5 Bug Repelling Essential Oil Blends That Actually Smell Good (Kid-Friendly Blends Included)

5 Bug Repelling Essential Oil Blends That Actually Smell Good (Kid-Friendly Blends Included) | Growing Up Herbal | Making homemade bug sprays this summer? Here are 5 bug repelling essential oil blends to repel the bugs and keep you smelling good at the same time!

Why is it that when you think of natural bug repellants your mind automatically goes to citronella essential oil? Who else here thinks citronella products stink? Raise your hand because I know I’m not the only one.

Okay, so even though citronella may not be my favorite essential oil in existence, there’s no doubt that it works to keep the bugs away. Unfortunately most people don’t like its scent either so if you use it, it may keep your friends away too. Over the years I’ve practiced making my fair share of bug repelling products, and I’m glad to say that I eventually graduated from stinky “citronella only” to better smelling repellants because I kept working at perfecting them.

And guess what? Citronella essential oil is not the only option when it comes to making natural bug repellants using essential oils. Why should we stink to repel bugs? I personally don’t think we should have to so today I’m sharing 5 bug repelling essential oil blends with you that you can use in your natural bug repellant products to keep the bugs away without keeping your friends away.

5 Bug Repelling Essential Oil Blends That Smell Good

5 Bug Repelling Essential Oil Blends That Actually Smell Good (Kid-Friendly Blends Included) | Growing Up Herbal | Making homemade bug sprays this summer? Here are 5 bug repelling essential oil blends to repel the bugs and keep you smelling good at the same time!

1. Shield Me Blend by Plant Therapy (formerly Ban The Bugs)

2. Thieves Blend by Mountain Rose Herbs and Learning About EOs

3. Campfire Blend by Growing Up Herbal

4. Lemony Mint Blend by Growing Up Herbal

  • DIY (2+ yrs.): 22 drops lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), 16 drops eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiate), 12 drops citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus)

5. Hippy Bug Blend by Aromahead

So there you go.

5 bug repelling essential oil blends… some you can buy premade and some you can make yourself. These blends should be diluted at a 3-5% dilution (.25-1% dilution for 6 mo. – 2 yrs.) using an appropriate carrier and reapplied as needed.

Before you go, be sure to check out this Essential Oil Bug Blend For Children post. It features another bug repelling essential oil blend specifically for children and shares 3 ways you can use these blends to repel bugs!

What do you use to repel bugs? Do you have a favorite bug repelling essential oil blend? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below!

plant-therapy-logoThis post was underwritten by Plant Therapy. All opinions are mine. Plant Therapy offers 100%, pure, undiluted essential oils sourced from some of the top essential oil suppliers in the world. They have single oils and synergy blends as well as a line of synergy blends specific to children. Not only do they offer high-quality essential oils, but they also offer carrier oils, hydrosols, and other essential oil accessories to help you keep yourself and your home naturally healthy.


  1. Tracy says:

    Is witch-hazel an appropriate carrier for these DYI blends?

    • Meagan says:

      Yes Tracy. Most witch hazel distillates are distilled in an alcohol water mixture. Just keep in mind that most of them are around 60% water and 40% alcohol so the oils will still sit on the surface of the witch hazel. If you’re using it as a spray you’ll just need to shake it well before spraying it on. Hope that helps!

  2. James M. says:

    Growing up in my parents house hold was like living in the 1800’s. My step mother is a botanist, amongst many other things, and has more degrees than I have years of life. So naturally we were taught all about our local plants and herbs and their uses. But one I learned outside of the family was vanilla. I was spending a summer in Western North Carolina learning how to successfully live off the land with limited equipment. One of the guys was always wearing a film canister around his neck. I figured it was hooks or matches. Something that would make life a little easier. Turns out it was cotton balls soaked in vanilla extract. And sure enough it kept the mosquitoes away. I still have never heard of anyone using vanilla for this, but it does work. Ahh… nothing like a bunch of hairy sweaty guys that smell like… Well vanilla.

