Jun 18, 2012

Homemade Mosquito Repellent – This super easy recipe is non-toxic and it works!


Homemade Mosquito Repellent.  Super easy to make and it WORKS!

I have been searching for good recipes for homemade mosquito repellent for a while now and I think I finally found some!!

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There are some wonderful ways to keep the mosquitos away naturally, without any harmful chemicals. These homemade mosquito repellent receipes have worked GREAT for us and I’m thrilled to have found something that isn’t full of toxic chemicals AND that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (like, for example, California Baby Natural Mosquito Repellent at $16.99 a bottle).

After a whole lot of research into essential oil companies I ended up buying from a company called Young Living (you can read more about why here).  All of these essential oils can be bought from Young Living, and they are the only essential oils that I feel comfortable using on my family regularly (again, read my post on why.)

Also, since essential oils are so easily absorbed by the skin, I reapply the mixure fairly often.

**Side Note: Be sure to also check out 20 Ways To Get Rid Of Pests Naturally!**

Mosquito Repellent Essential Oils

The recipe that I use the most from the ones above is the Thieves and Purification one.  It’s easy to mix up, only takes two oil blends, is safe around pets, and I love the smell!

Have you tried making your own mosquito repellent? I’d love to hear other recipes that have worked for you!

And let us know if you try one of these recipes and it works!

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  1. WOW we are going camping in a few weeks and I will def try this!!!

  2. Do you spray it on like the other repellants?

    • Cindy Gordon says:

      Yes, you can spray your camp chairs and tent flaps. Spray more often than commercial formulas but you wont mind. It smells that good.

  3. I’ll have to print this one out. Bugs, in general love me and I swell up like crazy from those skeeters!

  4. Thanks for posting it!

  5. I hate bug sprays, they smell horrible! I can not wait to try this :)

  6. Taking B1 everyday during the summer will also repel the mosquitos. They will not like the taste of you.

  7. We use a ceiling fan if we are just sitting outside. Keeps them away.

  8. Took advantage of the free Kindle Book!

  9. I will concoct this together and let you know, thanks…

  10. Will definitely have to try this as I do live in the infested setx area..right now the Mosquitos are horrible since we got rain recently which we needed bad but not the bugs..

  11. Love this (and really love the idea for making your own vanilla extract! My husband thinks I’m nuts but that is totally going to be my next project- yay!!!)

  12. Kristin says:

    Great idea! I’m all about the made from scratch products : )

  13. I will be making this tomorrow!

  14. Virginia says:

    Also, if you take tea tree oil and mix several drops with any lotion…it repels mosquitos too.

  15. Can you make this with another kind of essential oil? I heard lavender was not so good for cats and I don’t want to harm my kitty’s

  16. Is this safe for pets, too? Like dogs? Our dogs LOVE to play outside, but I don’t let them stay out long in fear of them getting all bit up by the pesky mosquitoes..

  17. gramma ronda says:

    We fill a spray bottle with Listerene and spray the area outside where we will be at!  It works great for picnics, camping, outdoor firepits, weiner roasts, boats!!  Just spray the area where you are and repeat if the little pests start “bugging” you again!

  18. EricaLynnDelay says:

    i am from south east texas =) and i will try t his when i get back from vacation 

  19. BillyCarmon says:

    What size spray bottle?

  20. I use Patchouli essential oil, vodka and water..Smells nice and works like a charm at repelling mosquitoes here in NC.

  21. JessicaAbramsWillis says:

    Where do you buy packages of whole vanilla beans and for the cost of $9.02?

  22. Angel3fall89 says:

    Looks like you and I switched places.  You can see the mosquitos in the DARK down here!  Thank for the info; can’t wait to try it.

  23. Wacissa Manor says:

    we use at our farm 1/2 and 1/2 – 1/2 water and 1/2 Skin So Soft.  This i can spray on my horses and it stays on them since it has oil in it.  Keeps the horse flies and yellow biting flies of my horses, and me! 

    •  @Wacissa Manor I’ve used straight skin-so-soft for years.  It use to come in a spray bottle, it works so well.  I use to pour it on the corners of my beach towel too, worked like a charm!!!

  24. sapphiremnb says:

    I had made a mixture of several essential oils, but I think I diluted it too much.  I used lemongrass, peppermint, & something else (I just can’t recall).  It worked okay, but did not last as long as I wished.  I think my spray bottle was too big & I over diluted it.  I made another one with neem oil, peppermint & lemongrass.  Oh my, I can smell why it repells…the neem oil stinks!  I need to use less neem oil & more of something else.  It may work, but I would not want to spray it on my guests or even be around my guests wearing that concoction.  I am still working on that perfect one.

  25. computeramy says:

    I’m surprised the lavendar/vanilla/cinnamon don’t attract the bugs more?

