Homemade Bug Spray with Essential Oils

This homemade bug spray with essential oils will eliminate bugs from your home and garden. It’s 100% natural, and you only need three ingredients.

Homemade bug spray lying next to essential oils.

DIY Bug Spray with Essential Oils

If there is one thing I can absolutely not stand, it’s bugs. They creep me out and drive me crazy.

Summer is right around the corner, and all the bugs are coming out of hiding, creeping and crawling all over the place.

I usually just let them be as long as they don’t come near me or cause any problems. But lately, they’ve been completely destroying my garden and infesting my house.

So that’s when it’s time for them to go!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure statement here.)

I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your doctor before using essential oils on children under 5 or while pregnant or breastfeeding. Please do not ask me for medical advice. Click here to read my full disclaimer.

Dangers of Store-Bought Insecticide

But the last thing you’ll catch me using is a store-bought bug spray like Raid or Combat. Not only can those types of products be harmful to beneficial insects, but they can also be harmful to you!

Store-bought insecticide ingredients can cause headaches and dizziness, respiratory symptoms, including upper respiratory tract pain and irritation and dyspnea, and gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea and vomiting.

Although you have to be exposed to a large amount of insecticide to experience these symptoms, and these symptoms are rare, I would prefer not to use a potentially harmful product around my family and pets.

Person holding bottle of homemade bug spray.

How to Make Homemade Bug Spray with Essential Oils

I make my own DIY bug spray, and it works great. It’s also 100% plant-based and toxin-free.

It’s completely safe to use around pets and kids.

Before I share the recipe, remember that this is not a bug-repellent that you apply to your skin. You can check out my DIY bug repellent spray if that is what you’re looking for.

The purpose of this spray is to eliminate (ie: kill) bugs in and around your home and garden.

It works best on ants, gnats, and aphids. And surprisingly, it also works on earwigs.

We have a major earwig infestation on our property, and I couldn’t believe this spray actually worked on them because they’re so much larger than ants or aphids. But it does.

And I’m really happy about that!

This spray might work on other bugs as well. Those are just the only bugs I’ve had the opportunity to use it on.

Homemade Bug Spray Ingredients

To make this homemade bug spray, you’ll need a 16-ounce glass spray bottle, peppermint essential oil, castile soap, and water.

Details about each ingredient are below.

Spray Bottle

I go through a ton of this stuff, so I like to use a 16-ounce spray bottle. You can use a different size bottle, but keep in mind that the recipe below is for a 16-ounce bottle.

So, you will have to make adjustments if you decide to use a different size.

I always recommend using a glass bottle rather than plastic when making homemade products using essential oils. That is because pure essential oils are very potent, and plastic may begin to deteriorate and leach into the homemade bug spray.

It is also important to use a dark bottle because sunlight can damage the essential oils used in this homemade bug spray. 

These are the bottles I use.


Water is the base for this DIY bug spray. I’m usually pretty picky about the water I use in my homemade products. I typically use distilled water.

But since this spray is only used to kill bugs, I just use plain tap water.

Castile Soap

Castile soap is one of the active ingredients that actually kills the bugs. I don’t know the science behind why it works; all I know is that it does.

This article discusses the science behind using soap sprays as an insecticide and how it all works. Please read that if you would like to learn more.

Castile soap is biodegradable and has no petrochemicals or synthetics. It is made from pure organic vegetable oils.  

I recommend using unscented or peppermint castile soap.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil repels and kills bugs. Bugs dislike the smell, so they turn the other way whenever they catch a whiff.

However, I am unsure how exactly it kills bugs; all I know is, once again, that it does.

Peppermint essential oil is extremely powerful, and I use a lot of drops in this homemade bug spray recipe.

DIY Bug Spray Recipe

To make this homemade bug spray, simply fill the bottle about 90% of the way with water, add two tablespoons of unscented castile soap, add 35 drops of peppermint essential oil, attach the lid, and shake well.

Homemade Bug Spray Recipe

Homemade Bug Spray Recipe

Yield: 16 ounces
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Eliminate bugs from your home & garden with this homemade bug spray with essential oils. It’s 100% natural & you only need three ingredients.


    1. Fill the bottle about 90% of the way with water
    2. Add 2 tbsp of unscented castile soap
    3. Add 35 drops of peppermint essential oil
    4. Attach the spray nozzle and shake well

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How to Use Homemade Bug Spray

To use this spray, shake well before each use and spray directly on the insect.

When using it on plants, you do not have to rinse it off. It’s better to leave the spray on the plant because the peppermint essential oil will help repel future insects.

But keep in mind that peppermint essential oil can also repel beneficial insects. So, the only instances where I don’t rinse it off when using it in the garden are when I use it on plants that don’t require pollinating to produce, like spinach, lettuce, kale, or Swiss chard.

DIY bug spray sitting on corner of strawberry garden bed.

Or when my plants are very young and aren’t producing flowers yet.

Last spring, I planted tomato plants, and the next day, they were completely covered in aphids.

In all my years of gardening, it was the worst aphid infestation I had ever seen. I sprayed this homemade bug spray all over the tomato plants for three days in a row and eliminated all the aphids.

And I didn’t have any issues with aphids the rest of the gardening season!

You don’t have to rinse or wipe it off when using it in the house. Just like in the garden, it’s best to let the spray dry naturally if you want to repel future critters.

But obviously, that’s not ideal for every area you may spray. So just wipe it up whenever it’s inconvenient to let it dry naturally.

How to Store Homemade Bug Spray

Heat can cause mold and bacteria to grow, so try to store this DIY bug spray in a cool, dark place, like under your kitchen sink.

It is also important to keep it in a dark glass bottle because sunlight can damage the essential oils used in this homemade bug spray. 

And the bottle should be made out of glass because pure essential oils are very potent, and plastic may begin to deteriorate and leach into the bug spray.

When Does This Homemade Bug Spray Expire?

Homemade products made with water that does not contain a preservative don’t last very long. That is because bacteria and mold can grow in water quite quickly. 

Since this DIY bug spray is mostly water-based, its shelf life isn’t very long.

If you follow the directions above and make sure to store the DIY bug spray in a cool, dark place, it should last around 30 days.

I typically use up my bottle of homemade bug spray well before 30 days. However, how fast you go through a bottle will obviously depend on how often you use it.

Need Essential Oils?

Many essential oil companies sell high-quality essential oils. I used to use Young Living oils exclusively, but I just couldn’t afford to use them anymore.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover several brands that sell amazing, high-quality essential oils at very affordable prices.

I regularly use Eden’s GardenPlant Therapy, and Simply Earth essential oils. 

If you decide to buy from Simply Earth you can use the code HAPPYHEARTFREE to receive a free $45 Simply Earth gift card with the purchase of your first recipe box.

If you are unfamiliar with Simply Earth or their recipe box, you can check out previous boxes here.

If you order now with the code above, you will receive the recipe box, a big bonus box, plus a $45 Simply Earth gift card, all for $29.99 (new customers only)!

Final Thoughts About Homemade Bug Spray

This DIY bug spray offers a natural and effective solution for keeping pesky insects at bay. By making your own bug spray using simple ingredients like essential oils, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from bites without the use of harsh chemicals.

I hope this DIY bug spray helps you get one step closer to eliminating toxic chemicals (and bugs) from your home.

If you discover this bug spray works on bugs I didn’t mention above, please let me know in the comment section 🙂

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