Natural Homemade Mosquito Repellents

Natural homemade mosquito repellents are an alternative for those seeking to make their own natural and chemical free solutions to keeping pesky mosquitoes away. While not all homemade repellents are as effective or long lasting as commercial repellents, some are backed by scientific studies which we reference below. Be cautious though some repellent techniques may simply be old wives tales or not work in your situation. We start with a brief overview of different types of homemade repellents before giving a number of homemade repellent "recipes".

Clear bag filled with water

A clear bag filled with water is one homemade repellent that thousands of farmers swear by. There is no scientific backing for this technique, but you'll find several discussions about it on the internet. Some believe that the method is effective because light refracts from the bag and annoys the mosquitoes, but there is no proof and there are few (if any) studies into the homemade repellent.

Using dryer sheets

Stuffing a dryer sheet into your hat may help to keep you bite-free. Again, this homemade repellent sounds like an old wives tale, but farmers and people that spend a significant amount of time outdoors often keep dryer sheets on hand for particularly mosquito-heavy days. Indeed a study did find dryer sheets effective in repelling Gnats. This is not so suprising when you find out that the Bounce dryer sheets in question were found to contain two proven natural repellent compounds - linalool and beta-citronellol.

Using essential oils

There are a variety of essential oils that can be effective as well when used as homemade and natural repellents. Unlike DEET (the chemical that is effective in most bug repellents) natural oils will require more applications in higher density. Several of the essential oils have been proven to give some protection when used at high enough strengths and when applied often.

Some of these popular oils are: Citronella (which is also found in many repellent candles), castor oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass, cedar, thyme, peppermint and cloves. These oils can be combined into a homemade repellent lotion, we give several recipes below.

Homemade Mosquito Repellent Recipes

Making your own homemade mosquito repellent can be a great way to ensure you have a lovely natural and scented repellent for family use. We give many repellent recipes below, feel free to mix and match and create your own. You'll notice several recipes include Witch Hazel as a base for the repellent, Witch Hazel extract is a natural ant-inflamatory astringent and can give relief for mosquito bites.

Precautions

As with any cream or spray applied to the body, proceed with caution to ensure your skin does not have an adverse reaction. Be especially cautious and consult a physician if you have a sensitive skin, a medical condition or are pregnant. Do not use on young children.

Before using over large areas of skin apply the repellent to a thumb sized spot and wait for 30 minutes to check you have no adverse reaction. Label all homemade repellents clearly with clear instructions not to ingest them, you never know who might come across your homemade repellent.

Recipe Idea 1

Craft your own essential oil repellent

Ingredients:

  1. Essential oils: choose from citronella, cloves, lemongrass, rose geranium, bergamot, lemon, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, cypress, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip and our favorite lavender.

    Citronella
    Cloves
    Geranium
    Beebalm
    Peppermint
    Rosemary
    Tea Tree
    Eucalyptus
    Cedar
    Catnip
    Lavender
    Lemon
  2. Natural Witch Hazel
  3. Vegetable glycerin (optional)
  4. Distilled or boiled Water

Steps:

  1. Fill spray bottle with half distilled or boiled water
  2. Fill bottle with Witch hazel until 3/4 full.
  3. Add 1/2 tbs. vegetable glycerin (optional)
  4. Fill the bottle with of your choice of essential oils.

Recipe Idea 2

Using Dried Herbs

Ingredients:

  1. Dried herbs: peppermint, lemongrass, catnip, lavender, spearmint, citronella, cloves.

    Citronella
    Cloves
    Lavender
    Peppermint
    Catnip
  2. Distilled water
  3. Witch hazel or rubbing alcohol

Steps:

  1. Boil 1 cup of water, then add 5-6 tbs. of dried herbs from those suggested above.
  2. Mix the herbs and water well, then leave to cool.
  3. After 3-6 hours drain the water into a spray bottle and add witch hazel.

Recipe Idea 3

Using Natural Oils

Ingredients:

  1. 2 tbs. witch hazel
  2. 2 tbs. if grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or neem oil
  3. ½ tbs. vodka as preservative
  4. 100-150 drops essential oils

    Eucalyptus
    Cedar
    Lavender
    Rosemary

Steps:

  1. Mix the ingredients above into a spray bottle.
  2. Add 50-70 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  3. Add 15-30 drops cedarwood essential oil
  4. Add 15-30 drops lavender essential oil
  5. Add 15-30 drops rosemary essential oil

Recipe Idea 4

Lemon Eucalyptus

Ingredients:

  1. Lemon eucalyptus oil

    Eucalyptus
    Lemon
  2. Sunflower oil or Witch hazel

Steps:

  1. Mix 1 tbs. of lemon eucalyptus oil and 9 tbs. of witch hazel.
  2. Fill bottle with boiled water (after cooling the water first).

