Homemade Mosquito Spray That Really Works!

homemade mosquito spray

First Published June 2011. Second update 2018.

Homemade 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 favorite mosquito repellents and/or mosquito bit remedies on Pinterest and knew I had to try it out.

Ingredients For Homemade Mosquito Repellent

Here’s what you’ll need:  

*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.

UPDATE 6/23/2016:  Due to the severity of and widespread nature of the Zika Virus, do not use this mosquito spray if there are mosquitoes carrying the virus near where you live. Although it has worked well for our family at preventing most mosquito bites, experts agree that the best mosquito repellent to use to prevent a Zika-carrying mosquito bite is one that contains DEET. Since our homemade version hasn’t been laboratory tested, I would strongly urge you to purchase a spray. Here are the recommended sprays, according to this article from NPR:  OFF Deep Woods (25% DEET), Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus (No DEET but performed very well in tests), Repel 100 (98% DEET), Cutter Skinsations (7% DEET).

How To Make Homemade Bug Spray

homemade mosquito spray
We used these essential oils:  citronella, lemongrass and lavender. You could also use peppermint or cedar wood essential oils as well.
homemade mosquito repellent
I cleaned out an empty detangler spray bottle for our “on the go” spray.
homemade bug spray
STEP 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.
homemade bug spray with essential oils
STEP 2. Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until it is mixed.
homemade mosquito spray
It should be pretty cloudy.
Homemade mosquito spray
STEP 3. Pour the mixture into your spray bottles using a funnel.
STEP 4. Make a label (or write in Sharpie). I used an old Scrapbook sticker to make it look “cuter”. :)

How To Use A Natural Mosquito Repellent

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.

Homemade Bug Spray For Kids

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.

Homemade Mosquito Spray For Yard

You can even use it to spray the area around where your sitting outside.

What kind of natural mosquito repellent does your family use?


Click here for more homemade recipes:

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How To Get Rid Of Brown Recluse Spiders

Licefree Spray

Homemade Glue

Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade Window Cleaner



    1. Hi can I use scented olive oil and rubbing alcohol instead? Coz the ingredients are not available or too expensive here in the Philippines. Thanks!

    2. I appreciate the information. I am so sick and tired of putting that poison spray on my body but I haven’t had any choice for years. I hope it works for me . Thank You Have a good one!

  1. That looks great as well. Yes, the essential oils add up. I had wanted to buy some lavender anyway for our next batch of laundry detergent anyway.

    When we went to get the essential oils, I saw a product similar to the one you shared, Natalie. It was $10 and I almost just bought that instead, but Kevin convinced me that once we have the oils, we'll be able to make tons more. So yes, the oils are a bit expensive upfront, but since you only use a few drops, you'll get lots of use out of them. I think we spent around $20 for the oils and $1.50 for the witch hazel.

    1. Hi Since reading your comment I thought I’d tell you where to buy awesome oils etc.
      SanFrancisco herb company
      I buy from them all the time:)
      Let me know what your experience was

      1. Thank you so much for posting this, I LOVE that site! My husband might groan but I am so excited to buy from them!

    2. Just wanted to share something an herbalist told me once: don’t waste money on oils for laundry soap,etc. The dryer heat destroys the scent, so unless you hang clothes instead of drying them,you won’t smell anything.

    3. If you look on Amazon, the essential oils are much cheaper than any I have found and regular store and a wider variety. I paid $9 for 3 oz of peppermint oil a couple weeks ago.

  2. Do you have to use the oils? I am alergic to most scents. I am with you. We all have huge welts from the mosquitos. We live about a half mile or so from a lake and have lots of trees in our back yard so it attracts the little buggers.

    1. Essential Oils are different than traditional “fragrances”, especially if you get good quality ones. There are some good brands available on the internet that may be better than the store ones (if you’d like some suggestions, i can give you some, i sell one, and there are two others i like as well of the many brands i’ve used). I have had contact allergies for a while, including fragrances, and don’t have the same problem with oils. I even have an oil I use for perfume that I love!

    2. hello anonymous – you wrote that you were allergic to some scents, you could order some “Skin So Soft bath oil” from Avon it is a great Mosquito repellent, you can place it in a spray bottle, or get the tiny one from Avon with the oil in it & buy a big bottle that will last for possibly years, i have had some for years, so unless Avon has changed something about it, it should last a long time. i keep it under a sink or someplace fairly cool & dark preferably …you can test the essential oils on your skin, dilute 1 drop with a “carrier” oil, like Olive ,Sunflower,safflower, or any light oil of your choosing, then dab with a q-tip on the inside of your wrist, wait awhile. if no reaction you should be ok to use the Essential oils…good luck

      1. Skin So Soft is not natural. It contains artificial fragrance that is actually toxic. It’ll kill people as well as insects.

