Natural and Effective Bug Repellent? Yes!

Whether you like to bike-ride or hike, work in your vegetable garden or just take your pet for a walk, chances are you spend some time outside and are subject to pesky mosquitos or flies. This do-it-yourself recipe not only repels bugs but will also hydrate and moisturize your skin, without the harmful chemicals you find in many bug repellent products.

The active repelling ingredient here is essential oils. You can actually use a mixture of them, to a scent of your liking. The following essential oils are known to repel insects: citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender and rosewood. (Note: Always check the labels on oils for cautions or suggested usage.)

Bug Repellent 


  • 40 drops of essential oils of your choice (we used citronella, rosemary, lavender and lemongrass)
  • 2 oz of pure aloe vera gel
  • 1 oz of jojoba oil
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of raw shea butter
  • 1 tablespoon of raw coconut oil
  • These ingredients are available at most natural products stores.
  • Makes about 8 oz of repellent.


  1. Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler or glass container sitting in simmering water over stovetop.
  2. Pour the melted liquid into a bowl.
  3. Place the bowl in the freezer for approximately 20–30 minutes or until the liquid is semihard.
  4. Remove from the freezer. Add the essential oils, aloe vera gel and jojoba oil.
  5. Blend together with an electric mixer. Blend for at least 5 minutes to get the mixture fluffy and creamy.
  6. When done, scoop into a container and it’s ready to use!


When bugs are plentiful, we suggest reapplying to exposed areas every two hours or more.


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  • inukshuk says:

    Any replacement for shea butter? I’m allergic! Do any essential oil combos work better than others? Our mosquitoes are HORRIBLE and aggressive this year in Michigan!

  • me says:

    does this repel

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