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Bringing elements of the homestead to everyday life.

fermentation • cooking • herbalism • foraging • traditional crafts • cooking • community

Homemade Bug Spray

Women's Heritage

Summer is the season for camping, day hikes and beach barbecues, and it's also the season for bugs!  And for some reason, the bugs seem to really love me.  Conventional bug sprays have ingredients that are harsh on the environment and our bodies, so I make my own at home with natural ingredients - apple cider vinegar and herbs that are safe for people but ones that the bugs are not keen on.  

To make your own bug spray, you will need: 

-apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
-lavender blossoms
-wormwood
-sage
-rosemary

You can use either dried or fresh herbs.  If you are using fresh, chop them up and fill a mason jar 1/2-2/3 full.  Then, pour apple cider vinegar to the top, and screw on a plastic lid.  If you are using a metal lid, just put a piece of waxed paper in between the lid and the jar.

If you are using dried herbs, they will expand when they begin to soak up the vinegar, so only fill your jar 1/3 full at most.  Then pour your apple cider vinegar up to the top and put on the lid.

Give your jar a good shake, and set on the kitchen counter, or some other place out of direct sunlight where you will see it.  You will need to shake your jar at least once a day for two weeks, then let it sit for another two weeks if you have the time.  Strain out the solids, and you have your bug spray.  If you will use it directly on your skin, dilute it with water 1:1, and pour it into spray bottles.  If you are more likely to use it on your clothes and socks it's better to keep it full strength.  

Happy summer!

Love, Ashley


Video by Nicole Halabisky

Photos by Brittany Smith