Friday, April 8, 2016

DIY ~ Bug-Be-Gone Spray {Insect Repellant} by Mrs. Tittlemouse

"Mrs. Tittlemouse was a most terribly tidy particular little mouse, always sweeping and dusting the soft sandy floors... Sometimes a beetle lost its way in the passages... "Shuh! shuh! little dirty feet!" said Mrs. Tittlemouse, clattering her dust-pan."
~ Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse

Welcome to another segment of "Fun Friday" this spring featuring Beatrix Potter Inspired Posts!

Poor Mrs. Tittlemouse had been plagued by insect guests and she had had enough! Being she was a natural type of mouse, she got out her aromatherapy archives (passed down to her by her great mouse-mother) and created a "bug-be-gone" spray with the essential oils she had. She was certainly not interested in using the toxic, chemical sprays they sold in the mouse-market. Oh, no! She was no lab rat! She was a respectable country mouse!

"Another day, a big fat spider came in to shelter from the rain... "Beg pardon, is this not Miss Muffet's?"... "Go away, you bold bad spider! Leaving ends of cobweb all over my nice clean house!"'
~ Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse

Though Thomasina's (that is her Christian name of course) bugs may be of a different concern than our own, I think you will find her recipe to be quite helpful in deterring the insects (mosquitoes, horseflies, gnats, etc.) that us humans find rather upsetting.


Place the following ingredients in order in a 16 oz. spray bottle (or place in pint jar and decant into smaller spray bottles like we did):
  • 1 cup witch hazel 
  • 60 drops of bug repelling essential oils (listed below)
  • 1 cup water (distilled or boiled and cooled water)
  • (optional) 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin (acts as a binder to aid in keeping essential oils on skin and is moisturizing at the same time)
  • (optional) 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract (aroma acts as repellent and alcohol in extract acts as an extra preserver) 

How to Use:

Shake spritzer bottle well before each use. Reapply every 30 minutes for best results.

Bug Repelling Essential Oils:

(Don't worry, you do not need to put every one of these oils in the spray! Simply see what inventory you have and utilize those oils (making sure to use a total of 60 drops). If you haven't any oils, begin with 30 drops of lemongrass (as the most affordable oil) and mix with 30 drops of citronella oil.) 


For a well-rounded blend that will not only deter mosquitoes but also gnats, horseflies and ticks, make sure to include peppermint, eucalyptus and rose geranium in your mix.

If using the insect repellant for children six and under, consider using a combination (or a mix of a few) of the child-approved oils of lavendertea treethymegeranium and rosemary.

You can also mix 1/2 cup of soybean base oil (which has bug-repelling properties itself) with the 60 drops of your chosen essential oils (easy on the cinnamon if you use it). Let mixture sit for an hour before applying. To use, massage oil into areas that require skin protection. This will last up to one year if properly stored in a dry, cool, dark place.

Alternatively, mix together 1/3 cup of vodka with your 60 drops of bug repelling essential oils. Then add 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin and 2 cups distilled (or boiled and cooled) water. Shake well before each use. Reapply every 30 minutes for best results.

Notes: Though lemon essential oil may be found on some bug-repellent lists, because it is phototoxic (it could cause alterations to your skin pigmentation if exposed to the sun shortly after application), I don't think it a good choice for outdoor day-use and therefore didn't include it.

"Mrs. tittlemouse began to pull out the moss. Three or four other bees put their heads out, and buzzed fiercely.
"I am not in the habit of letting lodgings; this is an intrusion!" said Mrs. Tittlemouse. "I will have them turned out—"
~ Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse

You will find our printable "insect repellent recipe" HERE. Perhaps you would like to place it in your "Manual of Household Hints and Delights"? This is simply a safe place you can store all of Mrs. Tittlemouse's homemaking printables to have them handy until you are ready to use them (lots of fun goodies will be coming your way). You could also think of it as a "printable portfolio" collection to store all your favorite printables. You will find the free download here if you are interested. The cover page is designed to slide into the front of the binder as a title page insert. The tabs are best printed on card stock, affixed with glue to card stock and staggered as you attach them. It is just a bit of extra fun!

Mrs. Tittlemouse gleaned some of her insect repellant information from the following sources:  The Complete Book of Essential Oils and AromatherapyOrganic Body Care Recipes and The Herbal Academy of New England.

This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through them help to support this little blog.



  1. Mrs. Tittlemouse has such a fastidious nature; I do admire her diligence towards cleanliness. Living here in the South we need all the help we can get to ward off bugs so I will definitely be making this spray. Thank you for the printables, too.
    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Thank you Toni! I appreciate your kind comments. Have a lovely weekend :)

  2. Thanks Jes. I have some bug repellant which was made by one of the young girls at our simple living group who is a rep for DoTerra oils. I haven't used it but my son, who goes outside in the middle of the night looking at planets through his telescope, puts it on and I think it works well for him. I am not sure what Racheal put in it.

    1. Hmm... if she is a doTERRA rep, it could be TERRA SHIELD which is their blend of bug repelling essential oils which works really well too! Love your son's hobby too! That is wonderful!

  3. I just love these. So sweet. I do not own a printer, but love to look!!

  4. Our Scottish midges are just about to start their season in May, so this is very helpful for me, thank you! My husband does not like to wear repellent at all and instead wears a 'midge jacket' (a bit like a hooded sweatshirt made of mesh, which also covers the face!), but the children and I will really make use of your recipe :-)

    1. Thank you for stopping by Gwen. Hope all is well with you and your family :)

  5. Ticks and mosquitoes are quite heavy where we live so this is an awesome natural remedy to come across! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

    1. You are most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to visit! :)

  6. I'm like Mr.Tittlemouse, I do hate everything chemical, you know that I'm for ancient recipes in everything, at least as much as possible, so this remedy of yours is so very welcome, my precious JES, thank you for sharing it with us !

    Hope you're having a wonderful day, I'm sending blessings on your weekend ahead, with so much gratitude


    1. Glad Mrs. Tittlemouse isn't alone in her "all natural" loving lifestyle Daniela. Have a lovely weekend my friend!