  26. Wouldn’t they have to bite you (and inject their itch-inducing, bump-producing poison) to know they don’t like you?  So this would keep repeat offenders away, but I don’t think repeat offenders are really a problem.  This would still give every mosquito at least one good shot at you.  And where I live in SE VA, that means about a million per day :))

    • paradisio164 says:

      Bugs are often attracted to the scent of your skin (hence, the reason why they bite some people more than other people), and taking certain vitamins may change that scent enough that they are no longer attracted to you.  Different things will work for different people.

  27. We simply use the old fashioned Listerine, the gold colored kind, and water. About 1/4 cup Listerine in a quart spray bottle. Fill up with water. Doesn’t smell bad, and the mosquitoes don’t seem to like it either.

  28. i use 2/3 baby oil to 1/3 dettol (do you have that in the states? its a disinfectant).  makes loads and is great for camping

  29. I’ve been blending my own insect repellent for quite some time now and have several options, but always start with the same basic ingredients.
    I use Witch Hazel as the main ingredient, then add a combination of essential oils for both flying insects and tick repellents.
    Start with 3.5 oz Witch Hazel. Add app 20 drops Each of 2-3 of the following essential oils, blending to suit your individual needs:
    Cedar wood
    And for tick control:
    Tea Tree Oil

    One of my favorite blends here in New England is Lavender, Lemongrass, Citronella and a few drops of peppermint to help cool the skin on hot, humid days/nights. For tick control, I’ll also add geranium to this, but may choose to either decrease or eliminate the lemongrass depending on the strength of the scents.

    All of these herbal essential oils work quite well to ward off those pesky bugs, and are quite safe to use on adulte, elderly and little one’s, too. Please be careful when using peppermint and eucalyptus with young children that may rub this in their eyes, as it could irritate them, but otherwise it’s quite safe. It also smells GREAT!!
    You can find witch hazel in the first aid section of most drug stores and places like Walmart and Target close to rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide in most places. I use either a glass or heavy plastic spray bottle because essential oils can sometimes react to lighter grade plastic. Good luck, and hope you have a bug free summer!!

  30. Lemon attracts bugs, don’t add that! Lavender essential oil repels quite a few bugs, but attracts bees and ladybugs. Vannila extract is a good repellent.
    I wonder if Tea Tree oil would be a nice addition to the mosquito repellent.

  31. Lemon juice attracts bugs, don’t add that! Lavender essential oil repels quite a few bugs, but attracts bees and ladybugs. Vannila extract is a good repellent.
    I wonder if Tea Tree oil, Almond oil, or Orange oil will be a nice addition to the mosquito repellent… Although, that’s a lot of oil.

    • In my opinion, Tea tree oil smells awful but I’ve heard it does help keep bugs away. I personally would not spray it on my body!

  32. KelliFawn says:

    I’ll give this a try. I live in East Texas and my son and I are “Skeeter Magnets”. Deep Woods Off is our go to, but mostly we stay indoors when the skeets come out at dusk. I grew up in Dallas and we always had Martin Bird Houses. Martins eat tons of Mosquitoes. You have to have a “Martin House” to attract them. Looking forward to trying this mixture. So much more pleasant smelling!!! Now, I want a Martin House. Canton, first Monday, here I come!

  33. NextOnDeck says:

    I have horses and live in Southeast Alabama, so I’m always trying to fight mosquitoes as well as a myriad of other pests around the barn.  So far, the best thing I’ve found is Avon’s Skin So Soft mixed with some citronella oil and and water (or instead of water (for my horses) a cheap fly repellent like Bronco).  Works like a charm.

  34. kfarmer03 says:

    @Hey Paw @missy72190
    I am wondering if the one from avon has deet in it? My husband and I do so much out doors with our kids and, he wont use anything with deet in it.

  35. Since thickness and consistency are key factors in lotions and creams, it is important to understand the manufacturing process that determines viscosity.

  36. Is this for the yard or for people or both????

  37. This whole business of mosquitoes need some serious consideration. Let’s see, everyone pretty much seem to try almost everything but have you thought about neem, full strength with natural coconut oil mix together? The neem is suppose to be an insect deterrent and the oil makes the insect loose it’s appetite. The neem bush grows plentiful in areas of south America and that’s exactly where the fight is. Come let us experience the victory together, with God’s help of course.

    Oh by the way, you will never get the benefits if you are not prepare to tolerate the smell. It certainly work great if you can get over the smell.

    Blessings to each of you for trying

  38. Try taking 500mg-1000mg of vitamin C tablets a day through the hot summer. Though it takes at least around a month of doing so first, before the humid summer kicks in, for it to really take effect and be/soak in your system really good. Mosquitos won’t even think twice about your blood; it’d be like drinking pure acid for them.

  39. wouldn’t the lavender oil attract bees? And wouldn’t the lemon bleach clohes? I’m not being difficult I was just curious how it works?

