Homemade Natural Mosquito Spray

We live by water.  We have mosquitos.  Lots of mosquitos.  I’m actually convinced they’re mutant mosquitos because they leave welts, not just bites…welts!

On more than one occasion, I’ve frantically run one of the boys over to my dad (the family physician) to see if the bites on their arms or legs are brown recluse bites (my other enemy who currently enjoys residing in our house) or mosquito bites because they are THAT big.  They’ve always been mosquito bites (thankfully), but I know how irritating they must be for the boys (and for us).

Last week I asked Facebook friends to share their favorite mosquito repellents and/or mosquito bit remedies.  Lindsey shared about her homemade mosquito repellent that she puts on pulse points and I was intrigued!  Then just a few days ago I saw this idea for homemade mosquito repellent on Pinterest and knew I had to try it out.

Here’s what you’ll need:  essential oils (citronella and lemongrass are musts, I also like lavender or you could use tea tree oil or geranium oil for tick protection), 14 oz. bottle of witch hazel (available in grocery stores & pharmacies usually close to the rubbing alcohol), a spray bottle (or two–one for home and one for the diaper bag/car), a jar for mixing, and a funnel.

*Please note:  This mosquito spray has not been tested nor confirmed to be effective at preventing mosquito-borne illnesses (such as West Nile Virus).  If you are concerned about you or your family contracting such an illness, please use a different product containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR3535. Higher concentrations of active ingredient provide longer duration of protection.  Be sure to read the manufacturer’s directions for use and safety. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus specify that they are not to be used on children under the age of three years.

We used these essential oils:  citronella, lemongrass and lavender.   You could also use peppermint or cedar wood essential oils as well.
I cleaned out an empty detangler spray bottle for our “on the go” spray.  
1.  Pour the witch hazel into the glass jar then add your essential oils.  We put about 15 drops of both citronella and lemongrass, and about 10-12 drops of lavender.
2.  Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until it is mixed.
It should be pretty cloudy.
3.  Pour into your spray bottles using a funnel.
Make a label (or write in Sharpie).  I used an old Scrapbook sticker to make it look “cuter”.  :)
You can spray this on the exposed parts of your body:  arms, legs, neck, ankles, feet, etc and then rub it in.  Make sure you don’t spray it on your face or get it in your eyes.  If you put this on your kids, be sure to try just a little bit first on one area of their skin to make sure they’re not allergic to any of the essential oils.
Or you can use it to spray the area around where your sitting outside.

What kind of mosquito repellent does your family use???

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Filed Under: MAKE IT, Recipes


  1. Alicia R says

    I was so excited to try this and am disappointed to say that it didn’t work for me. I bought all of the ingredients at a price that I was not happy with. I am now covered in bug bites, with burning eyes from the strong odor. I say if you still want to try it, go ahead. Hopefully it works for you.

  2. Minerva says

    Plain weather and essential oils works best for the whole family. You can use peppermint oil, pennyroyal oil, or lemongrass. They all work! One spray bottle 20 drops of oil and that’s all

  3. Abbie says

    Peppermint is not a good choice of oils if this is to be used on children under 6, it can hinder breathing… otherwise looks like a good blend.

  4. Eryn says

    HI if you really have an interest in starting to use essential oils in vest in books written by Valerie Ann Worwood she is a master!! I own The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy also The Fragrant Pharmacy. I have in paperback pre- Kindle but she has 9 available on Kindle from 4 to11 dollars.
    Aromatherapy a Lifetime Guide to Healing with Essential Oils. This one I have had since it came out in 1996 it was my first, it’s a great intoduction to essential oils from how they are made to how to tell the real thing its the nitty gritty including what can and can not be used on children and why. I wish I could post a photo with my comment my book has pages falling out and 2 huge rubber bands holding it together also wavy pages from water happenings. Not on Kindle you can try http://www.phdirect.com.

  5. nae says

    Past summer, I used One for me and my little one Who was one. Vitamin E oil, tea tree oil and lavander. It works good, I am going to add peppermint or lemongrass this year.

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