Kick the Chemical ~Bug Sprays~

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

Have you ever wondered how to get protection from those pest without using nasty chemicals or paying an armload for a tiny bottle of the natural stuff?

So do I need to go on and on about the dangerous chemicals in bug repellents? Anyone saying the word Deet I feel I'm watching the scene from Monty Python and The Holy Grail when King Arthur meet up with the Knights who say ni


But what is so bad about deet?

A 30-year study from Duke University Medical Center found that prolonged exposure to DEET can impair brain function and could result in problems with muscle coordination, weakness, walking or even memory, & impaired cognitive function.

Considering that each year approximately one-third of all Americans spray and slather on insect repellents containing this central nervous system toxin, it becomes rather clear:

We have a problem!

And this is not an Isolated study that warns of DEET's dangers.

Other studies have uncovered that organophosphate and carbamate insecticides commonly used with DEET in insect repellents cause the same neurological conditions magnifying the potential of toxicity.

Have I given enough information to show the problems with commercial bug spray?

Interestingly even reports that state these chemicals are all hunky-dory give disclaimers warning against using these products on children.

One states “Try to reduce the use of repellents by dressing children in long sleeves and long trousers tucked into boots or socks whenever possible.”


Well yeah, that is a good idea for everyone!


With what we just learned and the fact that there are so many herbs that are effective in repelling bugs It's easy enough for me to make a simple repellent of my own.


Here you go. Herbs!

“Herb, who’s herb?”


Basil: Basil can be planted and used as a living bug repellent. You can make an infusion with oil, vinegar, or create a hydrosol when infused in water. The Sweet Basil essential oil would make a good choice to have on hand.


Beautyberry: This is a plant that most do not realize is a beneficial plant (besides its ornamental appeal) But finding a study I found the leaves would repel mosquitoes and ticks. I started using it myself a few years back, and have fallen in love with this wild plant.


Catnip: Catnip can be planted and used as a living bug repellent. You can easily make an infusion from the dried plant parts using oil or vinegar. It’s also an easy herb to use when making hydrosols.


Cedar Leaf: You can make an infusion with vinegar to make a spray. I feel the oil infusion would not work as well as a repellent. Cedar would do well as a smudge to burn, but my favorite way to use this herb is the essential oil. Pine can be a substitute in a pinch.


Cinnamon oil: Cinnamon is easily found in essential oil form but is one of those herbs that renders itself useful in any form you want to put it in. So don’t be afraid to make an infusion or hydrosol I think you'll be pleased with the results. Not to mention, you will be saving tons of money when making it yourself.


Citronella: Citronella has been the go-to plant for several years when it comes to a living bug repellent. You can also make an infusion from the plant part with oil or vinegar. It may take a little looking around but if you find the essential oil I think you would be pleased to have it (if you like the smell)


Eucalyptus: In my opinion, Eucalyptus Essential Oil works best for the eucalyptus. Around here it would be the easiest form to find anyway.


Fennel: You can make an infusion with oil or vinegar but my favorite way to use fennel is the essential oil. It has so much more of the smell and it smells so good.


Geranium: Geranium can be planted and used as a living bug repellent. You can make an infusion with oil or vinegar. Geranium essential oil makes a good choice too.


Lavender: Lavender can be planted and used as a living bug repellent though I have found it hard to grow in Southern Texas. You can make an herbal infusion with oil or vinegar, or even create a hydrosol in water. The essential oil of lavender is easy to find and would make a good choice to have in your collection.


Lemon Balm: Lemon Balm can be planted and used as a living bug repellent. You can easily make an infusion from the dried plant parts using oil or vinegar. It’s also an easy herb to use when making hydrosols. Lemon Balm is a common essential oil that would make a good choice as well.


Lemongrass: Lemongrass can be planted and used as a living bug repellent. In my opinion Lemongrass is best used in the form of essential oil where it does a great job repelling bugs and smells AWESOME!.


Marjoram: You can make a marjoram infusion with oil or vinegar and the dried plant parts. The essential oil would work well too.


Marigolds: Marigolds are a great showy flower to plant as a living bug repellent. You can easily make an oil or vinegar infusion as it grows. This is a great plant to experiment with.


Patchouli: The best way to use Patchouli as a bug repellent is its essential oil.


Pennyroyal: Pennyroyal has been a choice herb to use as a bug repellent for generations. You can plant and use it as a living bug repellent. You can also make an oil or vinegar infusion with relative ease. The essential oil of Pennyroyal makes a good choice too.


Rosemary: Rosemary is a great plant to experiment with. She can be planted and used as a living bug repellent. You can easily make an infused oil or vinegar. Rosemary essential oil is a common essential oil and will make a good choice to have.


Tea Tree: The best way to use tea tree is the essential oil. It should be easy to find, definitely easier than finding the tree.


Thyme: You can plant and use thyme as a living bug repellent. You can make an infusion with oil or vinegar. Several different varieties of Thyme Essential oil can be found and all work well as a repellent so have fun with this one.


Turmeric: You can make an infusion out of fresh turmeric tubers (don’t bother with powder form). It can be made with oil or vinegar. Though with this herb I think essential oil would work best because you get the concentration and not so much coloring.


Other ingredients to think about:

Vinegar: Did you know that vinegar is a natural repellent too. I like using Apple Cider vinegar because when it dries its smell dissipates. You won’t be a walking salad. Besides repelling bugs vinegar is great for your skin.


Herbal Bug Spray Recipe:


What you need:

8 oz mason jar or another closable container

3-5 dried herbs of your choice

Apple cider vinegar

Spray bottle

  • Fill the jar ½ full of your dried herbs

  • Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar

  • Cap and Shake

  • Place jar in a lighted location (not direct heat) I use my kitchen window because I see the jar.

  • Shake the jar daily for 2 weeks

  • Strain the plant material from the vinegar

  • Pour your vinegar infusion into your spray bottle

  • Label with your cool invented name

  • Place any remaining in a sealed glass container and store in a cool dark place (cabinet is good)

Use your herbal bug spray as needed for repelling those pesky bugs.


Get healthy, be happy & herbal on,





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