    • Meagan says:

      That is SO interesting James. I’ve never heard of that before either. I wonder if it was the vanilla scent or the alcohol scent from the extract that repelled them most. I’m definitely trying this though. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Raine Saunders says:

    Hi Megan – thank you for sharing these wonderful, safe ways to keep bugs away, that smell good, and are kid-friendly! I pinned this post!! 🙂

  4. Anita says:

    Hi, I recently ordered Rose Geranium online that was advertised as the Pelargonium Capitatum x radens variety. But when it arrived today, I noticed that it says Pelargonium graveolens. Will it work as effectively as the capitatum x radens to repel ticks? I seem to remember reading somewhere that the graveolens was not the same thing, and would not work to keep ticks away. Thanks for your help.

    • Meagan says:

      I don’t know much about the specific varieties, but I’ve had that happen to me before too (being sent something other than what was advertised). I’d contact them and see if they just packaged the wrong one or if they marketed it wrong. I’d also ask for a refund and find a different brand that has the variety you need.

  5. Anita says:

    Hi, I purchased a Rose Geranium oil that was advertised on the site as Pelargonium captitatum x radens. But when it arrived, I noticed on the bottle that it says Pelargonium graveolens. Are they the same thing? I want something to keep the ticks away. Thanks.

  6. Anita says:

    Whoops, when I checked earlier I didn’t see that you already responded, so please ignore the last comment. Thanks so much for your help–I will check with them and see if they have the capitatum variety. 🙂

  7. Jamie says:

    If I use the Thieves Blend formulated for 6 mo. – 2yrs, is the 3-5% dilution rate safe for that age range? I’m new to all this and have read that dilution rates for babies/younger children are usually much greater than 3-5%, but of course there are exceptions depending on the application, and I didn’t know if this was one of those times. Thankyou so much!

    • Meagan says:

      Great question, Jamie. You’re right that this age range would benefit from a smaller dilution, especially if the blend is being applied to their skin rather than sprayed on their clothing. The recommended dilution for this age range is a .25 % dilution, but oftentimes, higher dilutions are used to repel bugs. You could try the low dilution to see if it would work, and if it doesn’t, you could increase it a small amount as long as the oils you’re using in your blend are safe. If it were me, I would follow one of the recipes in this post using the bug repelling blend of your choice, and I’d use the lower dilution on their skin and a high dilution in a spray for their clothes. Hope that helps.

  8. Cathy says:

    Hi Meagan, I’ve just discovered your site and I’m very glad I did! Do you have any recipes for a room spray that would deter insects – specifically carpet beetles, as it looks like we have them in our rented house. I have a 2 year old son so need something that’s safe for him. I would really like to do something about the beetles before we get a major infestation but am struggling for ideas. I almost bought neem oil but then read research that suggests it affects fertility. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated, thank you.

    • Meagan says:

      Hi, Cathy. I’m not sure what EOs would work specifically for those insects. Most of the oils in these blends should deter most insects, but if you’re looking for specifics, you’d probably get better answers from an aromatherapist. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help!! Can you have the carpets shampooed and maybe add some essential oils into the shampoo before you start? Maybe, after doing that well, vacuuming and an occasional EO misting will help.

  9. Kelsey says:

    Hello! I did a HEAP of research while trying to find kid-safe bug repellent recipes. Wish I stumbled across this long ago! What I found was an essential oil called lemon-eucalyptus (not two oils, but one). It was tested to be as effective as DEET! Also, when mixing your spray, by adding vanillin (or vanilla extract) the scent will last longer (keeping the buggies away longer). Have you run across any info on lemon-eucalyptus or the addition of vanillin to your sprays?

    • Meagan says:

      I have heard great things about lemon-eucalyptus, but I’m not sure that one is okay for young children. I’ve not heard anything about adding vanilla extract to the spray though. I’ll have to look into that. Thanks for the heads up.

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