Natural Citrus DIY Bug Spray

Natural Citrus DIY Bug Spray

Few things irritate me more than itchy mosquito bites. So I spritz on this all-natural DIY bug spray. It smells great and has citronella oil and other all-natural ingredients said to help repel insects — a plus for us, because I’d prefer not to use chemical bug sprays on my kids. Bonus: It takes less than two minutes to make.

ingredients for Natural Citrus DIY Bug Spray


  • small 3-ounce spray bottle
  • liquid aloe or aloe juice
  • witch hazel
  • citronella oil
  • essential oils (I use a combination of lemon and grapefruit!)
  • water (distilled or boiled and cooled)


Step 1. Fill your bottle halfway with water. I like to use a 3-ounce bottle, so it won’t take up too much room in the diaper bag.

filling bottle with boiled or distilled water for bug spray recipe

Step 2. Add 2 tablespoons of witch hazel. (Fun fact: Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can be used to soothe skin redness, tighten pores, and relieve swelling and burning.) 

recipe for diy bug spray

Step 3. Add 1 teaspoon of the liquid aloe vera. Soothing aloe gives the spray a refreshing twist.

Recipe for DIY bug spray including essential oils

Step 4. Add 1 teaspoon of citronella oil.

Natural Citrus DIY Bug Spray

Step 5. Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon oil and 1/2 teaspoon of grapefruit oil, both of which can be purchased at health food stores, for a delightful citrus scent. Eucalyptus and tea tree oils are also great for homemade bug sprays.

Natural Citrus DIY Bug Spray

Step 5. Shake, shake, shake! You’ll also need to give the bottle a good shake before you apply the spray each time. 

Natural Citrus DIY Bug Spray   Natural Citrus DIY Bug Spray 

And there you have it! Toss a bottle of this spray in your purse or diaper bag. It smells so much better than store-bought bug spray and is a lot easier on the skin — a win-win, in my book.

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Photos: Lexy Ward