  40. Lora Patten says:

    Insect repellant, homemade or store bought, only works as a short term deterrent for mosquitoes. They are not attracted to the “smell of your blood” or skin, or sweat, etc., they are attracted to the carbon dioxide we are exhaling when we breathe. The greater the number in the group (be it animals or humans), the higher the concentration of carbon dioxide in that area and the more mosquitoes that will be attracted. All a bug spray does is mask the carbon dioxide present temporary so it doesn’t really matter what you put in it. Straight witch hazel reapplied every half hour works fine on its own or you can combine it with baby oil to prevent it from over drying your skin. Mosquitoes have no sense of taste, only the females drink blood and only when they are breeding. If you havea tendency to react to the anticoagulant they inject before feeding, your best option is to wait patiently for the little sucker to finish feeding because it will eventually suck out the anticoagulant they inject while feeding. Dab vinegar, toothpaste (NOT GEL), oatmeal, baking soda, or lemon juice on the bite to soothe it.

  41. If you take brewers yeast (pill form) 3 times a day it turns your blood poisonous to mosquitoes. It takes a couple of days to take full affect.

    • Please can you tell me where you got these exact spray bottles? They look very heavy duty/good quality! And what size?


  42. Thank you so much for this post! I am super prone to bug bites and the bug spray from the stores stinks so much like chemicals I’m almost afraid to spray it all over me. I have included this in my Sunday Shares post for useful sites at http://www.doomestic.com Thank you again so much!!

  43. MIKI GIBSON says:

    Sounds like a great alternative. I am definately going to try. Have you tried it against our pesky Dallas chiggers? I live in the country and fight them every spring/summer.

  44. Hello, can someone please tell us what size spray bottle? It seems the amount of liquid added would be very important. Also, if you add the witch hazel, is there a recommended amount? I really want to try this, but would like to get some better measurements.


  45. Laura Richard says:

    Do you need to refrigerate the homemade lavendar and lemon juice insect repellent.

  46. I know “they” say that pure lemon juice by itself don’t work to repel
    mosquito’s, but it sure has worked for me here in N.C.

  47. I’d like to try your mixture, but it seems to me an important piece of information has been left out and only a few people have mentioned it…what size spray bottle did you use? Your directions say to mix all the ingredients and then fill the rest of the bottle with water but if one uses a bigger bottle than what you have used, the mixture will be too diluted and won’t sufficiently repel bugs. Thank you for any help you can give–I’d love to try this but want to get it right!

  48. Michelle Patterson says:

    This works great! #oils4everyone

  49. If you make your own Vanilla and Vodka wouldn’t you smell like Vodka. This wouldn’t be good for children or areselfs

  50. Michelle Patterson says:

    I love finding chemical free recipes that also save me money…thanks for sharing!

  51. Thanks for this recipe! We are in Kansas and get a lot of mosquitoes in the spring/summer. I wonder, would this work for all bugs – like chiggers? Thanks!

  52. As a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils I’m really glad to see she used our essential oils for this product…they are awesome & they do work!!


    where do you buy the oil’s ,from what store cause i would to make this for the summer coming up.thank you for the great idea…

  54. I wonder if this would work if I added vinegar to it instead of the water or witch hazel, to repel ticks, too. Any ideas anyone?

  55. I havent tried the recipes but I would caution using the formula if one is going to be out in the sunlight as some of the essential oils can be photoxic (increasing effects of sunburn).

  56. ginny hubbard says:

    As a person that those darn mosquitoes love, I will hafta try those. I heard that you could also use a dryer sheet. Tried it and it works but only for a little while. Avon has a good one out with both sunscreen and repellant that works pretty good. I’ m in Oklahoma City and its gobs of mosquitos and flies just as soon as it gets the least bit warm. Ugh!

  57. My dad always told my not to scratch, but to use hot water as hot as you can stand it for the itch and it makes the sting or itch go away. It always worked for him, and I tried it, and it does help. Another thing that I do, if I can’t stand real hot water is, I would just kind of slap the area and it would kind of help too.

  58. I use lavender oil, lemon oil, citronella java oil, eucalyptus oil, red thyme oil & water! For your dogs exclude eucalyptus oil to get rid of fleas!

  59. Please spot test all of the essential oils prior to use. Most are volatile and can have skin reactions. I personally have to watch Ti Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifloria). Also if your ‘greenness’ is at full throttle, check the source of the ‘vegetable Glycerin’ some comes from Palm Oil and this production is linked with the reduction of habitat of orang a tang’s.

  60. I’ve tried a couple of recipes, and we haven’t been impressed. By we I mean my teens/young adults and me. They don’t last nearly as long as commercially prepared, and while we are worried about chemicals, I’m more concerned with mosquito bites and the disease they spread. We’re in FL, so we need repellant just about year-round.

  61. This may sound silly, but am wondering if using vodka, is it OK for children. I know that using regular repellant is bad because it absorbed into the blood stream. Would the vodka do the same?

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