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How to Make Mosquito Repellent at Home

How to Make Mosquito Repellent at Home

Finding a way to spend time outdoors has probably never been more appealing and important, than when we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic. Spring and summer have always been a popular time for many people, and it brings most of us outdoors for multiple reasons: swimming, cooking, campfires, camping, or even just to get some fresh air.

However, we share the outdoor space with others, including pesky mosquitoes. I’m not sure how it is by you this year, but I think the mosquitoes in our area are on steroids! Not only does it seem to be twice as many each year lately, but they are BIG!

How To Make Mosquito Repellent At HomeRather than staying cooped up inside, I decided to look into my options. One option is to have a company come spray our property. Sure, it might be “guaranteed”, but it’s also expensive. And, not to mention, having a chemically infused fog sprayed over the property doesn’t sound all that comforting to me.

Another option would be store bought bug repellents, that we can spray in the yard or on ourselves. But, I’m not particularly fond of feeling and smelling like a personal sticky chemical bomb.

So, I looked further into my options and realized there are several homemade and all-natural mosquito repellents that I can make. And, they smell GOOD!

I happened to like the lavender one, so that is what I will focus on most with the photos and instructions. But, because we all have our likes and possible allergies, I will share several various recipes for an easy, inexpensive, homemade, and natural mosquito repellent.

Lavender, Lemon, and Vanilla

What you will need:

● A spray bottle (at least 16 oz in size)
● 15-20 drops of lavender oil
● 3-4 tablespoons vanilla extract
● ¼ cup lemon juice
● 2 Cups Water

Pour the lemon juice into the bottle.

How to Make Mosquito Repellent at Home pic 2

Shake 15-20 drops of lavender into the bottle.

Add 3-4 tablespoons of vanilla to the mix.

Add 2 cups of water to the mix.

Shake well, and spray like a topical mist when needed. Focus on exposed skin, but also thin clothing. You can reapply 2-3 times during your exposure.

Why Does This Work?

Even though lavender is known to be calming to us humans, mosquitoes don’t care for it at all. Lavender contains certain compounds that repel them, such as:

● Linalool
● Eucalyptol
● Camphor
● Limonene.

In addition, both the vanilla and the lemon juice have natural repelling traits.

But maybe you don’t like lavender or lemon. That’s OK. Here are a few more recipes to consider:

Peppermint and Coconut Oil

● Peppermint oil – 12-15 drops
● Coconut oil – 1.5 ounce

Mix the oils, and apply directly to your skin. The peppermint has the same repellent features that lavender has, and the oil emulsifies and slows down the evaporation of the peppermint.

Cinnamon Oil Spray

● 10 drops of cinnamon oil
● 2 oz of water

Mix and put into a spray bottle, then spray on exposed skin. Cinnamon bark is known by many as a mosquito repellent due to the components found in it, such as cinnamyl acetate, cinnamaldehyde, and anethole.

Rubbing Alcohol Mix

● 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol
● 10-15 drops of essential oil (choose one of the few listed here for added repellent benefits)
● 1.5 oz water

Mix all 3 ingredients, and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture over exposed skin. The rubbing alcohol intensifies the essential oil, making it more potent. Also, rubbing alcohol is a healing agent, including for bites. So, if a stubborn mosquito gets through, the rubbing alcohol that is already on your skin will help to diminish the bite.

Tea Tree and Coconut Oils

● 10-15 drops of tea tree oil
● 1.5 oz of coconut oil

Mix the oils and apply to exposed skin. Tea tree oils have great medicinal tendencies, hosting both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. If the strong aroma doesn’t repel all the mosquitoes, the tea tree will work to heal a bite more quickly. Tea tree oil also has a strong odor to it, which helps to repel most insects.

Garlic Spray

● 5 or 6 garlic cloves
● 1 Tablespoon mineral oil
● 1 teaspoon lime juice
● 2 cups water

Mince the cloves, add the mineral oil, then soak overnight. Strain the minced garlic out of the oil. Add the water and lime juice. This recipe is different from the rest in that it isn’t sprayed on you, but rather on plants and items around you. However, you can spray it on exposed skin if you choose to. But it might keep more than mosquitoes away if you do. In addition to the strong aroma acting as a convincing repellent, garlic also contains allicin, a compound that has shown repelling tendencies.

