DIY Squeezable Bug Repellent Cream


SUMMER = BUGS. Period. End of sentence.

We absolutely love being outside. It’s one of the reasons we moved to a warmer climate, but we had no idea hanging out in the back yard meant we’d be engaging in combat against dozens of different species of bugs every single day.

Last summer, in an attempt to find a natural bug repellent to protect my then 2 month old baby from these vicious insects, I started using a blend of essential oils in a homemade bug spray. It worked okay but needed to be reapplied often. Determined to come up with a better, longer lasting solution, I made a squeezable version of my body butter recipe using essential oils known to repel bugs, and it has worked wonders for us!

We use this stuff every single day on the whole family with great success. I love watching Rue rub it all over her belly in excitement and I know I have a good product when the husband asks for it. 🙂

Even the neighbors want to use it when they come over because “it smells so yummy!”

If you can keep this moisturizer right around 70-75 degrees, it is squeezable. Above 80, it melts, and below 60, it hardens. But don’t worry, if it melts while you’re out at the beach, it will firm back up overnight as it sits in the house, and it’s perfectly good to use in either state.

I suggest using a bottle that has a wide mouth opening so you can stick your finger in there and get some of the cream out if it hardens in cooler temperatures. The 3 oz. travel bottles pictured are perfect, but a mason jar or an old squeezable honey container would work as well.

This is an oil based cream, so it will feel oily and look shiny when you apply it, but the oils absorb into the skin and act as a moisturizer. I usually put this on when I put Rue’s sunblock on (15 minutes before we go outside) and we’re ready to play outside for a couple hours without getting eaten alive!

Reapply every few hours, or sooner if playing in water, just like sunblock.

Disclaimer: If you like my recipe, click the links below and I’ll get a little dough. (When you click on the affiliate links below, I will receive an itty bitty commission from



1/2 c organic shea butter
1/4 c fractionated coconut oil
1/4 c jojoba oil
*50 drops of bug repelling essential oils like this
*20 drops of lemongrass essential oil 
*10 drops of cedar wood essential oil

*You may have to use more depending on the quality and concentration of your essential oils. If you’d like to know which brand of essential oils I have found work best, comment below!

1.) Melt shea butter in small saucepan.
2.) Add remaining oils to saucepan and mix for 60 seconds to combine thoroughly.
3.) Let cool slightly, then pour into a squeezable container. Let stand at room temperature over night to firm up, or put in the freezer for 20 minutes to speed up the process.
4.) Rub over exposed body parts before you go outside and reapply as needed.

NOTE: As with anything, please test for sensitivity by doing a skin test on a small patch of skin on your baby before applying all over. If a reaction occurs, wash off with warm soapy water and discontinue use.



I combine a squirt of sunblock and a squirt of bug cream on my hand and rub them all over Rue’s body before we head outside. The smooth consistency of the bug repellent cream helps loosen up the sunblock so it’s easier to apply.


Take it a step further and put some lemongrass in your homemade deodorant for added protection!


Keep your homemade bug spray handy for quick application on the go. I love this stuff because I can spray it all over my clothes as well.

Happy DIY’ing!




One thought on “DIY Squeezable Bug Repellent Cream

  1. Pingback: Homemade Bug Spray | Kanga 'n Rue

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