I suppose, if you really wanted to, you could stay inside and avoid them altogether, but that's not realistic or  ideal. Fresh air, sunshine and outdoor adventures help keep you feeling fully alive.

Thankfully there are solutions that allow you to enjoy summer and be protected from bug bites. I've got the scoop on repellents and the essential oils you'll want to have on hand to make your own DIY Bug Off!

What's in bug repellents?

There are four commonly recommended bug repellent ingredients. The first being DEET, the most known. 

DEET is a registered pesticide. It is a member of the toluene chemical family. Toluene is an organic solvent used in rubber, plastic cements, and paint removers. DEET is absorbed through the skin and can pass into the blood.

According to the Washington Post:

"DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), first used by the U.S. Army, has been sold to consumers since the 1950s. It can cause allergic skin reactions and eye irritation, particularly at concentrations of 50 percent and above. A 2013 analysis of about 4,000 DEET-related calls to poison control centers found that 450 people needed medical treatment after applying DEET; two died. Most cases of seizures, slurred speech, coma and other serious side effects have occurred in people who ingested DEET or applied it for three or more days in a row, or used products with 95 percent DEET or more."

The other three are  PicardinIR 3535 and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. I didn't do much reading on the first two, but because I'm a believer in the powerful benefits of essential oils, I was curious about Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Turns out it's the trade name for the repellent that originated as an extract of the eucalyptus tree native to Australia. The tree extract is "refined to intensify the concentration of the naturally occurring substance para-menthane-3,8-diol, also known as PMD, from 1 to 65 percent. The resulting oil is very different from unprocessed tree oil." 

Effectiveness of Repellents 

When thinking about the effectiveness of repellents, it's worth noting that the concentration of a bug repellent is only related to how long the protection will last, not how effective it is at keeping bugs off your skin. If you're going to be outdoors for a long period of time, look for a spray with a high concentration of repellent. If you choose to make your own bug spray and find it wears off quickly, then consider adding more drops of essentail oils. 

outdoor precautions

There are several  things you can do to reduce your chances of getting bitten.

●Avoid tight clothes (which mosquitoes can penetrate), dark clothes (where ticks can hide) and strong scents, like synthetic perfumes, soaps and lotions (which attract mosquitoes). 

●Stay inside at sunrise and sunset and early evening or apply a natural bug repellent (recipes to follow)

●When you’re sitting on a deck or patio, plug in a fan to blow away mosquitoes

●When heading out to woody or grassy areas, tuck pants into socks, wear boots and tuck hair into a hat. When you get home, check for ticks, shower and toss clothes into a dryer

●If you need a repellent, first try plant-based products without deet

essential oils

I'm a big fan of DIY bug repellents. Especially ones made with Young Living Essential Oils.
Here's why. Essential Oils are essential for the survival of plants. It’s why they are called essential oils. The oils were designed to protect plants. Just as insects are created with certain odors and protective defenses to use against predators, so God gave plants their own protective measures against their "predators."

Here's an example.

Are you familiar with the Smoky Mountains in NC and Tennessee? The Smoky Mountains are smoky because the dense forest of trees and other vegetation exhale a mist of healthy volatile organic compounds (essential oils) that rise into the air and create a bluish, smoky look. The purpose of the mist of oils is to attract pollinators, defend against pests and to communicate. That's the WHY of essential oils as a bug repellent. Because that's part of their job description. 

WHY I only advocate for Young Living oils specifically, is because they are the only company that has a seed to seal promise. Read about it Here.


What oils should i use?

Time to get specific. Here's a list of some essential oils and the bugs they protect against. It's not a comprehensive list, but rather suggestions of some of the more common oils used.

Citronella- mosquitoes
Lavender- mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas, flies
Lemongrass- mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas, flies
Peppermint- spiders, ants
Tea Tree- mosquitoes, ants
Purification- citronella, lemongrass, lavandin, rosemary, tea tree, myrtle (mosquitoes,  ticks, chiggers, fleas, flies, ants )
Geranium- mosquitoes, flies
Patchouli- gnats
Rosemary- fleas and ticks
Ants-  cinnamon bark,peppermint, spearmint, tea tree
Flies- bay leaves, basil, lavender, mint, rosemary, eucalyptus
Mosquitoes-citronella, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree, lemon, eucalyptus, 
Fleas- peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, cedarwood

BUG OFF recipe

  • 2 oz organic witch hazel
  • 2 oz water
  • 4 oz aluminum spray bottle
  • 20-50 drops YL essential oils 

Combine water and witch hazel to a 4 oz aluminum spray bottle. Add 20-25 drops chosen essential oils (kids) or 40-50 drops chosen essential oils (adults). Shake well and apply as often as needed. 

Suggested recipe combinations

•10 drops geranium + 15 drops lavender + 5 drops patchouli + 10 drops lemongrass + 10 drops citronella
•15 drops lemongrass + 15 drops eucalyptus + 20 drops citronella
•20 drops lavender + 20 drops lemongrass + 10 drops peppermint
•20 drops rosemary +  20 drops cedarwood + 10 drops peppermint


Easy button? no DIY necessary

If making your own bug repellent doesn't interest you, no worries. There are other options just for you!

The first is to simply open a bottle of YL citronella and place a drop on your wrist and/or behind your ears twenty minutes before going outside. The oil will travel through your skin to your bloodstream changing your smell making you unattractive to mosquitoes. 

Secondly, Young Living came out with an Insect repellent that has been tested to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas using 100 percent naturally derived, plant-based ingredients. Pure sesame oil and a carefully selected blend of essential oils traditionally used for their bug-repellent properties come together to make up all 99 percent of the active ingredients in this formula. The other 1 percent? Vitamin E. That means you can use it on your little ones (and your dogs) and not worry about the synthetic chemicals used in many traditional repellents. You’ll also love the pleasant, citrusy aroma and smooth, non-sticky application.

*(Ingredients: Sesame oil, Citronella† oil, Lemongrass† oil, Rosemary† oil, Geranium† oil, Spearmint† oil, Thyme† oil, Clove† oil, Vitamin E †Premium essential oil)

Now you are prepared to enjoy the great outdoors with all the very best protection to keep your summer bite free. Look for Young Living products 
The cart is ready for you to check out or add and delete what you want. Simply go to check out and create a free account with the bug off oils that most interest you. Questions? I'm always here to help. 

Like what you read? Click here to receive the latest posts from me.

Want to learn more about essential oils and how to kick toxins to the curb? Head over to my website.


Leave a Comment