        1. I don’t ever remember hearing or seeing of anyone dying from using skin so soft. My mother used it on me forever and I’m still alive!

        2. I had heard that there were questionable ingredients in Skin So Soft.
          Avon disavows any use of Skiin So Soft as an insect repellent. We must keep in mind that anything that is put on our skin goes to all of our internal organs. Also, a good thing to keep in mind is whether the products we are using are cruelty free — meaning that no animals died or were tortured in a labotatory so that we could “enjoy” these products.

      2. I have a huge sensitivity to fragrances and am allergic to SSS, Burts bee’s lotion, and a cocoa butter lotions, and a lovely spa lotion from Iceland. Essential oils could be the the best way to go do to our situation. I’m working through a process of elimination. Maybe the oil companies will refund if there are problems.

      3. Used to love SSS before I moved to the Gulf Coast. Skeeters here must be meaner, because it doesn’t phase them!

      4. Actually Consumer Reports debunked the Skin So Soft mosquito theory a long time ago… :-/ It is false. Avon Skin So Soft does not repel mosquitoes.

        1. Debunked or not, it works very well for us. I am the mosquitoes’ favorite person, but I can put on Skin So Soft, and I will rarely get bitten with it on.

      5. I have used SSS to kill and repell roaches and ants. Works great. Living in some apartments, no matter how clean you are, if the person who lives next to you is not you can have roaches. I dampened a rag with it and wipe down the inside of the cabinets and spray behind the stove and fridge.

    3. Essential oils are a must! I learned about them for a lot of home remedies in my ethnobotany class. My professor says he makes a mosquito repellent with lavender and he’s the only one every year that doesn’t get any mosquito bites when he goes to the Amazon rain forest,

    4. you can take basil and either rub it on your skin or make basil water and put in spray bottle. Mosquitos don’t like basil. Also, plant basil around your house, put in window planters, place by door to repell mosquitos.

    5. Pure Essential oils are just that… pure. There are no adiitves. So you may find your allergies are not caused by pure oils but by other chemical “scents” addes to most products.

    6. To Anonymous regarding sensitivity to scents. I too get welts from mosquitoes that can last up to three weeks. My doctor says I’m allergic to them. Living in Hawaii and we have these biting pest all year round. I found that taking a vitamin B1 (Thiamoine) every day helps: 1. reduces the chance of getting bit, 2. if I get a bite it doesn’t swell nearly as much, 3. the duration of inflammation is less than a week. I don’t like taking a pill every day but it sure is better than suffering from those hard, hot itchy, red welts. Works best if taken two weeks before exposure and to continue during exposure.

      To Jenae, I have a granddaughter visiting and she gets those ugly welts too. She’s too young to try B1 (above). I’ll try your recipe, I’m sure it’s better than over the counter and nothing at all. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I'm not sure it would be as effective without the oils, but I really don't know. You might look into Avon Skin-so-soft…I've heard that's really good too.

  4. We use a mixture of vanilla (like for baking) and water. Even the imitation vanilla works! I believe the mixture is 1 tbsp vanilla to 1 cup of water, but we haven't had to make any since last summer, so I'll have to pull out my book again and check.
    Anyway, it's a fast easy mix-up, it doesn't leave you sticky, and it is with ingredients I always have on hand!

    1. i have done that with Vanilla, it is effective also if you make up a batch of sun tea, Ice tea..with no sugar, that too will keep bugs away, you can take a glass of unsweetened tea out side & no bugs will bother it, if you drink Tea regularly it seems to keep bugs away from your body while outside…seems the Black Pekoe tea works best

      1. Sure doesn’t work for me (the drinking tea, or having a glass with me). I’ve been consuming LOTS & LOTS of iced tea (black Pekoe) lately, and was sitting outside last night as a matter of fact drinking some, and had to go inside because of the mosquitoes!! :>(
        Sure wish it DID work for me.
        Mosquitoes case huge welts on me too!

            1. I have no idea if it is true or not but I have been told the more sugar and sweetened products you consume the more the the mosquitoes will bite you. Something about your sweat having sugars in it much like when you drink to much alcohol and sweat it out the next day at the gym. Again no idea if it is true but I do know that i have a sweet tooth always and get bit twice as much as my sweet hating partner.

    2. Be careful using vanilla or other fragrances that smell like food if you are camping or staying anywhere near bears. I would warn against it.

  5. Thanks for this! We just moved to CT from New York City and we're dealing with LOTS of bugs. Do you know if this is safe to use on a 7-month old? (other than her face?!)

