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Use Homemade Mason Jar Bug Repellent to Take Back Your Outdoor Party Space

You love hosting amazing barbeques on your beautiful deck, but hate the bugs that come with it, which is why Mason jar bug repellent is essential for every outdoor gathering. After you’ve had a wonderful time hosting a cookout and making tons of fun memories, there’s nothing worse than waking up the next morning covered in 32 bug bites (and having flashbacks from the time you had chicken pox and had to take fifteen oatmeal baths. Nooooo!).


Save the oatmeal for breakfast and prevent the bug bites from coming in the first place by creating an aromatic bug repellent that not only keeps the mosquitoes away, but also provides a charming and personal touch to your outdoor party space. This all-natural concoction also gives your guests the freedom to avoid chemical-laden bug spray, which is a hands-down win-win!


These Mason jar bug repellent luminaries will add a warm glow for a relaxing ambience while keeping those little biters at bay. Here’s how to make your own with a few simple ingredients:


Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

  • 2 quart-sized Mason jars
  • 2 floating tea light candles
  • 4 cups of tap water (or two 16-ounce water bottles)
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 limes
  • 8 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 10 drops each of lemongrass, sweet orange, and lavender essential oils


(If your outdoor space is very large, you can get four Mason jars and four floating candles, and double this recipe.)


Step 2: Prep the Jars with Lemon, Lime, and Rosemary

Take one lemon and cut it into slices that are about a quarter-inch in width. (It’s OK to keep the seeds inside the slices – it adds authenticity!)


Next, take two limes and cut them so that the slices are about 1/8 of an inch in width.


Put the sliced lemon and limes into one of the Mason jars, and then put four rosemary sprigs into each jar. (Since my rosemary sprigs were tall, I cut them in half to make a total of eight sprigs for each jar.) Slice up the remaining limes and lemon, and insert them into the other Mason jar with the rest of the rosemary.


It smells amazing already!


Step 3: Add the Water and Essential Oils

Pour 1 cup of water into a glass (you can use tap water or half of a water bottle if you want water that’s premeasured), and add 10 drops of lavender essential oils. Then add 10 drops of lemongrass, and then 10 drops of sweet orange.


Next, mix the essential oils in the water with a spoon to ensure that it’s thoroughly mixed together.


Pour the essential oil mixture into the first Mason jar, then finish filling it up with another cup (or cup and a half) of plain water until the water is about a half-inch below the top of the jar. Repeat for the other Mason jar.


Step 4: Place the Candles on Top and Say Goodbye to those Pesky Bugs!

Take one of your floating tea light candles and gently place it on top of the water in the first Mason jar. Take the other candle and put it on top of the water in the second jar.


Now set the Mason jars outside on your deck table, light the candles, and enjoy a bug-free cookout!


Making Mason jar bug repellent is not only easy and cost-efficient — it also serves as an eye-catching type of décor that’ll bring your party to life while making bug bites a thing of the past.


If you’re looking for other essential oils that are displeasing to bugs, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, and clove oil are also great for maintaining a bug-free zone. Are there any other essential oil combinations that you’ve tried in order to keep bugs away? We’d love to hear your alternative combinations in the comments below!

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