Easy & Natural Bug Spray



Written by Liz, Contributing Writer
In my multiple trips to the Dominican Republic, I’ve learned a lot.
Things like…
    • Plantains are God’s gift to His people.



  • The poverty we deal with in the US is filthy rich compared to that in the rest of the world.




  • And did you know that six people can fit on a moped? (You have to see it to believe it!)


But perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned…I am a mosquito magnet.
Yes, it’s true. Unfortunately, in one week’s time I’ve managed to acquire approximately 75 mosquito bites all over my body despite spraying myself down with 97% DEET three times a day, every day (yuck!). And these weren’t your average run of the mill bug bites either. They were quarter-sized and swollen, and they left scars. Of course I know the mosquitos are far more populous in that area of the world, but still! Since I wanted to avoid taking preventative malaria pills, this was concerning, to say the least. After it happened twice, I knew I had to find a better way.
So two trips ago, I decided to ask the midwife I was working for at the time, who is a natural remedy enthusiast, what the best natural mosquito repellent is. She gave me a three-word answer…bergamot essential oil!


photo credit
A bergamot is a citrus fruit that looks like a cross between an orange and a lime, and it grows mainly in Italy. I think it smells like fruit loops, but for some reason, mosquitoes don’t like it and won’t bite you if you are wearing its essential oil in a diluted form!
When I used this mosquito repellent in the Dominican, I got THREE (I repeat, THREE!) mosquito bites instead of the usual 75! I was floored. Let’s give it up for God’s natural medicine!
So here’s what you’ll need to make your easy, natural mosquito repellent:
-Distilled water (make sure it’s distilled or it won’t work!)
Bergamot Essential Oil (you can get this at your local health food store)
-Spray bottle (this one is 3 ounces because I’m taking it in a carry-on for my trip to Tennessee)


What to do:
It’s unbelievably easy to make. Just fill your bottle with the distilled water and add your bergamot oil. If you’re using a travel 3-ounce spray bottle like me, add 15 drops of oil. But you can multiply or divide that amount for however much you’re making. To use, just spray it on like you would any other bug spray. It’s that simple! Bergamot essential oil is safe for use on children, babies, and pregnant women (unlike DEET, which never worked for me anyway), so feel free to use this on the whole family!


If you are really trying to avoid the bugs, another tip I’ve found useful is to use unscented everything (shampoo, body wash, deodorant, etc.) JASON has some fragrance-free stuff and so does Tom’s of Maine. This makes a huge difference, too! Also, check out these ideas and ways to care for your bites naturally.
What about you? Have you found a good method for keeping the bugs away from your precious skin?


  1. I have been hearing a lot about bergamot oil though I have never tried it. Just three ingredients. I like, will give it a try. Roechelle @ http://www.hugatreewithme.com

  2. Isn’t bergamot photo sensitive? Won’t you burn?

    • Hey there, I have used it in the Dominican Republic where the sun is very intense and never gotten badly burnt. Just make sure you are also applying coconut oil or a safe sunscreen to your skin.

  3. So glad to have found this! Love the smell of bergamot anyway 🙂

  4. Liz, I made this for a raffle at our Summer Safety workshop last night, it was a big hit and very helpful! Thanks!

  5. Great story and experience you shared with making your own insect repellent.
    Thanks for sharing it on Natural Living Monday!

  6. Hello, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR RECIPE! I also have the same question as CD LOVER… I have been reading a lot about Bergamot and one of the things everyone emphasizes on is that it is a photosensitive oil and that you shouldn’t have sun exposure within the next 12 hrs. from putting it on topically. Do you think they are talking about putting it on NEAT with no dilution with a carrier oil or like your bug repellent spray? Sorry, to ask, but this really concerns me because I have Bergamot and want to use it, but now I am a little scared on how to use it…