I LOVE summer, but I do not love all the bugs that come with summer in the Midwest. Mosquitoes, flies, gnats, … I can’t stand them, but boy, do they love me.
So you can imagine how incredibly glad I am that I discovered essential oils a few years ago!
And these homemade “Bug Away” essential oil candles couldn’t be easier. It’s really just placing lemons, limes, and rosemary inside a mason jar, topping with water and essential oils.
But wow, are they pretty! The flickering light that they give off at night is so soothing and relaxing. You might want to make up a few of these even if you don’t have a bug problem!
If you do get a mosquito bite or two, a rash, or other summer-time itchy skin, then here’s my recipe for my favorite anti-itch sticks. They’re all natural and made with the soothing goodness of essential oils (of course!) Make them ahead and keep them handy in your herbal first aid kit. Carry one of these handy sticks around with you while hiking, camping, swimming or just hanging out in your yard this summer. Just rub over bug bite, and it will start calming skin. Itch relief in no time.
Ingredients for homemade bug repellent mason jar candle?
16 or 20 ounce mason jars (or really, whatever size mason jars you have – they’ll pretty much all work)
1 lime a few sprigs of rosemary
floating candles or tea lights with the metal casing removed
How to make mosquito repellent candles
step 1: slice one lemon and one lime into 1/4 inch slices
step 2: you can either add the essential oils to the water now
or wait to add the essential oils to each mason jar later after you’re poured in the water
either way seems to work fine
You want to add about 10 drops of essential oil to each 16-20 oz mason jar. Since I was making three candles, I added 30 drops of essential oil to about 5 cups of water.
Here are some essential oils that are great at keeping away mosquitoes, flies, gnats, no see ums, and other bug and insects.
Use one oil, use one of the blend recipes below, or make your own combination.
- citronella essential oil
- lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- lemongrass essential oil
- lavender essential oil
- geranium essential oil
- eucalyptus essential oil
- peppermint essential oil
- spearmint essential oil
- find more about using essential oils to repel bugs and making your own bug spray here
bug repellent essential oil blend #1
20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops geranium essential oil
bug repellent essential oil blend #2
15 drops lemongrass essential oil
7 drops lavender essential oil
7 drops geranium essential oil
bug repellent essential oil blend #3
15 drops citronella essential oil
7 drops lavender essential oil
7 drops spearmint essential oil
bug repellent essential oil blend #4
12 drops eucalyptus essential oil
12 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops spearmint essential oil
step 3: Now you start building your candles – start by placing a sprig or two or rosemary in each mason jar
step 4: then layer in two slices of lime and two slices of lemon, placing some slices flat in the jar and others standing upright
step 5: fill jars with water, leaving about 1 inch at the top of the jars for the candles
step 6: place a candle in each jar and light – that’s it. Super easy, beautiful, and best of all, they keep the bugs away!
How to use mosquito repellent candles?
- be sure to use standard candle safety — Place jars on a sturdy surface where they won’t get knocked over, make sure that they’re far enough away from drapes, fabrics and other flammable things, and make sure that young kiddos and pets can’t reach them
- set them outside
- light them
- replace candles as needed — have extras on hand. Each candle may only last an hour or two.
- fruit/rosemary/water should last for a couple days. When using a second night, I refresh the bug repelling power by adding a few more drops of essential oil to each jar.
- After 2-3 days when the lemons and limes have wilted, I dump out the jars, wash them up, and make fresh candles. Super simple!
Looking for more essential oil recipes for summer? Find my 40 favorite summer DIY recipes here – sunscreen, after-sun spray, cooling spray, deodorant, diffuser blends, room sprays, rollerballs, bug spray, essential oils for travel, and more. Lots of easy summer essential oil recipes with step-by-step instructions and free printables.
here are a few other essential oil posts that I think you’ll like:
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