Bug Away Spray Bouquet

I don’t know what it is, but it has been absolutely beautiful here lately! With record-breaking temperatures in the 80s this weekend (I know, what month is it again and in what state??), I’ve been spending lots of time outside playing with Jamisen, catching up on some reading outside, and even hosting a baby Sprinkle party for our new Bramble girl (more on that coming soon).

But unfortunately with our wet Pacific Northwest climate we get a ton of mosquitos, and bites can ruin summer fun pretty quickly (now imagine a two year old with mosquito bites… that’s DEFINITELY a fun-ruiner). That’s why I’ve come up with a few natural bug sprays to keep your summers bite-free.

Both contain a simple mixture of non-greasy, quick absorbing fractionated coconut oil and two different blends of essential oils that have been specifically selected  for their bug repelling properties. Now onto our sprays — or as I’m calling them, our Bug Away Bouquets!

Lavender Bug Bouquet – Spray #1

This first spray smells fantastic and contains lots of lavender essential oil, which is sometimes used as a natural repellent. As an added bonus, it also soothes bites! Cedarwood oil and Clove Leaf oil are also excellent natural repellents.

What you’ll need:

8 oz. Fractionated Coconut Oil

7 mL Hungarian Lavender Essential Oil

2 mL Cedarwood Essential Oil

1 mL Peppermint Essential Oil

1 mL Clove Leaf  Essential Oil

8 oz Bottle with Spray Top

Click here to add everything you need for this project to your Bramble Berry shopping cart! And remember, you can always remove anything you don’t need.

ONE: Begin by measuring out the Fractionated Coconut Oil.

TWO: With the coconut oil poured, now you can add the essential oils. Because I’m working with oils in such small amounts, I used a plastic dropper to add the oils. I started with Hungarian Lavender first.

THREE: Now add the Peppermint 2nd Distillation.

FOUR: Then the Cedarwood.

FIVE: And finally the Clove Leaf.

SIX: Give your oils a good stir to fully incorporate them into the coconut oil.

SEVEN: Using a funnel, pour the mixture in an 8 oz. bottle. Bugs, beware!

Catnip & Citronella Bug Bouquet – Spray #2

Use this spray if you need some serious bug be gone power! Citronella and Catnip are bug repelling heavyweights, and Geranium oil gives the mixture a little added strength.

What you’ll need:

8 oz. Fractionated Coconut Oil

4 mL Hungarian Lavender Essential Oil

2 mL Citronella Essential Oil

2 mL Catnip Essential Oil

2 mL Egyptian Geranium

8 oz Bottle with Spray Top

Click here to add everything you need for this project to your Bramble Berry shopping cart! And remember, you can always remove anything you don’t need.

ONE: Just like in the first mixture, measure out the Fractionated Coconut Oil.

TWO: Start with the Hungarian Lavender Essential Oil. Be careful, there is slightly less in this recipe than in the last one.

THREE: Now for the Citronella. A little bit goes a long way!

FOUR: Our catnip comes in itty-bitty bottles, and just like the Citronella, a little bit goes a long way.

FIVE: Finally, add in the Egyptian Geranium.

SIX: Give the mixture a good stir and then using a funnel, slowly pour the mixture into an 8 oz. bottle.

All done! Now you’re ready for some bug-free summer adventures =)

Wondering how we figured out which essential oils to put in here? A lot of research! Here are some patented natural bug recipes that I found browsing the patent library – here, here and here. That, coupled with copious reading in essential oil books and magazines led me to these blends. Need more bug fighting power? Take a look at our Bite Me Not Bar and a Bug Be Gone Candle. Finally, you can certainly experiment with different combinations of essential oils. There’s a great thread on the Teach Soap forum with some ideas. Got a favorite combination? Tell us about it in the comments below. Until then, here’s to hoping that your summer is bug free!

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  1. Ozge says

    I love everything about Brambleberry and the awesome recipes, thanks for sharing these with us!

    I would like to know if there is a substitute for Fractionated Coconut Oil as it is out of stock on Brambleberry?


  2. Shanon says

    I know this is an old post but a still a very hot topic this time of year. :) I’d like to make a bug away spray with lemon eucalyptus, citronella, cedarwood, & lavender to make it more pleasant smelling in witch hazel. Does 8 fl oz witch hazel, 4 ml lav, and 2 ml each of the lemon euc, citron, & cedar sound ok? Thanks in advance!

  3. Sibs says

    This summer we’ll be hiking in the rainforest in SE Asia and I’m looking forward to making up a batch of this insect repellent. Hopefully it’ll work on leeches too. :-)

    I’ve never tried oil based sprays, and I’m worried about the fractionated coconut oil possibly clogging the spray nozzle. I suppose I could bring a backup bottle made with witch hazel just in case. What has been your experience with oil sprays? Also, I was wondering if I could substitute the fractionated coconut oil with meadowfoam or rice bran oil. I don’t have FCO on hand and since meadowfoam and rice bran oil have natural UV properties that could come in handy under the blazing hot Equator sun.

    • says

      Hi Sibs!

      Oh how fun! I’m jealous :) The great thing about fractionated coconut oil, is unlike regular coconut oil, it is liquid at room temperature. I personally have not had any trouble with oil sprays, as long as the oil is liquid :). You could definitely use another oil if you’d like, I would recommend making a small test batch first to see what you think!

