Keep Bugs at Bay the Natural Way: DIY Bug Repellent and Citronella Candles

So, you’ve been diligently following along with all of our amazing #FPEarthMonth content, getting back to nature and feeling good… There’s just one problem when it comes to getting outdoors and giving back to the earth, especially this time of year: the bugs. I think we can all agree, mosquitos are the worst. As is the Maine blackfly, the Massachusetts greenhead, and – scourge of the entire earth that they are – ticks. Seasonal bugs can be more than just nuisance this time of year, depending on the weather and your geographical location they can seriously dampen any outdoor time you have planned and even pose the greater threat of disease. It’s best to repel them, but most commercial bug repellents and citronella candles are rife with chemicals that are not only bad for you, but wreak havoc on the environment as well.

Today I’m sharing two natural ways to clear the air of unwanted guests and make the time you spend in your garden, on your porch, or blazing trails even more enjoyable. The citronella candle below is perfect to place on an outdoor table or bench for when you’re reading outside or hosting guests for an outdoor feast. Make a few and scatter them throughout the space to cast a warm glow and discourage mosquitos from joining the party. The DIY bug spray recipe is 100% natural, meaning that it’s free and clear of DEET (that stands for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide and it’s incredibly harmful… the proper name alone should be enough to scare you off). Read on for the steps and then get yourself outdoors! #FPEarthMonth may be nearing its end, but the most beautiful time of the year is just beginning!

DIY Citronella Candle & Bug Spray

Natural Bug Spray

Organic Witch Hazel

20 drops cedarwood essential oil

30-35 drops citronella essential oil

Boiled or distilled water, cooled

1 oz dark glass spray bottle

DIY Citronella Candle & Bug Spray

Add the essential oil drops to the spray bottle (you’ll need more drops if your bottle is larger than 1 oz). Fill the bottle halfway with the witch hazel and halfway with the boiled or distilled water. Screw on the cap and give it a shake! Spray clothing and body — avoiding the eyes — before going outdoors to repel bugs, reapply as needed.

DIY Citronella Candle & Bug Spray

All-Natural Citronella Candles

Wax (soy or beeswax)

20 drops cedarwood essential oil (per jar)

30-35 drops citronella essential oil (per jar)

Candle wicks

Stick or skewer

Metal clip

Jars or clean, empty cans

Double boiler

Dried lavender (optional)

DIY Citronella Candle & Bug Spray

Melt the wax in the double boiler until completely liquefied. Dip the metal end of the wick into the heated wax and press it to the bottom of your jar or can and allow the wax to harden. Wrap the end of the wick around the skewer and use the metal clip to affix the string to the skewer, holding the wick in place. If using the lavender, sprinkle a small amount in the bottom of the jar.

Once the wax is completely melted, add the essential oil drops and mix (I used another skewer for this). Carefully pour the melted wax into the jar. Allow to harden completely before removing the clip and skewer and trimming the wick.

DIY Citronella Candle & Bug Spray

To use, light in a well-ventilated space to discourage unwanted guests. Enjoy!

DIY Citronella Candle & Bug Spray

Check out more #FPEarthMonth posts from BLDG 25!

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8 years ago

Good to know! I might need this in summer.

8 years ago

This is so awesome! I’m looking forward to trying out the spray!

Warm Regards,
www. Little Wild Heart .com

8 years ago

I made the natural bug spray last summer and it works. I love it and I feel so happy that I am not spraying chemicals on my body.

8 years ago

Hate bugs! Now that it’s summer they’re gonna have an influx in LA! Yikes!

8 years ago

this came at such a good time! I’m constantly on my balcony especially at night, so I’ve been on the look out for citronella candles, so stoked to try these!

8 years ago

Bug Shield Lemon Eucalyptus Is Amazing if you’re looking for a natural insect repellent that can stand up to DEET. I have used this product and it works Great. Just a few sprays and bugs stay away for hours.