If you are thinking of cramming in a little sunshine break this September then you might be tempted to grab a bottle of insect repellent to prevent those nasty bites and irritations, however, most mosquito and insect repellents contain DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide) a very effective insect repellent that was developed in 1946, but one that has raised a few health concerns, including its links with insomnia, mood disruption and confusion, many specialists have linked prolonged use of this chemical with neurological disorders. In addition to this many people find DEET sprays causes then to suffer skin irritation and rashes, thankfully, natural bug spray can be made inexpensively and naturally at home.

Essential Oil Bug Spray Recipe

Whether home or away this bug spray will keep the bugs at bay.


  • Essential oils: 10 drops Citronella, 4 drops Clove, 4 drops Rosemary, 4 drops Tea Tree, 4 drops Cedar, 4 drops Lavender
  • Natural Witch Hazel
  • Distilled or boiled Water
  • Vegetable glycerinebugs

Homemade Bug Spray Instructions

  1. Fill a spray bottle 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
  2. Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top
  3. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine
  4. Add your pure essential oils to the spray bottle
  5. shake well before every application.
  6. store out of direct sunlight

Please be aware that essential oil can stain clothing so caution must be exercised.

  1. How to Make Bug Spray From Dried or Fresh Herbs

Seren’s Super Strong Insect Repellent Recipe

A word of warning this mixture is very pungent when it is wet, but don’t be off-put by this as the smell disappears as it dries.

It works incredibly well, is inexpensive and you probably have the ingredients loitering in your kitchen cupboards.

  • 500 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dried Sage,
  • 2tbsp dried Rosemary,
  • 2 tbsp dried Lavender seeds,
  • 2 tbsp dried Thyme
  • 2 tbsp dried Mint
  • 2 tbsp dried calendula (marigold petals) (optional)

Kilner style jar with a good seal

Spray bottles


  1. Put the vinegar and dried herbs into your glass jar
  2. Seal tightly and store out of direct sunlight in a cool place. Shake well each day for 2-3 weeks.
  3. After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out and store in spray bottles or tincture bottles, preferably in fridge or a cool place
  4. To use on skin, dilute to half with water in a spray bottle and use as needed.


This mixture has great anti-bacterial qualities and is a useful home remedy to have to hand, as in addition to be being a good bug deterrent it can be used to treat cuts, grazes and as an anti-bacterial foot spray.

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com