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How to make DIY kid-safe bug repellant

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Keep bugs at bay with homemade bug spray for kids

Get bugs to buzz off with natural bug spray and repellant that relies on ingredients from Mother Nature like essential oils and herbs. Check out three options for DIY bug repellants that are free of chemicals and full of effectiveness.

Essential oils natural bug spray

When it comes to natural bug spray that's safe for kids to use, essential oils are the easiest and safest bug repellant available. Bugs can't stand the smell of any essential oil, so use individually or mix to create your favorite scent — just make sure not to apply it without diluting 30 to 40 drops with 1/2 cup of water or witch hazel and shake well before each use, advises Sara Chana, herbalist and lactation consultant. "When you dilute essential oils with water or witch hazel you can put it in a small spray bottle and spray on your kiddo's hair, clothing, hats or even on blankets and around the room where kids sleep to keep bugs away; just beware to keep it from your child's eyes." Some of Chana's favorite essential oils that keep bugs from pestering your youngsters include:

  • Citronella
  • Lavender oil
  • Clove oil (carefully)
  • Cedarwood
  • Rosemary

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Smudging bug repellant

Another natural bug repellant that is safe to use with kids is a smudging stick, which is a bundle of dried herbs that contain bug-repelling qualities when burned and smoked. Take a smudge stick, light the end and fill the air where your child will be relaxing with smoke to keep the pests away. Smudge sticks that act as natural bug repellants include:

  • White sage
  • Cedar and lavender
  • Mugwort
  • Wormwood

Diffusers to keep bugs away

Much like adding essential oils and water to your child's clothing or skin, you can use a diffuser to fill the air with a fine mist of essential oils that act as a bug repellant. Depending on whether you use an ultrasonic diffuser or nebulizing diffuser, you'll add essential oils directly or mixed with water to ward off little biters. This is a great option for parents not wanting to apply anything directly to their kiddo's skin, especially indoors during seasons where bugs see open windows and doors as an invitation to come on in. Great bug-repelling essential oils to use in diffusers include:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree
  • Peppermint

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Before using any essential oils as a natural bug spray, you may want to check with your pediatrician for potential allergic reactions specific to your child, or if you are pregnant or nursing. And, store any unused DIY kid-safe bug repellant in a dark container away from heat or sunlight to keep those bugs away from your kiddo day after day.

Read more about natural remedies

Natural remedies for morning sickness
Natural remedies for colds
Calming foods for hyperactive kids

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