Buzz-Off Bugs! DIY Natural Bug Repellent

As much as I love being outdoors, I hate getting bug bites!

There are lots of commercial bug repellents out there, but most of them contain chemicals I don’t want to put on my body or my children’s bodies. Instead, I use essential oils to get bugs to buzz off.

Try my buzz-off balm recipe:

Warm 1/3 – 1/4 cup of coconut oil and pour into a small, closeable container. (I love to repurpose containers I have from other products, like the tins from Bach Flower Remedy lozenges.)

Add 10 drops of each of the following essential oils: citronella, lavender and peppermint.

Mix slightly and allow to cool and solidify. In warmer weather, you may want to keep this in the fridge or a cool, dry place to keep it from liquifying.

Take a little of the balm and run between the palms of your hands and then over exposed skin before heading outside.

Note: sometimes essential oils (particularly citrus oils) can make the skin photosensitive or more likely to burn. Be sure to use a non-toxic sunblock in addition to this bug repellant.

Listen to my Green Divas Radio Show podcast segment to learn more about how to get those bugs to buzz off without all the nasty toxins.

By Green Diva Kate Bartolotta.


Sonia M
Sonia M4 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Ruth S
Ruth S5 months ago


Christine Jones
Christine J2 years ago

Long, loose sleeves and trousers are a great help in warding off biters.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

I'm going to give your concoction a try, since I hate bugs biting me!!

Janis K.
Janis K3 years ago


Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Good information. Thanks for sharing.

Darlene Buckingham
shawn a3 years ago

All citrus essential oils make the skin more photosensitive and should never be used if you intend to go out in the sunshine. Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen but it always must be remembered that too much sun damages your skin and is not good for you. Early morning sun or late afternoon sun is the best time to sunbathe and 20 minutes tops. At all other times it is important to wear a hat and protective light clothing in the sun. At high noon always stay in the shade or under an umbrella. Sunscreens are not good for you and make you think you can stay in the sun longer. Sunscreens and Deet together is a chemical cocktail - never use them together and cut back on the sunscreen as much as you can. I personally don't use them now at all. Essential oils work very well to ward off bugs and there is no reason to use toxic chemicals. If you get a bite use plantain to take away the itch. Plantain is an edible herb - very delicious and nutritious. Chew the leaves slightly and rub on your bite. Amazing how it takes the itch away! There are many other ways to take the itch away and can be researched on line as to what is most easily available to you. Enjoy the summer and get your vitamin D from the sun safely!.

John S.
Past Member 3 years ago

I must be missing something with your warning "Note: sometimes essential oils (particularly citrus oils) can make the skin photosensitive or more likely to burn." Perhaps it's the coconut oil, which is an accelerator, though a healthy one.

Liv B.
Liv B3 years ago

Thanks. I will give it a try but don't hold out much hope as every natural remedy recommendation I have tried hasn't worked. I am convinced that nothing will stop a mosquito in need of blood to lay eggs...well other than swatting them.

Sam E M.
Sam E M3 years ago

Sounds good. I worried about burning till I saw the added note. Thanks. :)