Use Natural Mosquito Repellent Instead Of DEET

Aside from being annoying, most of us are concerned that mosquitoes could be spreading diseases like West Nile or Zika.

With that concern and annoyance, most of us are reaching for bug sprays these days, but how safe are they?

Use Essential Oils instead of DEET

Commercial bug sprays usually include a chemical known as DEET, which although approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is linked to skin blisters,soreness, and eye irritation. 

So although DEET may be in products that doesn’t mean it is safe for children and I believe it’s always best to find effective less toxic alternatives when possible.

What Can You Use Instead Of Deet?

The answer lies in using naturally occurring essential oils either in natural products you purchase or make yourself.

According to studies, Eucalyptus oil-based repellants are just as effective as DEET and is recommended by the CDC.

Use Natural Repellent For Mosquitoes

Why Use Essential Oils To Repel Bugs?

By choosing essential oils to repel insects you not only protect yourself from pesky bugs but also gain additional benefits.

It’s a holistic approach to insect control that aligns with a healthier and more environmentally-conscious lifestyle.

Here’s why you should consider using them:

1. Essential Oils Are Natural and Environmentally-Friendly

Unlike commercial bug repellents that often contain synthetic chemicals, essential oils are derived from plants and are considered a natural and environmentally friendly option.

They do not pose the same risks to human health or the environment as chemical-based repellents.

2. Essential Oils Smell Good

Essential oils have pleasing scents that can uplift your mood and create a pleasant atmosphere.

Instead of the harsh, chemical smell of conventional insect repellents, essential oils provide a refreshing and natural fragrance that can enhance your overall well-being.

3. Essential Oils Benefit Your Skin

Many essential oils have nourishing properties that can benefit your skin.

When applied topically, they can leave your skin feeling soft, moisturized, and refreshed.
This is a bonus compared to commercial repellents that may leave a sticky or greasy residue on the skin.

4. Essential Oils Are Versatile

Essential oils offer a wide range of uses beyond insect repellency.

They have been used for centuries for their therapeutic properties, including relieving headaches, soothing burns, reducing stress and anxiety, and promoting relaxation.

5. Essential Oils Are Customizable

Essential oils come in a variety of scents, allowing you to choose the ones that resonate with you the most.

You can experiment with different oils and create personalized blends to suit your preferences and needs.

Which Oils Can You Use For Bug Repellent?

Best Essential Oils For Repelling Bugs. Try these oils and mix blends instead of using DEET.

Types Of Bugs And The Essential Oils That Repel Them

Below I’ve listed the bugs and what oils you can use to repel them. Different types of essential oils are effective in repelling different kinds of bugs. *click the links to purchase on Amazon or learn more about the oils.


For repelling gnats, you can use Rose Geranium (get it here) or Eucalyptus (get it here).

Horse Flies

Thyme, Tea Tree (get it here), and Lavender (get it here) are effective in repelling horse flies.


Peppermint essential oil can help deter spiders from your living spaces. Its strong scent is known to be unpleasant to spiders, making it a natural option for keeping them away.


To repel ticks, you can try, Sweet Myrrh, Eucalyptus (get it here), Rose Geranium (get it here), and Tansy (get it here).


Some oils effective in repelling mosquitoes are Sage(get it here), Cinnamon (get it here), Blue Cyprus, Lemon Eucalyptus (get it here), and Tansy (get it here) Those oils can be used individually or in combination to create a potent natural mosquito repellent.

Geranium Essential OilGeranium Essential OilBlue Tansy Essential OilBlue Tansy Essential OilMyrrh Egyptian Essential OilMyrrh Egyptian Essential OilGlass Spray BottlesGlass Spray Bottles

Best Essential Oils To Use To Repel Bugs

Here are some essential oils listed with the types of bugs they can be used against.


Known for its strong and distinctive scent, citronella essential oil is commonly used to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.

It can be diffused, applied topically, or used in candles and outdoor sprays.

Lemon Eucalyptus

Lemon eucalyptus essential oil contains a compound called citronellal, which has been found to be effective against mosquitoes.

