Keep Bugs Away this Summer! Four Thieves Vinegar – Natural Insect Repellant

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Four Thieves Vinegar – Natural Insect Repellant

four thieves vinegar


With summer time approaching, mosquitos and bugs will be all around. I’m the type of person that will be outside with 10 other people and I’ll be the only one with tons of mosquito bites.  I love summer…I hate bugs.

I stumbled upon a natural bug spray last year that works really well…so I wanted to share with you in case you want to test it out this summer. It’s called the Four Thieves Vinegar and it’s actually more than just a bug spray (I’ll get into the additional benefits at the end). And this natural insect repellent is super easy to make!

But first, a little bit of history about the Four Thieves Vinegar. There are several different variations about how the Four Thieves Vinegar came about but all are set around the time of the Bubonic plague. One version of the story is that a group of thieves were robbing the homes and corpses of the dead during the European outbreak and they were able to survive without catching the disease. They were eventually caught and in exchange for leniency, they had to exchange their secret recipe. Another version is that the thieves had been caught before the outbreak of the plague and when they were sentenced to bury the dead, they create the vinegar mix infused with garlic in order to survive.

The Four Thieves Vinegar is a combination of herbs mixed with apple cider vinegar. Different recipes call for different herbs, but I kept mine pretty simple and used a recipe from Wellness Mama.

Here are the things that you will need:


  • Place all the herbs into the glass jar and fill it with the Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (gently warmed but not boiling)
  • Close the lid and seal tightly. If you have a metal lid, be sure to put a piece of plastic wrap on the top before you close the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal.
  • Store it in a cool, dark place for 6-8 weeks (I think I only did about 4 weeks on mine) and shake it daily if possible.
  • When it’s ready, strain out the herbs and store it in the fridge until it’s ready to use.

To use it as an insect repellent, mix ¼ cup of the vinegar in an 8oz spray bottle and fill with water. I will spray myself with it and other times, I will use a cloth and soak it with the Four Thieves Vinegar mix and wipe it on my skin. I’ll store the cloth in a zip lock bag when I am going out so I can reapply as necessary.

One thing to note is that the smell of the vinegar mix is VERY STRONG but it will eventually dissipate. My friends laugh at me when I use it, but I don’t care since it protects me from all the mosquito bites. 🙂 I’ve also used it on my furbaby when we go outside in the summer time and have sprayed it around our tent when we go camping. This stuff really works!

As I mentioned previously, this herbal mixture also has some additional benefits, but I have not tried it for anything other than as an insect repellent. It can be used to boost immunity by taking 1-2 tablespoons a day with a tablespoon of raw honey. It can also be used as a disinfectant on surfaces (dilute with one 1 part water) and for general house cleaning.

Have you tried the Four Thieves Vinegar? If so, what else have you used it for?  What other natural insect repellant have you used?


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