Really Cheap & Easy Homemade Bug Spray

4 Materials
5 Minutes
This is such an easy and cheap homemade bug spray! Each batch is probably less than $0.25 to make depending on where you get your ingredients.

I started learning more about insect control last year so I could start sharing more chemistry solutions for you.

We shared this weed killer last summer that also kills ants due to the nature of the ingredients involved. There is also some tips in our book about controlling ants (click blog link for details).

But now that it’s summer, we need to keep the bugs off of our body!

Thanks to chemistry, you can whip up a batch of this homemade bug spray in a few minutes. Stay tuned below the recipe for chemistry tips on why this works!

  • 4 tbsp witch hazel (like this natural one in blog post)
  • 3 tsp lemon infused rubbing alcohol (MUST be lemon infused)
  • 35-40 drops of citronella oil (I use this one, click blog link!)
  • Glass spray bottles (These are affordable & good quality, click blog link!)


To make lemon infused alcohol, simply add lemon peels to a glass jar. Cover all the lemons with rubbing alcohol and allow to sit for 2 weeks. You can leave it for months if desired, it will continue to get stronger the longer it sits. I also keep a jar off lemon infused vinegar on hand for things like this AWESOME bathroom cleaner in blog post.

Readers have asked if you can use LEMON oil or other oils? Please visit the blog post link for the questions and answers. The answer is yes, but our lemon infused alcohol has been tested and works better.

There are some projects in the ebook with lemon infused alcohol too.
I like to mix this up in a small test tube, shake it up, then pour into the spray bottle.

If you have a small funnel, you can pour the ingredients right into the spray bottle. Anything you have to mix it up that pours easy will work great.

ALWAYS shake before use since the oils will separate  while it sits.
To Use:

Chemist Tips for Homemade Bug Spray

After researching different homemade remedies and solutions, I narrowed down these ingredients to be the most effective and affordable to use for a bug spray. There are many different bug repellents that use only essential oils, but they don’t seem to work as well. They also cost more money. Many essential oils can get pricey.

Instead, you can create this combination for just a few cents per batch.

Why this DIY Bug Spray Works:

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is an astringent that comes from the leaves and bark of a witch hazel shrub.  It has been used for centuries for a wide variety of medicinal uses like inflammation, bleeding, and skin irritations.  Due to it’s astringent properties, it naturally repels insects. This makes it a great base for homemade bug spray.

Click the link to blog post below to read why we use Lemon Infused Rubbing Alcohol, Citronella Oil, and to read more about other oils you can use if desired!

Suggested materials:

  • Rubbing alcohol   (online)
  • Citronella oil   (online)
  • Witch hazel   (online)
See all materials

Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?


Join the conversation

 1 comment