    1. Lavender is completely safe for babies. The others are not. I use many and have studied their uses for several years. Feel free to contact me. Kathy

      1. Kathy,

        What can we use for babies? My sweet tasting, outdoor loving nursling is getting eaten alive!



  6. I have heard that essential oils shouldn't be used during pregnancy and also that lavender has been known to cause abnormal breast tissue growth in boys.

    1. don’t worry– you would have to use a LOT of lavender for the estrogenic effects to kick in. like rubbing it all over his body straight (not diluted like this), every day, for a long time. lavender essential oil has been safely used for hundreds, if not thousands of years. for pregos & babies, it’s definitely a safer bet than DEET, hands down!

      1. Be careful with some essential oils later in pregnancy as they can induce labor. I know peppermint is one to stay away from while pregnant! Just a thought.

    2. The study about abnormal breast tissue growth in boys is so faulty. Yes, pure lavender essential oils have very slight estrogenic properties… So slight it’s unlikely to have any effect at all. Here’s a link about how unscientific that study was.. https://groups.google.com/forum/m/?fromgroups#!topic/everythingdoterra/ghHLoGYeaFE Also, I use doTERRA oils, and they offer an insect repellent blend, Terrashield, that’s amazing! It even smells good! Their oils have honestly changed my life!
      I’ve been a massage therapist over 11 years now, and have used essential oils even longer. I’ve found none more potent or more pure than doTERRA! Yeah, they’re a bit pricey, but, as another said, using just a few drops will be effective and last a long while. Also, especially when it comes to essential oils, you get what you pay for. They have options to save you money if you know you’ll be buying oils fairly often… You can join as a preferred member by paying a small fee ($10 yearly, I think) and save a certain percentage on retail prices, or join as a consultant (you don’t have to sell!) by paying only a few bucks more (one time fee) and get their products at wholesale (25% off!). I joined to buy for myself :)
      You can check them out here: http://www.mydoterra.com/blissessentials
      Hope this information can help someone!

    3. I am certain lavender doesn’t do that! Where did you hear that??? It’s even safe for babies and pregnant women.

  7. So does it actually work? We have an INSANE number of mosquitoes at our place and are always looking for new solutions.

  8. This sounds great, but I'm a little confused. Is it the oils or the witch hazel that keeps the mosquitoes away? If it's the oils, is there a particular one that needs to go in the mix? I always have a problem with the oils clogging the bottle's pump. Are hair detangler bottles the way to go to avoid this?

    1. Lavender should be the only one you absolutely need. My ethnobotany teacher insists he is the only one each year that doesn’t get mosquito bites when he goes to the Amazon rain forest.

  9. actually… I believe the lavendar and breast issues with boys was ONE study.. on a small handful of boys…. and something else was flawed… like maybe a few of them had issues BEFORE adding lavender. Check into it before you 1. worry too much and 2. before you spread worry to everyone else. Worry is contagious. I used it with my son and he is VERY flat-chested! LOL

  10. THANK YOU! I already bought the citronella and lavendar oils and have been looking for a home-made insect repellent. I hate the thought of putting DEET all over my little girl. We used the skin so soft when she was a baby and seemed to work fairly well but I can't stand the smell of it. :p)

  11. We have a family friend that uses Listerine to spray the area where he is having family gatherings. It has worked so far for him. Mosquitoes have been horrible this year!

    1. I have recently heard that too. It is the original Listerine that is so strong you can hardly gargle with it.

    2. Listerine is toxic… it contains triclosan… the poison on antibacterial soaps, etc… it is toxic enough just being used on hands & should NEVER be ingested!

  12. Sarah, I'm honestly not sure…maybe the combination??? There is so little oil compared to the witch hazel that I don't think clogging should be an issue.

    Kelly M: What a great idea to use LIsterine! We might have to try that.

  13. I just read that the essential oils citronella and lemongrass are insect repellants, so you probably wouldn't want to leave those out.

    1. I just received a recipe to make insect repellant. It calls for 3 1/2 ounces (approx 1/3 cup) of Witch Hazel, 1/2 teaspoon Lemongrass oil, 1/2 teaspoon Eucalyptus oil, 1/2 teaspoon Citronella Oil. You mix them together and put it in a 4 ounce spray bottle. You have to shake it because the witch hazel separates from the oil. I have not tried it. I might add the Lavender oil for the smell.

  14. This sounds great for the mosquitoes. Everyone should just be aware that this will not work against ticks. For that, as far as I know, you need the DEET. I was all set to make something for my kids until I read this. We live in an area with a lot of ticks.

    1. Even using Deet my son has had ticks in the past. As long as you are checking your children after playing outside and remove the ticks immediately there isn’t reason for concern. Personally I”d rather do that then have my son putting his hands with deet on them in his mouth.

