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Homemade Bug Spray

By July 1, 2015February 18th, 2023Nutrition Education

Homemade Bug Spray


HAQ Client Testimony on Liver Health: “Hi Maria – I just went over my labs with my integrative medicine doc and she said I have the liver of an 18 year old (not sure that’s a good thing but am assuming it is). I’m 57. I told her I owed it all to you :)… 

Thank you so much all your hard work and wonderful information! You have changed my life. My cholesterol numbers were good (not too low :) and she said I have no signs of insulin resistance or diabetes; vitamin D and B were great.


Click here to get started on your path to health!

Homemade Bug Spray

Do you remember when spray tanners turned your skin a streaky orange color? Well, at that time, spray tanning was fairly safe, but no one wanted to look like an “UmpaLumpa” from Willy Wonka, so the manufacturers started to amp up their formula and now we have a pretty toxic chemical going into our body.

YES, I wrote “into” because everything you put on your skin also gets absorbed by the liver!

Your skin is the largest organ in your body; it sucks in the dangerous poisons that are found in spray tanners, lotions, cosmetics and things like insect repellent. The skin delivers them to the blood stream, which takes them right to your liver. The liver filters everything and can become tired and toxic; it gets sidetracked from its digestion duties when poisons enter. It has to filter them out so you don’t get poisoned! If this happens too often, your liver can get congested and ultimately fail. Why should you care? The liver is what controls how fast you lose weight and it also governs your moods! Limiting the liver’s exposure to pollutants allows it to heal from prior abuse. To read more on how to properly cleanse the liver, go to the chapter TIRED TOXIC LIVER in my book Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism.

The DHA, a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA — not to be confused with docosahexaenoic acid, the beneficial DHA fatty acid found in fish oil), is quite a potent chemical that is believed to not permeate the top layer of the skin. The main problem with this chemical is when you breath it in through your nose and it gets into the lungs and ultimately causes free radicals.A free radical is a cellular killer that wreaks havoc by damaging DNA, altering our cell membranes…basically destroying our cells.

Scientists now can prove that free radicals play a major role in the aging process as well as a huge predictor of heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, and possibly allergies, as well as many other issues. I don’t want to make you take a Biology class here, so to put it simply, think of free radical in our bodies as if we were apples… when you feel an apple, it turns brown once you slice it and expose it to air; our bodies basically rust from the inside out. When the process gets really out of control, it causes wrinkles; but more seriously, it can cause macular degeneration, atherosclerosis and tumors.Since I’m not a scientist and can’t figure out a “healthified” spray tanner solution, here is a “healthified” bug repellent mix recipe for babies, adults and pets.

Homemade Bug Spray

Click HERE to find the ingredients. CLICK HERE for the spray bottle. Get citronella oil HERE.

Natural Bug Spray

Maria Emmerich


  • 3 dropsLavender
  • 3 drops Tea Tree
  • 3 drops Peppermint
  • 3 drops Citronella


  • In a clear dark or clouded spray bottle place 2-5 drops each per ounce of water.


Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • EB says:

    One time I had the idea of saving my used coffee grounds as a body exfoliant. Not sure how weird that is, but I’ll tell you what: it worked, and it also left a bronzed sheen on my skin! Perhaps therein lies the secret to a healthy self-tanner? Just passing along information to those who may have use for it!

  • Wenchypoo says:

    Don’t let that secret out–next thing you know, Juan Valdez will want in on the action!

    Back in the Victorian times, they used to dye muslin fabric with tea and coffee to get that beige color (to make it look “aged”). Muslin is usually white (nowadays bleached).

  • Amber says:

    Is tee tree oil safe for kids? I read somewhere that it is a hormone disruptive….

  • I so need to make this when I go to China!

  • Lorray says:

    2 weeks ago my son sprayed OFF on our house because there were bugs plastered all over by the light …. IT ATE THE PAINT!! The bugs “melted” into the paint on our steal siding and they are there for good. The OFF went in the garbage.

  • Sandra says:

    I noticed that you are showing NOW oils….are you promoting them over other brands?

  • Sandra says:

    A friend of mine mixed unsweetened coco powder with lotion and used for a self tanner.

  • Terri W says:

    We used to use cocoa butter to layout in the sun. I always smelled like chocolate chip cookies!

  • Kris says:

    Wondering if there are any book stores in WI or MN that carry your books. I’m looking to gift one this weekend and can’t get from Amazon in time. Thanks!

  • Jackie says:

    I like the cocoa powder idea! I use coconut oil on my skin when out in the sun. Seems like it has a natural sunscreen, don’t know the for a fact though. Don’t seem to burn, but I limit my time in the sun. I think I will mix with the powder and see what happens.

    Last summer I applied melted coconut oil to just one grey, weathered, dry cedar board on the dock. It turned a beautiful deep grey. To my surprise it lasted all summer, through winter storage outside in the snow….and it is STILL the same since we put the dock out in May! Unbelievable. Coconut oil is magical!

  • Jackie says:


    Re the bug spray… Should one use ALL of these together to be effective? Or would a combo of just two work too? I only have lavender and lemongrass on hand. Thanks much.

  • Sue says:

    I was just reading the May 10th post, 8 Misconceptions about Ketogenic Diets, and in the comments there was a link to the most estrogenic foods. In that article tea tree oil was listed as something to look out for in personal care products. Is the amount in this bug spray ok, or would it be best to leave it out? What does it provide that you have included it? Thank you!

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      That was one small study (saying it could leave boys with enlarges breasts) but even the researcher behind it say it was rare and would need more research. So not likely a big estrogenic food, but another factor. 🙂

  • Sue says:

    Thank you for the explanation Maria. I appreciate the time you take to help us learn!

  • AB says:

    Just wanted to pass along something I’ve observed this summer. For a handful of months I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castille bar soap in the shower. I think the combination of lavendar and coconut oil has been a natural bug repellant. I don’t like to use manufactured bug repellants so usually go without. I love to jog on trails in the woods a few times a week and over the summer have only had a handful of bug bites total. My husband on the other hand has gotten bitten to pieces time and again and he does not use the soap regularly. I like to think its the soap, but maybe my husband’s blood just smells tastier 🙂

  • Julie says:

    Here in tick country, rose geranium essential oil seems to be a great tick repellant. Cedar wood oil is a great flea repellant. I use a spray containing both on my dog, and it seems to work great/he doesn’t seem to mind it. Beagles smell better with flower scent — is the main lesson here…

  • Ruth Ann says:

    Maria, I notice you blend these oils with water in the spray bottle – usually you recommend blending with fractionated coconut oil, but not this blend? Is there a reason for the water instead of the coconut oil?

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Hi Ruth!
      Yes. This spray is more for the scent to repel bugs. When I blend with fractionated oil it is to help penetrate the cellular membrane.

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