Cloves and Lemon

● 10-12 cloves
● 1 large lemon

Cut the lemon in half, then insert about 5 or 6 cloves into each half. Place each half in a room or wherever you will be at. You could also mix clove oil and lemon juice and use it as a spray for exposed skin. The strong aroma of cloves acts as a repellent, but it also has eugenol, a strong compound that helps to repel.

Citronella Oil and Alcohol

● .50 oz rubbing alcohol
● 12 drops of citronella oil
● 3 oz of water

Mix the alcohol with the water in a spray bottle, then add the citronella oil. Spray on exposed skin to help repel mosquitoes. Citronella oil stems from lemongrass, and has long been used for repelling mosquitoes. They say it’s fairly close to the strength of DEET.

Any of the homemade repellents mentioned in this article can be used alone, or in combination with any of the others. However, if you are unfamiliar with any of the products, start with one and sparingly, to make sure it does not irritate your skin.

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36 Comments

  • Roxanne Dachelet Posted June 25, 2020 1:52 pm

    Hi. What would be a natural repellent for deer ticks please? Thank you!

    • Sonya Posted June 25, 2020 4:33 pm

      I’ve used tea tree oil on my shoes, socks and pant bottoms while working in the field and it kept them away compared to when I didn’t use anything. And I usually had 20+ on me, so I know they were there, just repelled by the tea tree oil!

  • Michael Yaker Posted June 25, 2020 2:05 pm

    Nicole Your The Best!!
    Thanks For Sharing and Keeping it Simple and REAL!!!

    • The Lost Herbs Posted June 29, 2020 11:07 am

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      We do really appreciate your kind words!

      God bless!

  • Connie Posted June 25, 2020 2:10 pm

    Can the mosquito repellent be used on dogs? This is very similar to the fly repellent I use in the chicken coop. I just add vanilla to your lavender formula. Works wonders!

    • The Lost Herbs Posted June 29, 2020 11:09 am

      Hi Connie,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Yes, the mosquito repellent is natural and pet-friendly! You can use it without worries!

      God bless!

  • Charlene Ulrick Posted June 25, 2020 2:13 pm

    I’ve read that citrus oils shouldn’t be used on the skin if you’ll be in the sun. I break out if I use them in the sun, especially lemon. Is this true in your experience?

    • JK Posted June 25, 2020 6:46 pm

      CItrus oils should not be applied to the skin if you are going to be in the sun.
      Some essential oils are photosensitive meaning they react to radiant energy or light such as natural sunlight, sunlamps, or other sources of UV rays. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of photosensitivity may include a pink or red skin rash with blotchy blisters, scaly patches, or raised spots on areas directly exposed to the sun. Itching and burning may occur and the rash may last for several days. Dark pigmentation on the skin may occur as well. “A phototoxic reaction typically shows up as an exaggerated sunburn, usually occurring within 24 hours of sun exposure” as stated by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
      The primary essential oil culprits are typically citrus oils: Angelica, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Wild Orange, and Tangerine. Bergamot essential oil contains bergaptene, a dominant photosensitizer, that can cause severe reactions,

    • Eve Posted June 25, 2020 9:18 pm

      Yes for me too. But lemon juice is not as ‘rich’ as essential oil so I’ll give it a try.

  • Joseph S Parrott Jr Posted June 25, 2020 2:15 pm

    You’re the best!

    • The Lost Herbs Posted June 29, 2020 11:09 am

      Hi Joseph,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      We appreciate your inspiring words!

      God bless!

  • MICHAEL D WACYK Posted June 25, 2020 2:45 pm

    WHAT ABOUT OTHER OILS LIKE LEMONGRASS??? (KNOWN AS A REPELLENT….SAFE?)

    • JK Posted June 25, 2020 6:57 pm

      In my experience, lemongrass attracts bees so i opt for other oils. Also, lemongrass is one of the key ingredients in making bee lures for beekeeping because it mimics the scent of the queen bee. (you can google that).

