Summer's warm, adventurous tone is often dulled by the onslaught of bugs. From mosquitoes to ticks to wasps and fleas, dealing with bug bites, or the toxic mess required to prevent them, sucks some of the enjoyment out of summer. You can make your own bug sprays at home, where you have complete control over the ingredients that will cover your skin of that of your kids.

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Using natural bug sprays is safer for the whole family

Step 1

Use essential oils to create a natural bug repellent that smells good. Put 4 oz. of organic frankincense hydrosol in your spray bottle and then combine eight drops each of cedar wood and patchouli oil, along with three drops of juniper berry and five drops of spikenard oil. Seal the spray bottle and shake gently to mix the ingredients. Spray it on your skin when needed but avoid your eyes and nose. Keep the spray out of the sun or the heat will weaken the ingredients.

Step 2

Make a bug-killing spray by mixing 2 tbsps. of dishwashing liquid with a gallon of warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and cover infested areas with the mist. It is especially effective on insects like mites and aphids. Be sure to keep the solution out of your eyes.

Step 3

Make a flea repellent, which can also be used as a shampoo, by peeling two large lemons (four small ones will work if necessary) and boiling them in a quart of water for 10 minutes. Once the water cools, remove the lemon peels and pour the water into a spray bottle, or wash your dog with it. You can also wash yourself with it if you are being bitten by fleas.