START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

An Herbal Force: DIY Bug Balm

An Herbal Force: DIY Bug Balm

Originally spotted on Unplugged Sunday: a recipe for a natural bug repelling defense. Remodelista editor Alexa decided to give it a try, with the hope to thwart mosquitos and other summer insects with “a force of rosemary, catnip, lavendar, and lemon.” See below for the recipe; to read the entire post, go to DIY: Bug Repellent Balm on Gardenista.

To make the bug repellent, you will need:

  • 1 cup dried calendula flowers
  • 1 cup fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup dried catnip
  • A mix of olive and coconut oil (about 2 cups total)
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • Lavender and lemon essential oils (about 10 drops each)
  • Double boiler/ sauce pan and bowl
  • Cheesecloth
  • Liquid measuring cup and glass jar
  • 4-5 lidded jars

Gather your fresh and dried herbs: calendula flowers for skin soothing, rosemary for bug repelling, and catnip as an anti-mosquito solution.

Above: Equipment needed to bring the salve together. To start: Set up your double boiler and bring water to a boil.

Above: Add the rosemary, calendula, and catnip to the top bowl and cover with enough olive and coconut oil to completely submerge the herbs. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes to slowly heat up the oil.

Above: The final result: lemon-yellow salve to ward off insects on your next outdoor hike.

We’d like to know: Do you have any natural ways to ward off bugs during the warmer months?

Be sure to visit Gardenista for other natural DIY recipes.


Read more: Family, Natural Pest Control, Natural Remedies, Nature, Remodelista, , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


Gardenista is a one-stop sourcebook for cultivated living, a guide to outdoor design and gardening. Helmed by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista features inspiration, garden visits, and advice for all things outdoor living, from patios and peonies, to tables and terraces. Gardens matter, and Gardenista celebrates tomatoes on the fire escape as much as rolling acres of green.


+ add your own
7:01PM PDT on Oct 13, 2012


6:50AM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

I melt the beeswax into olive oil and pour it into the jars adding essential oils of citronella and eucalyptus while it is warm but before it sets.

8:35AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

thanks... has anyone tried this?

6:23AM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

It's a little too complicated for me. I've heard that rubbing catnip alone on the skin can repel mosquitoes.

6:44AM PDT on Jul 1, 2012


8:33PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Thanks for sharing this. I think I'm too lazy to attempt it though.

3:21PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Thanks for posting.

3:00PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

definitely worth trying a naturally made bug repellent, am very leary of the commercial ones.

2:47PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012


2:40PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

Thank you, appreciate this. I have been thinking about making a natural repellent, so I will try this.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

How could the other cat resist that?

Avocados and nuts for me :)

Informative. Thank you for posting.

Black pepper power!


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!