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 a good recipe for homemade mosquito repellent for a while now and I think I finally found one!!

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Before I share the recipe I have to say that I have tested it up here in the Dallas area, but NOT where I grew up in the mosquito-haven of southeast Texas (high heat + super high humidity = an insane number of mosquitoes).

That said, this homemade mosquito repellent has worked GREAT up here in Dallas and I’m thrilled to have found something that isn’t full of chemicals AND that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (like, for example, California Baby Natural Mosquito Repellent at $16.99 a bottle).

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


And I LOVE the smell of this mixture too! No need for perfume. ;)

I also reapply fairly often.

There are a few other options that you could use as well instead of the above ingredients (although it might not smell as nice). Instead of the lavender essential oil you could use cinnamon oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, witch hazel, lemongrass oil, or just plain vodka (my homemade vanilla extract was made in vodka).

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).  For the past couple of months I’ve been experimenting with another recipe using two of their oils and it works GREAT!  Here’s the recipe using only Young Living Oils and water:


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?

  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. @Tori Yep! Except I also spray it directly on my face, which I don’t do with chemical-based repellents. :)

    I do reapply A LOT, b/c I HATE mosquitoes, lol!

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

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

  9. Took advantage of the free Kindle Book!

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

  11. 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..

  12. 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!!!)

  13. Kristin says:

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

  14. I will be making this tomorrow!

  15. Virginia says:

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

  16. 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

  17. 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..

  18. 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!

  19. EricaLynnDelay says:

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

  20. BillyCarmon says:

    What size spray bottle?

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

  22. I can’t guarantee anything as “safe”, BUT I can say that I would feel totally comfortable spraying these ingredients on my pets.  :)

    • Ashley Dempsey says:

      ALL essential oils are TOXIC to cats as their livers cannot metabolize the terpenes in the oils.

  23. JessicaAbramsWillis says:

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

  24. JessicaAbramsWillis says:

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

  25. DaniellePreston says:

    DO NOT USE THIS DURING THE DAY!  Citrus on the skin plus sunshine equals nasty blistery burned mess.  It is very dangerous and often requires a trip to the ER.  The same mechanism by which lemon juice works to bleach your hair also works to burn your skin.  I have seen this first hand and it is NOT pretty…

    • missy72190 says:

       @DaniellePreston i’m ashamed of myself! i’m a nursing assistant and know this but it just never crossed my mind! i guess the mosquitos are over taking so bad that its the only thing you can think of is getting them off of you.

  26. 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.

  27. BrookeHandlinLewis says:

    I made this today and it smells great, but why is mine so dark and yours so light?  Is your homemade vanilla not dark in color?  I’m afraid to spray it on any clothing for fear that it will stain.

  28. BrookeHandlinLewis says:

    I made this today and it smells great, but why is mine so dark and yours so light?  Is your homemade vanilla not dark in color?  I’m afraid to spray it on any clothing for fear that it will stain.

  29. 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!!!

  30. 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.

  31. computeramy says:

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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

  35. 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!!

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

  38. 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!

  39. missy72190 says:

    i cant wait to try the carpet cleaning machine formula and the homemade mosquito repellent this week. i’ve been looking for some natural,inexpensive things to try. I dont like using chemicals in the home around my famiy and pets and would love to be one who participates in a greener planet. Anything to save the planet AND put a few bucks back into my pocket is always a plus. will keep you posted :)

  40. missy72190 says:

    ok well i tried this today and it did not work. infact i think i got more mosquito bites with it than without. i did it exactly as it says but the first time i was thinking i diluted it too much because i filled the bottle all the way up through the neck of the bottle and it didnt work so i remade it and just filled it up to the top line, i bought a 28 oz bottle and it still didnt work. friends have tried it in smaller  bottles and had no luck either…. thank goodness the mixes didnt cost a lot.

    •  @missy72190 I’ve also been using Citronella Essential Oil since they are so bad right now up here in Dallas.  That has added some extra kick to it when they are EVERYWHERE!

    •  @missy72190 My cousin and her husband are entomologists working with the FDA on natural mosquito repellent.  I showed her this formulation:
      [15 drops of Lavender Essential Oil3 – 4 Tbsp Homemade Vanilla Extract (which is why I recommend making your own so it’s inexpensive!) 4-5 Tbsp. Lemon Juice],  asking if this would work.
      This was her response. “ Sadly, no, most of the home made repellents don’t work even as well as skin so soft bath oil (thats about 85% for many people). I use a product made out of prickly pear pads and orange oil thats pretty good, but even that has been formulated in a more sophisticated way than we can at home. We’ve tried them all, at least it feels like it after 30 years of this! The one we like best is called Naturpel with picaridin (it works pretty good for flies as well), the other one we really like is made by Avon- it is their insect repellent, it has an active called IR3535.”

      • missy72190 says:

         thank you for the reply hey paw.  its sad that it didnt work because it would have been nice to be able to save a few bucks with the economy the way it is but i figured it was worth a shot. but after so many mosquitos attacked me with the solution on i had to have my husband stop and buy me a few tubes of anti-itch cream because the itch was so horrible. that before and after a hot shower helped a lot. ( just a quick note incase no one knew that a hot shower could help, as hot as you could stand it.) i’m  just going to go buy some skin so soft this week.

      • 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.

  41. missy72190 says:

    thank you for the reply’s. its sad that it didnt work because it would have been nice to be able to save a few dollars in this economy today but then again you get what you pay for. it was worth a shot. thank you again :)

  42. 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.

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

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

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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?

  48. DEET is currently the only effective way to repel mosquitos. The effectiveness of any home made concoction is purely coincidental at best. See link below or check snopes.com


  49. 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.

  50. 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?


Leave a Comment


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