I have attempted to make homemade bug repellent a few times, but it never worked out. I used olive oil as my base every time, and it was messy and sticky! As with some commercial repellents, having sticky, greasy skin while outside is not the ideal situation. Every time I used my homemade olive oil blend, I came back inside with sand, dirt and various other organic material stuck to me in a slimy mess... not any more!
25 drops cedar wood essential oil
15 drops citronella essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops tea tree oil
a drizzle of neem oil (to your discretion, as this really alters the nice, herbal scent. Neem oil tends to smell like a fart.)
Mix everything in a mister bottle and spray liberally on exposed skin before going outside.
Be sure to shake before each use! You'll be amazed at the effectiveness of this homemade herbal bug repellent, and no grease :)