  15. Geranium oil works GREAT for ticks. I just put it on my dog's collar every couple of days and we haven't had any ticks since I started doing that.

  16. Do you think it would be beneficial to add Vitamin E oil as well? Not to repel insects but for overall skin care…kill two birds with one stone kinda thing?!

  17. I'm curious as to how safe it is for little ones? I have a 16 month old & I'm still learning all about essential oils. As for geranium oil for ticks, could that possibly be added to the original recipes posted? Thanks for all your wonderful ideas! They're much appreciated =)

  18. Yes, definitely use citronella and lemongrass both…the other oils are optional.

    Lindsey, I would think that would be a great idea!

    Tina, I'm not entirely sure if essential oils are safe for babies. I would check with your pediatrician.

  19. I bought some organic baby bug spray and it is made with essential oils. I will definitely be making my own and see how that goes! My son is SO sensitive to bug bites so I have to find something safe but effective.

  20. All of the essential oils you mentioned here are safe to use on babies & children & adults too as long as they have been diluted as per the recipe above or in a lotion too. The witch hazel is just a carrier as is lotion. Most EOs need to be diluted for safe use because they are so strong.

    I personally have used straight lavender oil (one of the few oils you can use full strength on your skin) in a mosquito infested forest several times. It works pretty good, but not 100%.

    If I were making a bug spray, I'd definitely use the lavender, citronella & lemongrass.
    If you remember, there are citronella candles for sale for this purpose.
    Any of the mint family will work well.. Here is a link.. read down to the natural repellent section and it can give you an idea of what else might help.

    Also, I get my EOs from 3 different places…I use EOS a lot. These places have the best quality in my opinion and are very popular with herbalists & soap makers.

    1. http://www.sfherb.com/store/essential-oils,category.asp
    2. http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/index.php?AID=105381&BID=681


  21. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! We live by a large wooded area, with a pond in our backyard. So, needless to say, it's mosquito heaven! I hate it! It seems like the mosquitoes go straight to ME! I'm also pregnant and running around with a 2 year old. So this bug repellent is great! I hate smelling all the chemicals the put in those store-bought products. Thanks again!

  22. This is such a great idea! I never knew you could make bug spray on your own. Honestly, this really is probably a lot healthier than the ones you buy in the store with tons of deet! I live in MN where the mosquito is out state bird, so this will definitely come in handy!

  23. Thanks for sharing! We only use natural bug sprays to avoid the chemicals but they are very expensive! Mosquitoes have been really bad here this year with all the rain we are getting so hopefully with a little of this I can finally look like I don't have a scary disease all over my legs!

  24. You can also buy the Thayer's Alcohol Free, Organic Witch Hazel, which won't be a problem for the face or eyes. Young Living Brand, Purification Essential Oil contains citronella, lemongrass, lavender, rosemary, and tea tree and costs about $27 I think. You can use about 50 drops of this and add it directly to the spray bottle, then add the witch hazel, that way you won't waste a single drop in the pre-mixing in another container. If you add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the mix, this will help to preserve it a bit and won't add any smell as the amount is so small, but this is optional. This is how I make mine and it works really well.

    1. I use Young Living Oils as well. They are very pure oils and well worth the money, in my opinion. :) Purification Blend works splendid but I am also going to try this recipe….I like it :)

  25. i have tried a recipe similar to this but I used water as the carrier and it wasn't always effective. I am excited to try it with witch hazel and hope it will be effective %100 of the time!

  26. Do you have any idea how long of a "shelf" life the spray has? How often do you have to apply/reapply? We live in MN where deer ticks are prevalent not to mention the unofficial state bird, the mosquito!

  27. in reply to the lady who said she was allergic to most scents — often people don't realize that essential oils are very opposite from "fragrances" and most people who cannot tolerate fragrances have no trouble with Essential Oils. This is true both with respiratory and skin sensitivities. In fact many essential oils are used for medicinal purposes.

    I don't know if this applies to you or not, but I thought I'd mention it.

    1. I would have to disagree with that. As someone who is severely salicylate intolerant I find that I have the same, if not more, problems with ‘natural’ things. In my experience people who are ‘allergic to most scents’ (or a wide range of foods etc) and can’t put their finger on a specific allergy, usually are intolerant to something like salicylates or amines.

      The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital has some great resources on this.

      As to the original topic, thanks for all the tips – am going to try some of the methods out for my husband. He HATES getting bitten and seems to attract them like crazy.

  28. it is perfectly safe to use Young Living essential oils throughout pregnancy and with babies with correct knowledge of how. An excellent resource book is Gentle Babies, by Debra Raybern (www.growinghealthyhomes.com), I teach applied aromatherapy through CARE (raindroptraining.com). There are some excellent articles on discerning purity of essential oils in the archived newsletters at raindroptraining.com.

