DIY: Natural Insect Repellent

I think we can all agree that outdoor fun is the best part of Summer. But whether or not you are chilling on your porch, in the woods, or by a lake there always seems to be pesky insects waiting to attack! And as annoying as those buzz-killing creatures can be, covering yourself from head to toe in chemicals to ward them off can be just as vexing. Here are some natural, do it yourself solutions so you can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about bugs!

Make a Citronella Candle

With wax flakes, a pair of chopsticks, a mason jar, a candle wick, tape, citronella oil, eucalyptus essential oil, a glass measuring cup, a medium sized pot, an oven mitt and some scissors you can make your very own insect-repellent candle (note: you can use any essential oils of your choosing, some more options for insect-repelling essential oils are listed below).

First grab the wick, chopsticks, and tape. Pinch the wick between the center of the two chopsticks and tape their ends together tightly. This will help to keep the wick straight as the candle sets.

Set the chopsticks horizontal upon the rim of the mason jar. Adjust the wick s length below the chopsticks so that the metal bottom of the wick sits flat at the base of the jar.

Fill the saucepan about half full of water and bring it to the stove. Make sure the glass measuring cup can fit inside of the saucepan without causing overflow. Add the wax flakes to the measuring cup and place it inside the pot of water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Heat the wax flakes until they are fully melted (note: depending on the type of wax you are using the time and amount of heat it needs to melt will vary. Make sure to follow the instructions they came with.)

Once the wax is melted add the citronella and eucalyptus oils to the melted wax. For small to medium sized candles 10-13 drops of citronella oil and 5-8 drops of eucalyptus oil will do.

Turn off the heat and be very careful when removing the measuring cup from the stove. The pot, water, and glass will all be very hot. Slowly pour the wax into the prepared mason jars making sure to stop pouring before the wax reaches the lip of the jar.

Wait several minutes to let the wax cool and place the candle in the fridge or freezer. Make sure the chopsticks are still balanced nicely on top of the jar. The wax will harden in a few hours and you ll be able to slide the wick out from the chopsticks easily. Trim the wick no taller than half an inch and no shorter than a quarter of an inch from the top of the wax.

Your candle is ready! Place it wherever you choose, light it, and enjoy a pest-free Summer!

Make a Rub-on Repellent

If you are on the move and want something topical to protect you from bugs, you can use essential oils mixed with a base oil to do so in a natural and healthy way. Mix 3-5 drops of one of the following essential oils per teaspoon of a base oil for a delicious smelling, bug-repelling solution.

  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil

  • Peppermint Essential Oil

  • Geranium Essential Oil

  • Clove Essential Oil

  • Thyme Essential Oil

  • Basil Essential Oil

  • Lemon Essential Oil

  • Lavender Essential Oil

  • Blue Cypress Essential Oil

  • Idaho Tansy Essential Oil

  • Lemongrass Essential Oil

  • Patchouli Essential Oil

  • Sage Essential Oil

  • Rosemary Essential Oil

  • Citronella Essential Oil

Make a Spray

If you are looking for a safe insect repellent spray, mix ½ cup distilled water with ½ apple cider vinegar or witch hazel (witch hazel has a nicer scent) and 40-50 drops of any combination of the oils listed above. Combine these ingredients within an 8 oz spray bottle and you re ready to go! Great for kids, dogs, and adults.

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