Our garden has been growing at an incredible rate, thanks to the attentions of my husband, and his right-hand toddler man. Here in North Carolina, the mosquitoes are terrible, especially in the garden in the afternoon/evening. I wanted to make some bug spray for my men to use to rescue them from biting insects, and spiders.
I discovered that making your own bug spray is literally as easy as making a cup of tea. The ingredients are incredibly affordable and have a long shelf life before being mixed together.
I went to my favorite natural health store in town to get the essential oils that are most effective. I've found my local natural health store to be an incredible resource - both for ingredients and for advice. These people really love what they sell, and have much more experience than me. The chain stores (of which we have two) will try to point you to the $20 bottle of all natural, herbal, yada, yada, that they have pre-mixed on their shelf. But this little unimposing store was immediately on board with my DIY desire, and helped me pick out the most effective essential oils.
I decided on citronella ($3.50) and lemongrass ($6.00) for the essential oils. Growing in my garden, I have spearmint and lavender. However if I didn't have these plants I could have puchased them dried at a very low cost.
Here is list of ingredients I used:
- Dried lavender flowers
- Dried spearmint leaves
- Citronella essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Rubbing alcohol or Witchhazel
Finally, I poured the whole thing into a spray bottle. For ease of evaporation, I decided to add some rubbing alcohol. Witchhazel is another (but more expensive) option if you want the spray to more quickly evaporate on the skin. I added enough rubbing alcohol to produce 10 oz total of bug spray. This is a minimal amount. Some people double the amount of liquid by adding much more alcohol or witchhazel.
It cost me less than $10, and will make enough bug spray to last many, many, months of summers. No harsh chemicals, inexpensive, and effective!