  29. Thanks for this timely post! I am going to be making some to keep the massive mosquitos away this summer! I'm going to blog this in my Sunday Surf! thanks!

  30. so….is the recipe 14 oz witch hazel to 15 drops of oils? And thanks for all the great comments like where to get the oils and all.

  31. Tracey,
    It's 14 oz. witch hazel to 40-45 drops of essential oil (15 citronella + 15 lemongrass + 10 lavender (or 5 lavender and 5 peppermint).

    And to all who wondered how it works…GREAT so far!

  32. Saw the earlier comment about ticks and geranium oil. Would this work as a tick repellant if you add geranium oil to the other three?

  33. The welts you describe could be because the boys are mildly allergic to mosquitos. I am and I always get welts from mosquitos, no matter where they are from. Does this spray work well? I'll have to try it!

  34. I use peppermint, catnip, lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus mixed with water, oil (I prefer jojoba) and 1 tbs lemon joy dish detergent. Shake it all up and put it in a spray bottle. Work great! Smells great! Safe for kids.

  35. I didn't get enough protection with just witch hazel and tea tree oil, but when I added apple cider vinegar to the mix, it worked much better. Equal parts witch hazel and vinegar.

  36. I work in mosquito control, and just want to say that while these are lovely smelling and will work for a little while — they really won’t provide a lot of protection from mosquitoes (or at least not for longer than 5-15 minutes).

    The CDC actually recommends one “natural” product — oil of lemon eucalyptus (along with picaridin and DEET) to repel mosquitoes for a significant amount of time. If you are going to add a “special ingredient” to your best natural remedies, you might want to seriously consider that one.

    1. mosquito control? Anyways, people want to use all natural products on their children and any pediatrician or good mommy will tell you to stay away from DEET! Using products with deet on your children, in my eyes, is like spraying your crops with pesticides. Love the essential oil and with hazel and am going to give it a try!

      1. Any pediatrician? Is that why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends DEET?

        You guys can decide to dose yourself in air fresheners and perfume if you want. But I’ve met people who have had family members die from mosquito borne disease. It’s not something I mess around with.

  37. I make a wonderful spray with many of the same oils as above in an aloe vera gel and witch hazel base. Some alternatives are Patchouli, Orange, and Opopanax for fleas and ticks. It works great, just needs to be applied often as the oils evaporate and are absorbed.

  38. There are a handful of widely recognized essential oils that possess properties that naturally repel biting insects. These oils include: cedarwood, lavender, lemon, patchouli, neem, peppermint, rosemary, basil, thyme, citronella, lemongrass, pennyroyal, tea tree oil, geranium, catnip, and eucalyptus. You can sub any of these oils. I have more ideas on making insect repellents on my blog article here: http://www.soapdelinews.com/2011/06/natural-mosquito-repellent-recipes-and.html if you’re interested.

  39. I have tried different natural bug sprays but they never work. This one looks like a good one, I am going to have to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  40. This looks Great! I am excited to try it. We use California Baby Bug Repellant. It works very well and uses essential oils like these to repell bugs.

  41. I found this link on Pintrest and I was super excited about it. I am going to try this right away.
    Do you know if it will keep the bugs called no-see-ums away? We have an awful time with them where I live.
    Thanks so much for posting this!!!

  42. Hi there,
    I use on myself and will be using on my son this week or so (EEE threat in our town) the EcoSmart bug spray. I ride horses so flies are AWWWFULLLL and it works pretty well. It smells just like horse fly spray – so you’d have to smell it. I like the smell of it, but I am used to the stronger scents. But besides that, EcoSmart brand products (and they include insecticides, etc) are organic, natural, plant-based and pet-kid safe. Yes including the ant/roach killers. And they can be used in the kitchen (we also have a huge ant problem and I was worried about my son playing on the wood floor and then putting his hands in his mouth). Yupp, they’re all non-toxic. Their website is ecosmart.com I once saw a reviewer on a TV show eat one of the bug killers (not recommending at all haha).

  43. Dr. Christopher’s has a balm that is FABULOUS! It will HEAL a brown recluse bite. We put barely a smudge on a skeeter bite and that’s that for the bite. No itch, no welt, no bump, it goes away within a day or two and never does itch. rarely we have had to put salve on a bite twice. I gave some to a guy who had a recluse bite turning gangrene. He came back the next day and wanted to know where to buy some, as he saw a huge change over night. It is amazing on a bee sting. It is called…Dr. Christopher’s Bite and Sting. Google Dr C and find his Herb Shop to purchase or if you live in a city with a good health food store they might carry it! I am a true believer in Dr. C!

