The mosquitoes are killing me. Just eating me alive. I go outside for 30 seconds and come back with 5 new bites. It’s bad. Especially cause the kids like being outside so much! I don’t like using the DEET stuff for fear of, well, death and thought maybe I could sneak by this year since the mosquitoes hadn’t been horrible. But I was wrong. They’re out now and they know where to find me. Not only that, but Starr Lil’s is getting bitten too! Poor little thing has welts on her little legs and arms from the bites. Any suggestions on how to relieve the itchiness?

There are a ton of diy bug sprays out there and I thought I would give them a try, but which one to go with?! That’s when I decided to do a bug spray challenge. A sort of, off-the-cuff experiment to see if one worked better than another. I did some quick googling and saw that most of the recipes are very similar. Some have witch hazel, some have oils, some have vinegar, most have essential oils, and water. So here are three that I’m using for inspiration: (I’ll have to make some substitutions for some ingredients I don’t have.)


Witch hazel and olive oil,

Instead of the vegetable glycerin, I used olive oil and about 15 drops of eucalyptus, tea tree and citronella essential oils.

Witch Hazel and Castile soap

The only change I made here was to use the same essential oils as above, since that’s what I already had. Although I’m tempted to use lavender essential oil, next time.


I just made a smaller batch of this with the same oils above too.

I ushered the kids outside to give them a try,


and tested all 3 sprays!


the one on the left is definitely the one I’ve made in the past (it worked, but turns out cinnamon oil was a bad call to add in). Do the others do a better job ‘sticking’?

I sprayed the witch hazel and olive oil on my arms, witch hazel and Castile soap on my left leg and the vinegar on the right leg. Good news!! I only got one mosquito bite on my forehead, which had not been sprayed and only a tiny little gnat bite on my left arm. So who’s the winner? Duh duh duh…

Witch hazel with Castile soap and Vinegar!

I sprayed some around Stone, but not directly on him and he didn’t have any bites at all.


so big!!

Pruutty amazing! And look at my sitting little guy! 6 months old already, le sigh.

And here is a blooper shot of when I asked Starr Lily to sit on the door step:


ah, love this age.

Yup, gotta love those toddler years. A mere 20 seconds later we have this:


I love the progression of her pretty clean dress, post play 🙂

happy little girl again and we’re bug bite free!

I did try all three sprays at the softball field the other day with the same results. Except we had to reapply about every 2 hours.

Do you make your own bug sprays? What recipes do you use? How do you keep your toddlers happy?