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Bug Bane Spray

Bug Bane Spray

Summer is mosquito season in my neck of the woods. All of Oregon’s standing water during breeding season gives the nasty little buggers plenty of spaces to raise their families. The oil in this formula serves two purposes: It allows the essential oils a chance to linger on the skin and brings in the healing powers of calendula as an anti-immflammatory for existing bites. You may spray this formula on your skin after the mosquitoes have gone to bed to ease the itching from the spots they got to before you pulled out the herbs.

This recipe does a fine job of keeping the critters at bay without the overpowering scent that other mixes offer. This formula also works to repel other biting insects like gnats and fleas. Although this formula hasn’t caused problems with the jeans and t-shirts that I normally wear – all oil can stain clothes. Some occasions call for an oil-free formula, such as if you are wearing fabrics that are easily stained. Try The Practical Herbalist’s Oil-Free Bug Spray for these situations.


  • 1 tablespoons calendula oil
  • 3 tablespoons clear alcohol
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops citronella essential oil
  • 15 drops cedar (thuja) essential oil


  • 1 oz spritzer bottle with spray top
  • funnel
  • label


  1. Gather the ingredients along with the equipment in a clean, well lit, work space.
  2. Using a funnel, pour the oil and alcohol into the bottle.
  3. Add essential oil directly into the bottle.
  4. Screw spray top on securely and mix the ingredients carefully.
  5. Label the bottle.

Storage and Use

Store the Bug Spray in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

Shake the bottle before using to distribute the essential oils. This blend will need to be reapplied every few hours since it does not have an oil base to encourage it to linger on the skin yet only one spritz will do the job per application during a regular mosquito attack.

This is for external use only. Do not spray into eyes, mouth or other body openings.

Sue Sierralupe

Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.

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