DEET-free is the way to be!

Keep bugs at bay with home-made spray

deet free bug spray for kids hudson valley new york

On my most recent hiking adventure to the Mount Beacon fire tower, two things were blatantly obvious.

           1. The bugs are back in full-force!

           2. I need a reliable DEET-free bug repellent... stat!

When I arrived at the base of Mount Beacon, I saw a bevy of early bird hikers coming down the mountain with full-on beekeeper helmets adorning their heads.

That should have clued me in to the steep influx of bugs, but nevertheless, I continued up the mountain sans bug repellent.  Thousands of bug-bites later, I made it back to my home and vowed I’d find a reliable bug repellent that didn’t contain harsh chemicals like DEET.

Since then, I’ve tried several combinations of store-bought natural bug repellents and home-made concoctions. My home-made solution actually won me over because it actually worked! I admit, I was a little skeptical at first. I also liked my home-made bug repellent better because it put me in control of what I put on my body rather than wondering what weird chemicals could be lurking in my spray bottle. 

What you’ll need

- Distilled water.

- Witch hazel

- Coconut oil

- 40 drops of essential oil (citronella, cedar, clove, lavender, geraniol, eucalyptus, lemongrass or mint)



1. Fill 8 ounce spray bottle 1/2 full with distilled water.

2. Add witch hazel until the bottle is almost full.

 3. Add 1/2 tsp of coconut oil.

 4. Add 40 drops of essential oils.

5. Shake and spray!

My go-to essential oil solution is 10 drops citronella oil mixed with 10 drops of cedar oil. I love strong scents (frankincense is my absolute favorite essential oil). If you like lighter scents, you can opt for a mix of lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, or mint.