    1. I’ve bought tea tree oil there in the vitamin section, but I’ve had to go to the health food store for any others.

  44. Do you think this would work for chiggers too? All of a sudden the past few years, I’m very attractive to chiggers! If now, does anyone have a suggestion for chigger repellant?

  45. I just came across this great pin on pintrest. I am excited to be able to try this recipe out in the summer.
    I just thought I would post my website http://www.mydoterra.com/aubreykhill as another option of a place to buy great Certified Pure Theraputic Grade essential oils (CPTG). They are a great company resolved to have the best, purest, potent essentil oils. They do 2 different test on every single batch of oils they produce at a 3rd party testing center to ensure there are no chemicals or pesticides added to the essential oils. They source their oils where the plants, flowers, roots, fruits grow the best throughout the world. Go on over & check them out. Thanks!

  46. You should also try putting a dryer sheet in your pocket. I live in Minnesota. Land of 10,000 lakes and 10 million mosquitos. The dryer sheet keeps them at bay from my experience, but I’ll also give this a try! Thank you for the recipe and pictures!

    1. The dryer sheet works for gnats, too. We live in southwest GA, “below the gnat line,” and this is the only thing I’ve ever found that keeps gnats away (they don’t bite, but one buzzing around your ear is enough to send a sane person over the edge). Just tuck in in your pocket/ponytail/wherever you want. Sometimes when we go fishing I always rub it over my arms, legs, and neck, but that would be up to you depending on your skin sensitivity. I generally can’t use detergents or scented dryer sheets in my laundry because it makes my skin itch, but just carrying one for gnats has never given me a problem.

  47. I just wanted to add that my parents run their own company called Gritman that sells and distributes essential oils. From experience I know that when dealing with essential oils you will want to store them in a colored glass bottle. (ie brown or cobalt) Essential oils will eat through the plastic containers causing a mess and who knows what plastic chemicals to be sprayed on you and your loved ones skin. Because my parents are based in Houston, they also have an aweful time with mosquitoes and have come up with a few blends that are particularly effective. Their website is http://www.gritman. com if you’d like to check it out. Also, if you already have bites, teatree oil is fantastic on them. It really helps to cause the itching to subside, and to help your body heal the bite faster. Good luck in your bitey bug fighting adventures!

  48. this works great been using even before I read it here. Tea tree I found worked to keep horse and deer fly away when camping in NY Adirondacks! even got my cousin hooked on it before I left up there. She lives 1 mile inside of park. Also pepermint is big help too

  49. Sounds cool but pricey–and I don’t like that you can’t put some on your face. But most importantly, does it work? I swear on Avons’s Skin So Soft bug spray. We never get bitten when we have that stuff on. They always have it on sale in Avon too. Highly recommend.

  50. Sounds cool but pricey–and I don’t like that you can’t put it on your face. But most importantly, does it work? I swear on Avon’s Skin So Soft bug spray. We never get bitten when we have that stuff on. They always have it on sale in Avon too. Highly recommend.

  51. So, I make my own bug repellent. I’ve found that just using these isn’t quite enough (perhaps mid-west bugs are just meaner? lol). As far as DEET is concerned, catnip is the best thing I’ve found. If you have it fresh, make tincture with it (fill glass container with fresh catnip, add vodka, shake daily, let sit 10-14 days). Or, use catnip EO. It’s *very* expensive, but I only use about 5 drops/4oz bottle. It’s *fantastic* and seems to last few hours.

  52. In Hawaii we had a mosquito home in our plants (the hallway between bedrooms was exposed to the outdoors). The post bite cure was a swab of alcohol over the bite. In California the mosquitos are much healthier and it takes more to overcome the itch. A parley rub works pretty well in California to avoid those pesty bugs. At least it’s not very toxic.

  53. we swab with ‘rubbing’ alcohol on bites too! Works great on Houston mosquitos. Don’t be shy with it though, we put some on a cotton ball and rub the well for a good 30 seconds or more. It takes the itching away and the bump is gone within he day.

    I saw the idea yesterday to use Listerine as repellent.

    I didn’t have a bottle to dilute it so I just splashed some around my patio edge and it worked quite effectively. I watched mosquitos fly around feet from where we were but they weren’t bothering us.

    I’m going to try your recipe for when we’re away from the house. Thanks!!!

    1. I bought mine at Whole Foods. But now that I have Amazon Prime, I’ll buy them online from now on because I think they are cheaper.

