Family Safe Homemade Insect Repellent

Insects are not only a nuisance in the garden; they can also ruin backyard barbecues, picnics at the park, etc. There are a few insect repellents that can be made with the ingredients in your own pantry. From flowers to fabric softener sheets, you can make your own completely green insect repellent. Homemade insect repellents are a chemical free solution that is safe for you, your family and the environment. 

Pepper Spray

Homemade pepper spray is a quick and easy solution for pests like ants. All that is needed to make your own home pepper spray is two cups of boiling water, a half cup of chopped cayenne peppers, and let it sit for a few minutes. Remove the pepper pieces by running the mixture through a strainer or coffee filter and let the juices flow into a spray bottle. Avoid spraying directly on flowers and plants.

This is only one method to create pepper spray, try using different peppers and pepper combinations. For example, try mixing equal parts of black pepper, cayenne pepper and hot sauce. Add a couple of tablespoons of cayenne pepper to water and liquid soap. Let it stand overnight and spray as needed among flowers and plants.

Lavender and Mint

If you are tired of stepping outside and becoming a buffet for mosquitoes, rub lavender flowers on your wrists, behind your ears and on your neck. The lavender will make you smell great and keep the mosquitoes away.

A mint-soap spray is another solution to rid your garden of ants. All that is needed is two teaspoons of mint
soap; this can be made at home or purchased from an herbal store, mixed with a gallon of water.

Fabric Softener and Witch Hazel

As strange as it may sound, rubbing your arms, legs and other exposed parts of your body with fabric softener sheets will repel mosquitoes. Avoid this method if you are allergic to fabric softeners or other perfumes. If you expect to remain outside for some time place the sheet in your back pocket for further use.

Witch hazel can be mixed with tea tree oil, peppermint or lavender oil in a spray bottle and lightly mist your body. Mix witch hazel with orange or lemon peels and mint or sage leaves. Add witch hazel to an organic lotion to create a moisturizer bug repellent.


Catnip, or any herb from the mint family, can be used to repel mosquitoes. Fill a jar with catnip, pennyroyal and spearmint, fill jar with apple cider vinegar and allow it to sit for two weeks and shake twice a day. Strain the mixture with a coffee filter into a spray bottle and use as needed.


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