Healthy Living

2 DIY Tips to Help Repel Insects Naturally this 4th of July

2 DIY Tips to Help Repel Insects Naturally this 4th of July

Hopefully, you'll be able to spend some time outside this long holiday weekend and, of course, this summer, so we thought we’d share a few tips that may come in handy. This is more of a DIY post to help keep those pesky pests at bay... naturally. 

Like you, we love spending time outdoors with our families. Summer provides us with time to ride bikes, kick around a ball, kayak, and picnic together. Unfortunately, it seems some pests also enjoy tagging along for these activities! At Modern Kids Design, we try to take care of uninvited guests in an earth-friendly way. The next time ants invade your picnic or mosquitoes rock the boat, consider trying one of these natural pest control methods.

Natural Insect Repellent

We enjoy making our own insect repellent for our on-the-move families. This simple recipe uses essential oils that are known to repel pests—and it smells great!


1-1/2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon castor oil

8 drops of Rosemary essential oil

8 drops of Lemongrass essential oil

4 drops of Geranium essential oil



Add ingredients to a 2 ounce spray bottle, shake vigorously, and spray. Be sure to shake well before each use. Apply liberally, and often!

In this recipe, rosemary and lemongrass serve to scare off mosquitoes and geranium tells ticks to bug off. Other essential oils that can be used instead of those listed include: (for mosquitoes) Citronella, Clove, Tea Tree, Lavender, Mint, and Eucalyptus. For ticks, consider using Peppermint or Thyme essential oils instead of Geranium. If you’re looking for more recipes or information, Pinterest is a great resource.

Spray It Everywhere!

In addition to sporting natural insect repellent, you can also spray it in areas you’ll be hanging out to encourage insect pals to relocate. You can spray ribbon or paper strips to hang inside a tent or the edges of a picnic blanket. One great idea we came across was to spray a cotton ball to place by your pillow when camping. Diluting essential oils in small water bowls is also a wonderful alternative to commercially available citronella candles, which may not be made from the highest quality citronella. Simply fill a small bowl with water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil from above.

Plant Protection

Did you know some plants naturally repel bugs? Bolstering your garden with some of these fragrant plants may help to reduce the creepy-crawlies that try to sneak into your kitchen or patio. Unsurprisingly, they’re the same plants that insect-repelling essential oils are distilled from! Tending lavender, mint, thyme, basil, lemongrass, and rosemary will give your garden anti-bug powers. Marigolds and petunias can also urge pests to look elsewhere for their next meal.

It’s fun to be outside during this time of year. The flowers are in full bloom and it’s perfect weather to be camped out under the stars or playing flashlight tag in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, it’s perfect weather for ticks and mosquitoes as well. We all want the best for our families and by making sure we’re protecting them from irritating, and sometimes dangerous, bug bites without using unnecessary chemicals on their skin, we feel like we’re doing our part for the Earth, too.

Before signing off, in case you are wondering about this weeks picture, we took it at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It's by Jasper Johns and is called Three Flags. We like the idea that he painted it in this format, using three canvases and hot wax, to encourage a closer inspection of this iconic image. It really does capture ones attention and it's lovely! Happy summer and 4th of July!