  54. I buy my essential oils at http://www.puritan.com (Puritan’s Pride) My recipe for mosquito, tick, and flies is for my horse- I use witch hazel and add skin so soft to essential oils (geranium, eucalyptus, citronella, etc) Vinegar, in some studies listed throughout the internet, has been known to attract gnats. They were not specific about apple or regular vinegar though. At puritan you can get free bottles right now with buy x get x amount free- and they are WONDERFUL. I’ve stocked up for the summer for my horse! (And get skin so soft on ebay if avon doesnt have it on sale. I am not paying $13 for 16.9 ounces when I can (and did) just get it for $8 and free shipping.)

  55. If you are allergic to any of these, you should not use them. To work as a natural mosquito repellent, you will need to apply these oils to your exposed skin more often than you would chemical-based products.

  56. My sister and I make a bug repelant that we call “bugg off!” and we steep water with an array of herbs. We dont like the smell of citrenella so we use lime instead. We also use wormwood, pennyroyal and a handful of herbs with cinnamon. Smells great and you wont stink. It can be sprayed on your face AND I spray it on my dog and we have never had fleas. We live right between 2 lakes. We also have a remedy spray for bites and stings. We call it ” be calm”
    Sisters Suds and Salves at Facebook.

  57. FYI,. if you decide to use tea tree oil in the mix,.it only take 2 drops to poison your pet,.so if you have them in your home,. best to leave that one out of the mix :)

  58. The house we used to live in had a drainage ditch at the bottom of the yard and the mosquitoes were terrible, my kids couldn’t play in the back yard without getting covered in bites and my son reacts badly to them. I found a product on amazon called mosquito barrier. It’s completely natural – it’s highly concentrated garlic juice – won’t harm you kids, your pets or the beneficial bugs in your yard. You mix it with water and spray it all over your yard ( not on yourself unless you’re worried about vampires!) and it will keep mosquitoes away for about 3 weeks. It worked so well in my yard that both my neighbours started using it too. I highly reccomend it. Use it with your bug spray and your boys will be happy campers.

  59. I love your recipe, but I’d like to add though, are you putting any water in this? I might not have read it clearly, but you cannot use essential oils just by themselves b/c they are so strong and it’s harmful to your body. My mom is an herbalist and aromatherapist and she’s always telling me how there needs to be some sort of pure water in with oils. I will try this out though. My mom has been trying to get me to keep using natural remedies lol

  60. I use a all natural spray made of essential oils. I had been looking for months since moving to Houston where the mosquitoes are really bad. I’d even tried making my own bug spray from natural oils. Someone from my mommy group told me about Bugsprayforbabies. It works really well…so well that my husband uses it also when he does yard work. http://www.bugsprayforbabies.com

  61. I got the oils and am going to make it, but was wondering how long it will last. How long can I store it and how often does it need to be applied? Thanks!!

  62. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I would like to verify the amount of witch hazel used.. 14oz is quite allot of witch hazel… Possible to convert to ML? I tried converting 14oz to ml and it came up to 672ml.. Can you pls advise? Thanks!

  63. I have heard that rubbing yarrow on the skin makes an excellent mosquito repellent. Just be careful though, yarrow looks like hemlock and you don’t want to be rubbing that on your skin, it’s HIGHLY toxic. There are ways to tell the difference, it’s all online. Thanks for the tip! I have lemongrass oil and I’m making a lavender oil infusion and will add that. Perhaps I will make a tincture from yarrow and add that as well. I have kids and I absolutely hate putting chemicals on them to deter pests. Hopefully these ideas will work. :)

  64. Just wondering about the lavender…as I am allergic to it. Is there something you can use in its place?

  65. I tried this recipe today and had no luck. I had mosquito bites in a matter of minutes. Tomorrow I will try adding more drops of the oils to see if that works. I used 100% lavender oil, citronella, and lemongrass.

  66. Here is another idea–a natural mosquito barrier for the yard. It’s best explained in this link: http://www.mosquitobarrier.com. It really works, too. I used it for the first time this past weekend and we have been able to sit out in our yard in the early evening, unbothered by mosquitos. That has never happened before! It’s also supposed to repel deer which we are hoping is true since they love our garden–so far, so good the past few days. BTW, I didn’t even use the barrier on our whole yard since it’s an acre–just the part we use the most.

  67. We now carry Organic Lavender essential oil and more. We also have other products.Garlic is another good thing bugs dont like.If you would like us to make a scent for you that works on bugs let us know.

  68. wow thank you so much. My family and i always BBQ out on the deck and are being chased in by “the Mosquito”. Now we have something to fight back with. thanks again.

  69. I made a concoction today for mosquitos and tick repellent. I used 15 drops each of tea tree, citronella, and lemongrass. Smells great, and time will tell if it works, will try tonight while I walk the dogs. Make sure you use a jar that you don’t use for anything else. I used a quart Ball jar, and the odor will not wash out. SO, I’m saving this jar for making more.