Recipe Idea 5

Lavender

Ingredients:

  1. Just Lavender!

    Lavender

Steps:

  1. Dry lavender leaves and flowers to make a repellent potpourri
  2. Place the potpourri around the home
  3. Rub dried lavender flowers on the wrists, ankles and behind the ears.

Recipe Idea 6

Fragrant Oils

Ingredients:

  1. 1-1/2 tbs. water
  2. 1 teaspoon castor oil
  3. 10 drops rosemary oil
  4. 10 drops lemongrass oil
  5. 6 drops geranium oil
Rosemary
Lemongrass
Geranium

Steps:

  1. Add all ingredients to a sutiable spray bottle - that's it.
  2. Shake before each usage and re-apply regularly.

Recipe Idea 7

Lavender and Vanilla

Ingredients:

  1. 15 drops of lavender essential oil
  2. 3-4 tbs. of vanilla extract
  3. 1/4 cup lemon juice and distilled water
Lavender
Vanilla
Lemon

Steps:

  1. Mix ingredients and place in spray bottle.
  2. Shake before each usage and re-apply regularly.

Recipe 8 Idea

Cloves

Ingredients:

  1. 16 oz of rubbing alcohol
  2. 3.5 oz of whole cloves
  3. 3.5 oz of a natural of oil of your choice e.g. lavender, eucalyptus, citronella
Cloves
Lavender
Eucalyptus
Citronella

Steps:

  1. Place cloves in alcohol
  2. Each day stir the cloves in both morning and evening
  3. After 4-5 days strain the alcohol into a spray bottle
  4. Add your chosen natural oils
  5. Shake before each usage and re-apply regularly.

Recipe Idea 9

Thyme, Lemongrass, Lavender, Peppermint

Ingredients:

  1. Lavender 4 drops
  2. Thyme 4 drops
  3. Lemongrass 8 drops
  4. Peppermint 4 drops
Lavender
Thyme
Lemongrass
Peppermint

Steps:

  1. Mix the oils with together with witch hazel.
  2. Place in a spray bottle.
  3. Shake before each usage and re-apply regularly.

Recipe Idea 10

Jojoba, Almond, Olive oils plus essential oils

Ingredients:

  1. 2 tbs. each of of witch hazel, jojoba, almond oil, olive oil
  2. 30 drops lemon eucalyptus oil
  3. 10 drops each of cedarwood, lavender, rosemary oils
  4. 10 drops of other other essential oils: citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree, rose geranium, bergamot, lemon, cinnamon
Eucalyptus
Cedar
Lavender
Rosemary
Citronella
Tea Tree
Geranium
Beebalm
Cinnamon
Lemon

Steps:

  1. Combine witch hazel with oil of choice.
  2. Mix in essential oils. Combine thoroughly.
  3. Shake before each usage and re-apply regularly.

Recipe Idea 11

Cinnamon Oil

Ingredients:

  1. Cinnamon oil has been shown to repel the Asian tiger mosquito.
Cinnamon

Steps:

  1. Mix a few drops with cool boiled water.
  2. Spray on the skin or clothing.
  3. Apply to the skin with care and in moderation it can irritate the skin of sensitive people.

Recipe Idea 12

Thyme Oil

Ingredients:

  1. Thyme oil has been shown to protect against malaria carrying mosquitoes.
Thyme

Steps:

  1. Apply to exposed body parts befor sunset and re-apply regularly for effective protection.

Recipe Idea 13

Catnip Oil

Ingredients:

  1. Catnip oil extracted from the leaves of the plant
  2. Citronella and lavender essential oils
Catnip
Lavender
Citronella

Steps:

  1. Mix with essential oils such as citronella and lavender.
  2. Apply to exposed skin and renew regularly

Recipe Idea 14

Soybean Oil

Ingredients:

  1. Soybean Oil
  2. Lemon grass oil

The University of Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory found that soybean based products provide longer lasting protection than citronella. In their tests soybean oil gave up to 90 minutes protection compared with 20 minutes for citronella.

Soya beans
Lemongrass

Steps:

  1. Add a little lemon grass oil to soybean oil to make a more pleasant aromatic homemade repellent.
  2. Apply to exposed skin and renew regularly

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