Our friends at Popsugar have SO many awesome life hacks for us tennis players. Thank you to Sarah Lipoff for her fabulous recipe for an all-natural bug repellent that smells as good as it works at keeping those mosquitos away!
Don’t you just hate when you get to the court for your match and find that every mosquito in the neighborhood is there, waiting to feast on your blood? Me too! I try and avoid chemicals whenever possible, especially if there is an all-natural solution, but that can be expensive. Thankfully, there are bug sprays you can make yourself for next to nothing – and not only do they smell fantastic, but they really work!
From dissuading mosquitoes to interrupting an ant invasion, this bug spray will have it under control. It’s made from all-natural and safe ingredients that don’t smell like harsh chemicals. Instead of smelling harsh chemicals, you’ll waft a lovely scent at your next outdoor gathering while staying bite-free. And after picking up the main ingredients, this repellent costs less than a $1 per bottle to make.
What You’ll Need:
- 1/2 cup catnip (contains nepetalactone which attracts cats, but repels bugs. Fresh is better than dried, and both can be found at any pet store)
- 2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons witch hazel
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 10 to 20 drops essential oil (in my opinion, 20 drops is perf, but some people prefer a lighter scent)
- 2 oz. plastic spray bottle
- Small funnel
- Small saucepan
- Paper towel
Gather the ingredients for your homemade bug spray.
Measure and add the catnip to a saucepan, and add the water. Bring to a quick boil, then simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Let the “tea” cool for at least an hour. If using fresh leaves, then roughly chop the catnip, bring to a boil but let simmer for 10 minutes before removing from the heat.
Place a strainer inside a bowl, and then line the strainer with a paper towel. Pour in the catnip tea, and strain. Now measure and add four tablespoons of the catnip “tea” to the small spray bottle with the help of a funnel. Reserve any leftover strained liquid in a sealed jar or plastic container for the next batch of bug spray.
Next, measure and add the witch hazel, which acts as a carrier for the essential oil.
Measure and add the pure vanilla extract to the small spray bottle. Vanilla repels mosquitoes, ticks, black flies, and gnats, making this delightfully smelling ingredient doubly beneficial.
Essential oil is the key ingredient in this bug spray, with lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, lavender, and citronella being the best for keeping pesky insects at bay. Pick your favorite scent, or combination of oils, and add 10 to 20 drops. If using a combination of oils, make sure your drops total to at least 10 but no more than 20. Top the spray bottle with water (just to where the sides at the top of the bottle start rounding) and you’re ready for spraying. NOTE: Adding water to the very top of the bottle neck will dilute the spray too much and make it less effective.
Spray a small amount near your ankle to test for a skin reaction before spritzing all over, taking care to avoid the face area. It is all-natural, however you still don’t want to get it in your eyes or mouth. This repellent is safe to reapply every 30 minutes if needed. You can also spray it directly on bugs (indoors or out,) or on tables or along window sills to deter them from coming inside. ANOTHER NOTE: This is a bug repellent spray, NOT a bug killer spray.