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5 Easy and Natural Bug Repellent Methods for Outdoor Gatherings

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This summer, try out a natural bug repellent to keep your guests safe from bug bites while hosting them outdoors!

by Jolene Tang, Contributing Writer

There is no better time of the year than summer to host people outdoors for a dinner under the stars.

Whether it’s a backyard BBQ or a farm table dinner, I’m guessing the only folks you don’t want to invite are pesky insects.

So this summer, why not figure out some natural ways to keep your guests safe from bug bites while hosting them outdoors? A natural bug repellent is a great way to keep the bugs away without all of those chemicals that we try to avoid.

5 Easy and Natural Bug Repellent Methods for Outdoor Gatherings

1. Use Potted Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Potted plants are not only great outdoor decorations, but certain kinds can also help keep insects away when your family or guests are gathered outside your home.

I recently bought a lavender plant, and I love the rustic farmhouse charm that it has already brought to our patio. And while lavender is a scent that may attract bees, it is also one that repels mosquitoes and moths!

Just make sure the pot you use is deep enough to accommodate the plant.

The instructions that come with your plant should help you out with this part!

2. Hang Fragrant Herbs Around Your Yard

Hanging smaller herb plants could also be a good way to keep out the mosquitoes. Four herbs that are especially fragrant and would work well for this are basil, peppermint, rosemary and thyme.

For my own patio, I ended up going with  a special type of thyme called Golden Lemon Thyme. It smells just as good as you think it would–with a hint of citrus!

The pots can be hung from your fence with a few nails and a length of rope or colored raffia.

You could even temporarily plant them in mason jars for a party and then encourage your guests to take them home as favors!

STEP 3: Use An Essential Oil Diffuser

Even though diffusers are typically used indoors, they can be helpful outdoors as well! Some oils that work best for repelling insects are citronella, peppermint, and cedarwood.

The ratio of water to oil drops will differ according to the diffuser that you have, but usually, 5-10 drops will do the trick.

STEP 4: Make Outdoor Lavender Luminaries

Lavender luminaries are not only affordable and super easy to make, but they can repel mosquitoes while adding a layer of coziness to the atmosphere for your guests.

The only things you need to make one are:

  • A small jar
  • Tea lights
  • Lavender buds

And all you have to do is fill up a jar with lavender buds, place a tealight in the middle, and light it!

STEP 5: Create An All-Natural Bug Spray with Essential Oils

As an extra added layer of protection, you could even make a natural bug spray for your guests to use during the party.

To make the spray, use a citronella essential oil or a customized essential oil blend and mix a few drops of it in with water and witch hazel.

Make a cute label for it and be sure to keep it in an easily accessible spot for your guests!

Discover the power of nature’s protection with these natural bug-repellent options – safe and effective ways to keep those pesky insects at bay!

Whether you’re hiking, camping, or simply enjoying the outdoors, natural bug repellent will keep you and your loved ones protected and worry-free. Embrace the outdoors without worry and enjoy nature’s sanctuary, naturally!


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Jolene is a wife, DIY addict & cat lover who writes from her home in Los Angeles. She adores everything historical & vintage, and could happily wander through a used book store for hours without even buying anything. Grab a cup of tea & feel free to visit her blog, which features unique home decor ideas, DIY project tutorials, and tips on budget living.

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Friday 24th of May 2019

I understand lavender flower attracts bees. However, do the lavender buds attract bees as well? I like the tealight idea but I am highly allergic to bees.


Friday 24th of May 2019

A lavender plant will attract bees. I've never seen bees on buds though as they don't have the nectar a live plant would have.

Marybeth Pickering

Thursday 20th of July 2017

Love the luminary idea, I just may have to try that sometime! We use bug spray primarily with lemongrass and citronella. We also apply a roll-on to our feet prior to going outdoors if we plan to be outside for a while. Thanks for the recommendations!