There is more benefits to creating homemade bug spray than just removing harmful chemicals from your life. Sure, DIY cleaning and pesticides are way better than those mixed up in large vats but what if that bug spray finds its way into our survival kits?

What Your Kit is Missing

There are two common sense items that many people overlook when preparing a kit. This kit could be a bugout bag or even a simple survival kit.

While you might have the high speed water filter, multiple methods for starting fire, a simple and effective shelter and maybe you even have something like a frog gig for procuring food, what are you missing?

Many people don’t think about bug spray. In fact, sunscreen and homemade bug spray are often overlooked because they don’t sell them in “tacticool” containers that attach to MOLLE or slip onto a gun rail. We get a little full of ourselves in the survival and prepping world.

That high powered AR15 cannot protect you from the effects of sleep deprivation, if you are up swatting mosquitoes all night.

Dealing with bugs is not a joke and it can go way beyond discomfort and sleep loss. Still, many people build bugout bags that are void of a means to keep the bugs away.

Disease and Discomfort of Dealing with Bugs

While ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes might seem like a nuisance and nothing more, they can carry disease. These diseases can range in severity but some of the worst can really wreak havoc on the human body.

Ever heard of malaria? While not a problem in the US, this mosquito borne disease infected 220 million people last year and killed 435,000. We have our own problems in the US with things like Lyme’s Disease and a growing list of mosquito borne illnesses.

The scariest thing about Lyme’s Disease is that its misdiagnosed regularly. People can go decades without understanding their affliction.

Keep these little monsters at bay, and the diseases they carry, with this homemade bug spray recipe.

Homemade Bug Spray Recipe

When it comes to homemade bug spray, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Honestly, this is a mix up and spray recipe. The base is vodka and that goes a long way with deterring bugs. The addition of the essential oils also helps with that.

Whether you decide to use the coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable glycerin is up to you. Just understand that you need something to smooth this out. You will have problems if you spend all day spraying alcohol on your skin or your kids’ skin.


  • ¼ Cup of vodka
  • ¼ Cup of water
  • 1 TBSP of fractionated coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable glycerin
  • 50 Drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 TSP of pure vanilla extract


This mix all goes into a spray bottle or a mason jar and can be shook to combine. That is literally the entire process!

Interesting fact about vanilla: Gnats, flies and mosquitoes among many other bugs, hate the smell of vanilla.

How to Store or Pack your DIY Homemade Bug Spray

When we are talking about long term storage for this spray you could keep it in that mason jar. The alcohol base will hold this mix for a long time. However, you should keep it out of direct sunlight. The oils will not last forever and direct sun will only shorten shelf life.

Now, you do not want to carry around a big spray bottle in your backpack. There are a couple ways to put this mix to use.

  1. You could find a small vile with a spray top. Something like a little cologne bottle would work well. Some hand sanitizers work this way as well. The smaller and more compact the better. Just be sure you have some sort of safety or lid to avoid spraying it all into your bag.
  2. You could take small squares of cloth (old shirt or shemagh cut up) and place them into a Ziploc. Pour some of your homemade bug spray into the Ziploc bag to coat the cloth. Don’t add a bunch of extra liquid to the bag but use enough to get them wet. Now these can be used as wipes to apply.

Pack up your homemade bug spray and take it on your next adventure. Or add it to your bugout bags, get home bags and anywhere else you might need it. You’ll be prepared to keep those buzzing and biting creatures at bay.

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