Updated: Sep 21
We get asked about this often so here are your answers to all questions about essential oil based bug repellents. Thank you for inquiring! Blog refreshed on 9/19/23, originally written in 2016.
Does it exist? YES!
Does it work? YES!
What's in it? Natural oils, sometimes water & witch hazel too, other times our herb infused base oil.
It's the perfect time of year to be outside but sometimes those pesky bugs prohibit our fun (and leave us so darn itchy!). And if you're like me and don't like to purchase or use products containing harmful ingredients, you may feel lost when looking for a natural alternative to traditional bug sprays. It's a good thing, then, that Mother Nature provides us with natural repellents to these bugs. Let's all be curious as to what we're applying to our skin, inhaling into our lungs, and getting in our delicate eyes. Below we will identify several essential oils that serve as effective bug repellents as well as ways to safely apply them.
Natural Bug Repellents in the ZeetaBody line
Oils: apply to your skin prior to time with the bugs, safe for children
Take a Load Off
(pictured: Zeeta Body bug repellent)
Sprays: apply to your skin, clothing & hair prior to time with the bugs, safe for children
Scrubs: Use when you bath prior to time with the bugs, safe for children
I first tested my products as a bug repellent a long time ago while hiking in Southern Utah with my old dog Kona. I started my day as usual by washing my face and applying Luscious Facial Oil. However, while applying this beautiful and floral scent it occurred to me that I was planning on walking through mosquito filled woods after a fresh rain and the Jasmine and Lavender in that blend would actually attract bugs. And because I was away from home, my options were limited. Luckily I had some Smooth Pre-Shave Oil with me, which contains Eucalyptus and Lemongrass essential oils, two oils bugs hate!
So I went to work applying a generous amount of the Smooth onto my exposed skin, arms, neck, shins and ankles (yes I was giving this a TRUE test and wore calf to ankle exposed pants, socks and shoes). Then off Kona and I went!
Since this sweet dog was close to 15 years old at the time of our hike, we took our time walking through the woods, crossing creeks on plank bridges stationed directly in the middle of where flying insects both live and FEED. We spent a total of 60 minutes in the woods before emerging into a lovely grassy area that was perfect for us to rest. There were a lot of bugs here too! They swarmed around us as we rested on the lawn and I tried my best to resist swatting them away. After all, I was putting my products to the test.
After several hours of our journey had passed, I took a moment to see how many times I was bitten throughout the day. I was pleased to find only one solitary bite, which was on my left shoulder blade. I'm guessing I simply missed that area when I was applying the oil earlier. Either way, I was pretty pumped! Looks like the Smooth combination of Eucalyptus and Lemongrass essential oils came to the rescue yet again. It's no wonder these two oils are well regarded as bug repellents in the Aromatherapy world. And what about that one slightly irritating spot where some lucky bug got a tiny drink of my sweet blood? I put on a little dab of that Luscious Facial Oil I had handy. The itch went away and I had a huge smile on my face.
Nothing was gonna get in the way of me enjoying nature in full bloom with my best friend.
Since the time of the above referenced walk occurred, I've put several other Zeeta Body Oil blends to this test. I'm thrilled to report to you that the following Zeeta Oils work wonderfully to keep biting bugs away. Try Happy Hippy, No Worries, Exhilarating Eucalyptus, or Take a Load Off for yourself and please leave us a comment about how our oils worked for you.
If you're looking to DIY essential oil bug repellent for your family, here are my top picks for essential oils that effectively repel mosquitos and other insects.
Hope these suggestions on natural bug repellents for skin were helpful to you. Have a great time in the great outdoors! xo, Christine
Original post 08/16/2016, updated 09/19/2023