My love for the great outdoors is deep and eternal, but the threat of bug bits is a constant and nagging concern. I’ve tried a lot of the DEET-free insect repellents on the market and found many to be effective, including non-toxic and better-for-you bug sprays made by Badger and All Terrain. Most natural insect repellents use essential oils I already have, so I started experimenting with making my own by consulting different DIY homemade recipes found online—often bending over bottles in my kitchen laboratory while repeating “I’ll get those mosquitoes!” My preferred bug repellent spray is made with apple cider vinegar diluted with distilled water, a combination of essential oils, and vanilla extract. For each cup of the diluted apple cider vinegar, add approximately 50 drops of essential oils and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
DIY Bug Repellent Spray with Apple Cider Vinegar, Vanilla and Essential Oils
Fill a bottle with:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup distilled water
15 drops citronella essential oil
15 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
5 drops rose geranium essential oil
5 drop grapefruit essential oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Tip: In addition to putting this natural bug repellent in a spray bottle, fill a travel-size perfume spray bottle to pack in your bag when you expect to be outdoors (especially during the evening, when mosquitoes like to feast).