It is often recommended as a natural alternative to synthetic repellents.

Peppermint Essential Oil is my favorite. Breath freshener to headache reliever.


Peppermint essential oil has a refreshing scent that repels ants, spiders, and other crawling insects.

It can be used to create a natural barrier by spraying it around windows, doors, and entry points.


Not only does lavender essential oil have a calming aroma, but it is also known to repel moths, fleas, and mosquitoes.

It can be applied to the skin or used in sachets to deter insects.

Lavender essential oil for paim

Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil has antiseptic and insect-repelling properties.

It can be used to repel mosquitoes, flies, and ants.

Diluted tea tree oil can be applied to the skin or used in cleaning solutions.


Lemongrass essential oil is often used in natural insect repellents due to its strong citrus scent.

It can help repel mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.

Lemongrass essential oil for stress


Rosemary essential oil has a woody and herbaceous scent that repels mosquitoes and other flying insects.

It can be diffused or diluted and applied to the skin.


Cedarwood essential oil is known to repel moths, ticks, and fleas.

Its earthy aroma makes it a popular choice for creating natural insect repellents.

Lavender Essential Oil Uses In Winter

Easy DIY Bug Repellent Candles

These pretty DIY repellent candles will look super cute on your patio the next time you have a party plus they will keep the bugs away.

Make these and make one of the DIY bug sprays below and you will be ready for your next summer party.

This recipe calls for citronella essential oil (get it here) plus fresh lemons, limes, and rosemary. 

Easy Homemade Bug Repellent Sprays

There are many ways to create natural bug-repellent sprays using different combinations of essential oils and carrier liquids.

You may have to experiment a little to find which combination works best for you.

Lavender Vanilla Mosquito Repellent

Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake before using.

  • 15 drops lavender Essential Oil
  • 3-4 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • Distilled water

Simply Earth Mosquito Repellant Diffuser Recipe

Add these essential oils to your diffuser.

  • 3 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 3 drops citronella essential oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops spearmint essential oil

DIY Bug Repellant Diffuser Blend

Scratch Mommy’s Homemade Bug Spray

by Scratch Mommy Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake before using.

  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops geranium Essential oil
  • 1 T vegetable glycerin
  • 3 oz glass spray bottle
  • Distilled Water

Homemade Bug Spray with Peppermint

by Creative Homemaking Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake before using.

  • 4 oz distilled water (or boiled water; leave to cool)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid organic castile soap (get it here)
  • Witch hazel (get it here)
  • 20 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 8 oz Spray bottle

One Essential Community

Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake before using.

  • 10 drops Geranium Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Patchouli Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Citronella Essential Oil
  • 4 oz spray bottle
  • Distilled Water

Lemon Eucalyptus Repellent Spray

by Tips Bulletin Add ingredients to a spray bottle and shake before using.

  • 1 Tbs Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • ½ cup Witch hazel
  • 4 oz Spray bottle

Relieve Bug Bites Naturally

Not only can you repel bugs naturally but you can get relief with essential oils, too.

Here’s a recipe from Simply Earth using their Bug Fighter Essential Oil (find it here) to make your own DIY bug bite relief lotion sticks. 


75 Nontoxic Recipes75 Nontoxic RecipesNature ShieldNature ShieldBug FighterBug FighterShoo FlyShoo FlyRepel SprayRepel Spray

Essential Oils For Bug Spray

The Essential Oil Blends That I Use To Repel Bugs

I have a drawer full of essential oils and I’ve whipped up a batch of spray for the summer bug season.

If you don’t have the time nor want to mess with it you can try some of these premade natural repellents I’ve used.

All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent (get it here) or California Baby (get it here) .

Kids love these waterproof repellent bracelets (get here).

DEET-Free SprayDEET-Free SprayInsect RepellentInsect RepellentRepellent BraceletsRepellent BraceletsGlass Spray BottlesGlass Spray BottlesLiquid Castile SoapLiquid Castile Soap

Tell Me What You Use.

Leave me a comment and tell me what you use for bug repellent.

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UseThese Essential OIls Instead of DEET