      -Amanda with Bramble Berry

  4. Tara says

    Thank you for such a wonderful post! I’m so glad to know that the sprays are safe for both clothing and skin. With that said, I do have an 8 month old little girl and I’m trying to find some kind of bug repellent for her. My fiance seems to think these sprays will be fine to use on her, but I remember learning from the Queen’s videos that EOs are very strong & powerful. What, if any, solutions are there for babies? TIA!

    • says

      Hi Tara!

      As with any recipe that you are using on babies, you will want to talk to your physician before trying it out. The Fractionated Coconut Oil in these bug-away bouquets should be just fine for her skin, but I would consult with your doctor before using the essential oils, as some of them can irritate the more sensitive and new skin of babies.

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  5. Sly says

    I love your first recipe for bug spray – it’s so nice to find something without Citronella, which I don’t care for.

    I just recently found a dead mouse in my basement and discovered it had eaten through really thick plastic to get to some wonderful chocolate I bought in Munich and was stashing away for a gift :-( That made me think of your bug spray and wonder….

    Are there any EO’s that mice don’t like? It would be nice to chase them away rather than put up mouse traps.


  6. LC says

    Picked up my BB order today, just finished making this wonderful recipe, have already rubbed it on my subjects now for the test, lol. Much thanks to you A.M., keep up the good work!!

  7. Mark Robinson says

    I like your recipe an will try it. I have found a product that is already made up and very effective. All natural zero chemicals or DEET. I don’t know if I should mention it here but the company says they buy their EO’s from Bramble Berry to make up the product so i suppose it’s alright. It’s called Bug’s Off used to be Bug Away Spray from Blue Dolphin Soap Co. I think it’s about 14.00 and last about 700 sprays. Thanks for your instruction.

  8. says

    Thank you so much for these new blends, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately to make my own spray as summer is approaching :] Earlier, I read in the comments of your Bite Me Not Bar post that witch hazel could be used as a base, would substituting witch hazel for the fractionated coconut oil work with the proportions of EOs in these recipes?

    • says

      Hi Ashley!

      You can definitely use Witch Hazel as a base for this spray, all you would need to do is add your essential oil blend at the above skin-safe usage rate. As always, make sure to do a patch test on your skin to make sure you don’t have any sensitivities to the EO blend and shake bottle before use. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

    • says

      Oh, that’s a great question – I have a two year old so I’m really thinking about this one. Essential oils are soooooo powerful. I have to say, with my little guy, I’d probably go with a store bought, EPA-registered insecticide just to be on the safe side. Their little bodies are 1/20th the size of ours so I go way overboard on safety with my little guy. =)

    • Dawnia says

      hi –
      I’ve been making the Lotion bars for over a year. I left out the stronger oils and added a little Lemongrass EO. That way its fine for kids, too. Also works to soothe bites. My chiropractor took one to South Africa last Summer and said it worked great!! I live in Florida, where the bugs NEVER go away. Mosquitos are here at Christmas!!
      Love this stuff! Never ever want to use harsh chemicals again!

  9. Talia says

    What wonderful blends! I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out what essential oils to put in my summer lotion bars…We have such a horrible tick problem here I’m afraid to go out wearing shorts! Also I just got my Catnip and Cedarwood essential oil in the mail, so great timing.

    And thanks for including the links! I’ve been trying to decide which Geranium EO to buy and I thinking I’m ready to take the plunge and order some. Yay!

  10. says

    Fract CO doesn’t stain. I find Clove, Citronella and Cinnamon to be very strong. My husband is allergic to cinnamon.

    Love Peppermint and Patchouli together. I am afraid if I use the Catnip my cats will eat me. lol

  11. LuAnn says

    Thank you so much for the recipes, couldn’t have come at a better time! And it’s so nice to see the research to back it up, for those certain people who don’t think anything but DEET will work!
    One question, are clove leaf and clove bud essential oils the same thing? I have looked in numerous books, online, and asked on forums, and nobody seems to know! Every supplier I use, carries one or the other, but not both. They smell exactly the same too. Any ideas?

    • says

      Good morning, LuAnn!

      You will just love these essential oil blends for your bug spray and we can’t wait to hear your feedback on how they work for you.

      Clove Leaf Essential Oil and Clove Bud Essential Oil are actually two different types of EO’s and will provide a slightly different scent, smell and use for your products. We really like the Clove Leaf Essential Oil for this project because it contains all the different compounds to make it the perfect addition to any bug spray.

      I hope this helps! Keep us updated on the bug spray that you end up making and if you get any fun pictures be sure to post them to Bramble Berry’s Facebook page. :)


      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  12. Annie says

    I’m looking forward to trying this as we have TONS of Mosquitos here in Hawaii too! (Actually, we have tons of every kind of bug and they are all gigantic- seriously). I have been itching away since we moved here from Oregon last year, and I just can’t bring myself to buy Deet. Lol- in a fit of itchy desperation a few months ago I used my lavender air freshener that I had made with water, isopropyl alcohol, and lavender essential oil. I thought maybe the lavender would help. Those bites stopped itching immediately! It was like magic! I now keep that spray bottle by my bed. The Mosquitos seem to prefer me over my husband and teens, but with this great sounding recipe I can now take some preventative action. Gotta go- feel an itch :-)

    Anna Marie Tang

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