Ban the Bugs With Essential Oils – DIY Bugs-B-Gone Candles & Spray

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It seems to me, that every year I feel like the bugs come out bigger, badder, and stronger. Last year the grasshoppers ate my entire vegetable garden; but this year, I have plans to prevent any bug infestations from ruining any outdoor fun I want to have! I have created The Hippy Homemaker Bug-B-Gone candles and spray. The smell of this spray is absolutely wonderful and refreshing. We have even sprayed this spray on our picnic tables and blankets, to help keep the bugs off of our area. This spray works so well that I carry a bottle of it in my purse, just in case!

DEET is a toxic insecticide that can cause serious healthy issues

Before my Hippy Homemaker days, I used to spray myself with those chemical bug repellents that contain Deet in them. Little did I know, I was covering my body in something more harmful than the bugs that it was repelling. According to

“DEET should be used with caution due to its possible damaging effects on brain cells. Studies have shown that DEET causes brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats after frequent and prolonged use. This exposure causes neurons to die in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory, and concentration. Rats treated with an average human dose of DEET (40 mg/kg body weight) performed far worse when challenged with physical tasks requiring muscle control, strength and coordination. These findings are consistent with reported human symptoms following DEET's use by the military in the Persian Gulf War.

With heavy exposure to DEET and other insecticides, humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath. These symptoms may not be evident until months or even years after exposure. The most severe damage occurs when DEET is used concurrently with other insecticides, such as permethrin, for prolonged and frequent periods of time. At this time, there is little information about the short-term, singular and occasional use of DEET. Further government testing of the chemical's safety is necessary. However, frequent and long-term use of DEET, especially in combination with other chemicals or medications, could cause brain deficits in vulnerable populations, particularly children.”

Ban the Bugs with DIY Bugs-B-Gone Spray & Candles -

The Hippy Homemaker's Bug-B-Gone Candles

NOTE: This blend is safe for use around children 6+ years of age or older due to the essential oils in this recipe! If you would like to make a kid-friendly bug repelling blend, try making my Bugs-B-Gone Jr. essential oil blend. 



  1. In a double boiler (or mason jar in a pan of boiling water), melt the soy wax, stirring every so often.
  2. Set up the wick (some people like to put a little dab of glue on the bottom of it so that it stays in place better, but I usually just rest a chopstick on each side of it to hold it in place) inside of the container that you have chosen for your candle.
  3. Once the wax is melted, remove from heat and mix the essential oils into the soy wax.
  4. Pour the wax into the containers and let cool/harden. They're ready for use!

Ban the Bugs with DIY Bugs-B-Gone Spray & Candles -

The Hippy Homemaker's Bug-B-Gone Spray

NOTE: This blend is safe for use around children 6+ years of age or older due to the essential oils in this recipe! If you would like to make a kid-friendly bug repelling blend, try making my Bugs-B-Gone Jr. essential oil blend. 



  1. Combine all the ingredients into the spray bottle
  2. Shake and spray all over the body before heading outside to play! We take it with us and spray down our picnic blankets/tables and chairs with it too! It smells amazing and works great!
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All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

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  • Emily

    can you substitute the witch hazel in the bug spray for water or another liquid?

  • Priscilla Porter

    I made the bug spray a few days ago, and it doesn’t seem to work for me. Do you have any suggestions?

    • you might try the kids version using patchouli in it! Some oils work better than others for certain bugs in certain areas

  • Pingback: Bugs-B-Gone Jr. - A Kid-Safe Bug Repeling Essential Oil Blend - TheHippyHomemaker()

  • Mindy

    Is this bug spray safe for children under 6?

    • funny you should ask that because i am working on a post for this week on that right now! Keep your eyes peeled!!!

  • Jodie

    Would the spray work on toddlers?

    • Christina

      sure does! Just switch out the eucalyptus and peppermint out for sweet orange, geranium, cedarwood, or tea tree, for child friendly versions!

  • Pingback: DIY Bug Spray- NO CHEMICALS | Redeeming Simple Living()


    Is the bug be gone ok to spray on dogs?

    • Christina

      Hi there! I would not use the human bug spray on your dog! It has too many essential oils for your dog. Because dogs are smaller and their organs are smaller, (also they can smell things way better than us) their dose of essential oils is best in much smaller amounts like babies and small children. There are also certain essential oils that are not safe for dogs but are for humans. (never use any essential oils on cats, they can be toxic to cats.) If you are wanting a great bug repellent for dogs that I make personally, I have this spray formulated specifically for dogs: I will share my recipe in this weeks post so you can make it yourself if you would like 🙂

  • Kelly

    I just happened to stumble across your page and love the bug repellant candle recipe idea. I have citronella, lavender and eucalyptus oils on hand. Do you have a ratio that you can recommend? How many drops should be used for each pound of soy wax? I’m trying to be frugal with the cost to make the candle so is there a minimum amount of oil that can be used yet still be effective?

    • The general rule of thumb for essential oils is 1 tsp esstential oils to one pound of soy wax. Some essential oils are better than others for candles as the scent on top notes like most citrus disapear fast but when combined with ones that have more staying power like eucalyptus, lemongrass, etc then they have more staying power. Citronella, lavender, and eucalyptus should be a GREAT mixture for your bug off candles! good luck and don’t forget to add your essential oils after you have removed the wax from heat. I even like to wait about until the wax has cooled just a little more (but not hardening of course) and be sure to stir very well!

  • Michelle

    any idea what would work on stink bugs?

    • I know that citronella works the best but they also hate peppermint, so I would make a mixture of citronella and peppermint essential oils