Natural Bug Repellent List + Homemade Bug Spray for Cheap!

Jun 15, 2020 | DIY

Sunshine and good times mean the bugs will be coming out to play in full force. Forget the expensive chemicals! Pick a few ideas off our natural bug repellent list and keep that money in your wallet. Don't forget about the super cheap homemade bug spray!

Stay away from those expensive chemicals! Choose a natural bug repellent from this list and watch it work its magic - Homemade bug spray from Fun Cheap or Free

Bugs are gross. Bug spray is expensive. Enough said. Today's tip is a simple one. Rather than buying expensive (and potentially hazardous!) bug killing spray, use these simple tips to keep bugs away!

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You likely have most of the items on this natural bug repellent list and they're all cheap (or even free if you already have them at home!). They'll do their job well and you'll be impressed with how simple they are to do. Oh, and you can make the homemade bug spray in about 2.5 seconds. You'll love the way it smells and the bugs will hate it. So, let's get on to…


Citronella torches are a great way to keep those pesky bugs away - Natural bug repellent ideas from Fun Cheap or Free

We're all about that frugal life. You should be able to do most of these without having to go to the store or even spend a penny! They'll keep those pesky bugs away so you can focus on all of the fun activities you're wanting to do this summer.

  • Bay Leaves – Scatter bay leaves on pantry shelves to keep bugs away.
  • Ammonia – Pour some ammonia in doorways, and any other openings to your house like windows, garage door, screen doors, etc. This is safe and repels bugs well!
  • Fabric Sheets – Lay fabric sheets around outdoors and keep them in your pockets to keep bees and bugs away when you're outside.
  • Mosquito Bracelet – Use a natural mosquito bracelet that's safe for kids to wear outside!
  • Chalk – Draw a chalk line around the area that you don't want ants to cross. It messes with their ability to follow scent trails left by other ants.
  • Lemons/Limes and Cloves – Mosquitoes hate the smell of these! Lay them around wherever you'll be to help keep mosquitoes away.
  • Citronella Candle – Use citronella candles or torches in the yard.
  • Baggie with Pennies in Water – Keep those annoying flies away! Make sure they're in the sun, the flies get confused when they see the light shining off the water and coins.
  • Fruit Fly Repellent – Don't forget about those fruit flies! We've got some great tips to keep those out of the kitchen.
  • Natural Repellent – Some of the best ones that won't break the bank are Skeeter Screen, Babyganics, or Repel Plant-Based Insect Repellent.

See? We told you it was the ultimate natural bug repellent list! If you can't find something that works for you on that list then you must have some crazy mutant bugs or something. 😉


It's so easy to make your own homemade bug spray and you likely already have what you need on hand! This is so much cheaper than buying those from the store and you can easily make however much you need.

  • Pure Vanilla Extract – You read that right! Pesky insects, such as mosquitos, flies and gnats don't like the smell of vanilla. You want to make sure you use pure over artificial. There's the possibility that artificial could cause a skin reaction and it'll be sticky compared to the pure since it has added ingredients to it.
  • Distilled Water – You could also boil and cool some water for this unless you know that you'll be using it all up at once. If you're making a large batch, you'll have better luck with it staying mold-free by using the distilled or boiled water. Pro Tip: Quickly boil a small amount of water by putting it in a microwave-safe cup and heating it up for a few minutes.

Mix equal parts vanilla extract and distilled water and store it in a jar, silicone travel bottle or even a small spray bottle (you'll probably need a small funnel to avoid making a mess when you pour it in). Rub it on with your hands or use a cotton ball to spread it around.

It works for about 30 minutes and then you'll need to reapply. (Just try it on a small area of the skin first to make sure there aren't any allergic reactions!) This is perfect for kids and adults, alike. It smells so much better than those expensive chemical sprays and is way cheaper!


Lemongrass works wonders at keeping those pesky bugs away - Ideas from Fun Cheap or Free

Did you know that there are some plants that keep bugs away? They can't stand the smell of these, so they'll steer clear of them. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, then plant these in the areas that you hang out in the most. You can also plant them in pots and put them in your sitting area or move them around to wherever you need them to help keep the bugs away!

  • Lemongrass
  • Citronella
  • Lavender
  • Marigolds
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Basil

Not only will you love the smell of these plants that keep bugs away, but they're all so pretty, too! That's a triple win in our book.

Alright, well there you have it! What's your favorite natural bug repellent? Do you make a homemade bug spray, too? Let us know in the comments!

Natural ways to keep the bugs away from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more great summer ideas?

1 Comment

  1. Jessica

    This is a GREAT post!! So many options and resources to keep those bugs away! Thank you for sharing!!


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