Simple Homemade Bug Spray

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I've switched out many different household cleaning products for natural versions that I make myself (like odor eliminator, clothes and diaper detergent, dishwasher soap, and hand soap), but this was the first personal product that I actually tried creating on my own.

Finding a better bug spray was definitely a priority for us once Gv was born, because there was no way we wanted to spray scary chemicals all over our little baby.

But we live in Florida, where bugs are just a part of life all year round, and we like to do things outdoors, so we needed to figure out a solution pretty quickly after she arrived.

I'd seen lots of different recipes for DIY bug spray, but most of them seemed more complicated than I was looking for (my lazy self is always looking for a cheap shortcut), so I decided to experiment a little bit and see if I could come up with something simpler that worked.

While I'm still playing around with some stronger (read: stinkier) formulas that use more potent apple cider vinegar and fresh herbs that steep for a month at a time, I have hit upon a good, everyday mixture that doesn't smell bad and is a snap to throw together.

What You Need

1 part white vinegar (just fill half your bottle with it)

1 part distilled water (fill the other half with this and make sure the water is distilled so you don't grow a colony of disgusting mold!)

10 drops each of a variety of essential oils (we use citronella, tea tree, peppermint and sweet orange to help deter bugs, but we also make sure to include this one so that the spray smells good (which actually helps repel bugs, too!)

an empty spray bottle (I got ours at our local $ store, but these look great, too)

What You Do

1.  Dump everything into your spray bottle.

2.  Shake really well before each use.

3.  Start spritzing!

See, I told you it was easy!  And we've found that the scent is so much better than conventional bug sprays, too.  You might notice a little vinegar smell when you first spray it on, but it fades pretty quickly.  And if one of the oils (like citronella) smells too overpowering, just increase the amount of sweet orange and lavender.  You can even add in your favorite scent to tailor the formula to your preferences!

Do you do battle with bugs whenever you step outside your door, but don't want a flurry of nasty chemicals swirling around your head?  Then try this recipe for a homemade version.  Not only is it more natural, but it's cheap, too!  What do you think?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment here or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.  

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