  • Alberta Mazur Posted June 25, 2020 2:49 pm

    Thank you, I just ordered The book of Herbal remedies and I am most interested in all natural cures. I don’t do medications except Warfarin as I had a Pulmonary Embolism back in 2014. I can’t wait to learn more about every day living with out pain. The national way as it should be. Maybe I can find out how to lose weight too from this site natural too.

    • The Lost Herbs Posted June 29, 2020 11:12 am

      Hi Alberta,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      I am glad that you chose the herbal path. I wish you the best health!

      God bless!

  • Randall Byrd Posted June 25, 2020 3:45 pm

    Love this idea.

    • The Lost Herbs Posted June 29, 2020 11:10 am

      Hi Randall,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      If you give it a try, please let me know how it went!

      God bless!

  • Linda Posted June 25, 2020 6:30 pm

    Could you please make this (and maybe other) article “printer friendly”? My computer is a desktop, and it doesn’t transport to the kitchen or wherever I might mix my concoctions — so I’d like to be able to print it out. Thank you.

    • Leslie Posted June 26, 2020 2:22 pm

      you can “highlight” the text and photos and copy (Ctrl C) and then on an open word document or e-mail paste it (Ctrl V). Otherwise you can use a right click and select Print (Ctrl P) in the new window. You can always print to PDF if you have the option of Microsoft Print to .pdf in your drop down for printer selection. That way you can print just about anything on your screen. Ctrl P can also be copied to a blank document if you type Ctrl V on the page.

      • Carrie M Hernandez Posted June 29, 2020 12:54 am

        I use something called printfriendly I’ve been able to print anything just download it to your computer

  • Marg Posted June 25, 2020 8:07 pm

    Love your easy directions and tips.Thankyou

    • The Lost Herbs Posted June 29, 2020 11:13 am

      Hi Marg,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      We appreciate your feedback.

      God bless!

  • Marg Posted June 25, 2020 9:13 pm

    Nicole, what is the beat use by date for these sprays please?

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 1, 2020 11:28 am

      Hi Marg,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      The all natural mosquito repellents should be re-applied every few hours, and unused mixes should be stored in cool dark places, sealed.
      The mixes should be good for a couple weeks, so small batches would be best

      God bless!

  • Trish Posted June 28, 2020 8:39 pm

    On the vanilla recipe, does it have to be real vanilla? Thank you so much, I love this website!

    • The Lost Herbs Posted June 29, 2020 11:14 am

      Hi Trish,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Yes, it has to be natural vanilla.

      God bless!

  • Yolene Tassy Posted July 5, 2020 3:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I am looking for a DIY for keeping flies away when I am barbecuing outside.

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 9, 2020 12:01 pm

      Hi Yolene,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      Use cinnamon as an air freshener, as flies hate the smell! Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and lemongrass essential oils – Not only will spraying these oils around the house create a beautiful aroma, but they will also deter these flies too!

      God bless!

  • Trackback: DIY Mosquito Trap That Really Works! - The Lost Herbs
  • Laur Lee Posted July 20, 2020 3:48 pm

    Anything herbal we can use to deter mice/rodents in the home?

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 29, 2020 8:59 am

      Hi Laur,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Mice are said to hate the smell of peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper and cloves. Lightly soak some cotton balls in oils from one or more of these foods and leave the cotton balls in places where you’ve had problems with mice.

      God bless!

  • Trackback: How to Make Black Drawing Salve for Boils, Wounds and Tick Bites - The Lost Herbs
  • Ciye Posted July 28, 2020 2:55 am

    In Texas, (please don´t be a hater) we have a plant that grows along our roads we call Horse mint. It blooms in the summer and it smells much like a horse, hence the name. It is an effective insect repellent, we like to hang it tied in bunches up in the tree branches around tent entries and picnic tables. It has blue to purplish blooms in clusters on a square stalk as it in a true mint I believe. Try it.

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 29, 2020 8:59 am

      Hi Ciye,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      We really appreciate your advice.

      God bless!

  • Lacey Dobbins Posted August 3, 2020 12:34 pm

    Can immitation vanilla extract work in this recipe?

  • Apryl Mossien Posted August 19, 2020 1:04 pm

    best cbd oil for pain

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