Around here we use essential oils for cleaning, making sprays to keep the germs away, and diffusing blends to make our home happy and calm – so why not try an essential oil bug spray? Short on time, I got a ready-to-go blend with awesome reviews to try out – Plant Therapy Insect Shield Synergy Blend.
If you want to make your own bug spray with this blend, here’s what you’ll need
- Plant Therapy Insect Shield Synergy Blend
- Witch Hazel
- 4oz spray bottle (dark colored PET if you want plastic for travel)*
What to do
- Fill half of the 4 oz spray bottle with water.
- Add the Witch Hazel to fill the bottle almost full.
- Add about 20-50 drops of Insect Shield Synergy, depending on strength (20 for children, adults up to 50)
I split the difference when making this spray and went with 30 drops formula*, since I would be using it on my son and any adults who wanted to try it. I packed up this spray along with what felt like half of my home and our family took off on our first really long road trip, from California to Wyoming. I wasn’t sure what to expect and my mountaineer brother who we were going to meet while he’s there guiding the Grand Tetons said “the bugs aren’t really that bad right now”… He’s also the guy who will take you on a quick 5 mile hike and forget to mention how much of it is straight up (literally.), so I was prepared for our opinions on “not that bad” to be relative. I was skeptical of the blend at first because I’m not a fan of patchouli, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn’t overwhelm the scent at all.
I’m happy to report that my son did not get a single bug bite!! Even while trekking through tall plants, hiking along waterfalls, boat rides and evenings hanging around the camp site, he stayed in the clear of any bites at all! At first I just sprayed his shoes and clothing, but I was comfortable with how this spray treated his sensitive skin after the first day and I applied more liberally from there.
I only got two itchy mosquito bites myself, way less than I thought I would considering the terrain, the fact that I saw them buzzing around us consistently, and especially the walk I did through the tall plants lead by Duke the chocolate lab (intent on following the sound of the stream ahead!). My parents forgot to bring their own spray and opted to try mine after a few bites. My mom was pleasantly surprised at the scent of the spray and they both used it going forward, keeping them from getting more bites. After the first day I left the spray on the community picnic table for anyone who wanted it – it was used frequently but not used up by any means; a little went a long way.
My husband had brought along his own plant-based deet-free spray, formulated for use in the wilderness, since he was planning doing a lot of fishing and hiking. After the first day he misplaced his spray and used mine – his verdict was that they were “about the same” at keeping him from getting bites (he got a few more than me while he was getting into nature). I think in the future I’ll make a stronger formula for him and go with the 50 drop recommendation for adults.
Overall I am pleased with how well the spray worked and encourage others to try an essential oil spray to shield from insects – using this blend or any other recipes you might have been wanting to try – Go for it!
Want to try another recipe?
As I mentioned, I’m not crazy about Patchouli EO so I did a little research on other insect repellant recipes before ultimately going with this blend. Incase you are interested, here’s one I came across that I wanted to try but didn’t have the time before our trip:
Lavender and Citronella
- 3oz distilled water
- 30 drops Lavender **
- 30 drops Citronella
- Shake well – sensitive skin? Apply to only clothing and shoes (and like the recipe above, dilute more for use with children)
If you tried it, let us know what you think in the comments!
*I used a 1oz glass bottle and quartered the recipe – wanted to give you the 4oz directions since it’s a more common size.
** We link you to a kid safe Lavender option – choose Lavandula angustifolia, like we do, or Lavandula officinalis for use with children, never Lavandula stoechas)
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