  70. I’ve been reading the comments listed here and have one question, well maybe two. Do the essential oils used in making this bug spray have alcohol in them? Is this mixture completely alcohol-free? I have a child who is severely allergic to all types of alcohol. With the recent prevalence of West Nile in my area, I want my children protected, but I don’t want to end up in the ER with an allergic reaction either.

  71. Thought this was the same recipe I use but then I read that you use witch-hazel. I use the same essential oils but I add them to baby oil or olive oil. In the 20 years that I’ve lived in Florida I’ve never had anything to work as well as this. The thing that lead me to this recipe was a trip to one of our local nurseries. I couldn’t help but inquire as to what the employees used to ward off the mosquitoes since they spend 95% of their time out-doors among the plants. When the cashier told me what they used I asked what the ingredients were. To be honest, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when the list included all natural ingredients because it’s an organic nursery. With the exception of a few essential oils, I had everything on hand. I’ve been making it every since with great success. If I am bitten, it’s always in a place where I neglected to put it. Recently I assumed that I didn’t need to put it on my legs because I was wearing jeans….wrong! I had one huge bite on my leg but not on the rest of my body. Interesting thing is, we were on an open field after a rain, at night watching the fire works and I was only bit once. If you know Florida, there’s nothing left to say! Good idea for a blog post! I think I’ll follow suit and let them know that you were my inspiration! Thanks!

  72. We have tried Skin so Soft, Cutter, Off (in spray and other forms). Nothing works for myself and my kids. I can’t wait to try this to see if it really woks. I feel horrible for the kiddos especially my 17 month old. We can’t be outside more than 10 minutes without them being attacked.

  73. Hey there! Just wanted to let you know we featured you in our Favorite Find Fridays post over at Whimsically Homemade. We used one of your pictures and linked back to you. If that’s a problem let us know and we’ll remove it immediately. Thanks for your great inspiration!

  74. That’s great! We have been using a natural product roll on but it’s quite dear so when we run out we’ll make our own following your advice! Love the label on the bottle, by the way ;-)!

  75. I either use Bullfrog Mosquito Coast sunscreen that has repellent in it or Listerine I keep in a spray bottle in my diaper bag. Not sure where I heard about using Listerine, but it really works. I didn’t use it Wednesday and was outside for about an hour and have over 15 welts. Never leaving home without it again.

  76. Incredible! This can be one specific of the most helpful weblogs We’ve actually appear around with this subject. Basically Spectacular. We are additionally an expert on this subject matter so we could realize your energy.

  77. We use the citronella/eucalyptus/lemongrass combination here on our farm in the Ozarks. It works to repel ticks, mosquitoes, and other nasty things.

    We also use it on our dairy goats and other livestock. Doesn’t interfere with the quality of the milk, and it keeps our animals so much more comfortable.

    Now if it would only work against those nasty brown recluse spiders…

  78. I am currently making my own spray (different “recipe) but will try this one too, minus the lavender. I love lavender but read recently not to use with boys or men. Not sure how accurate but may want to read some more on that if using on boys/men. Can’t wait to see how it works. I moved from West coast to East coast and we are getting “welts” not bites like you said.

  79. I know if you rub basil on your skin it keeps away mosquitoes, and if you plant certain herbs and flowers around your home it repels them, too.

  80. why cant you just go to a store like publix and buy a bottle of mosquito spray that is proven to work, and works much better than your homemade mosquito spray?

  81. Simplest concoction I use is pine needle or pine oil as much or as little as you like. Mix with filtered water and pour into a heavy duty spray bottle. Mosquitoes cannot stand the smell of the pine. I spray liberal all over from head to toe. Just make sure to avoid eyes and put away glasses and sunshades or they may get ruined.

  82. Thank you so much for posting this. I have used this to spray around doors and windows as mad bee season has arrived. I have also planted a mosquito repelling garden in the front of my house since that is where the kids are all the time.
    Your spray works like a charm (o far on bees-whew! and I anticipate it will be great for repelling mosquitoes too!) –North Carolina Momma

  83. I stumbled upon your sight through pintrest, and im very glad i found it! I work for the forest service as a wildlife biologist, So im out in the night with a thick swarm of mosquito around me. Im also allergic to the bits since they all seem to swell up to about the size of a quarter or bigger! I had to use deet, just on my clothes, and that still barley helped! Im dying for a way to keep them off me and from biting me through my clothes. I am going to give your recipe a try, and ill let you know my results, thanks so much for the recipe!

  84. Use Avon ‘Skin so Soft’ mixed with citronella oil and eucalyptus oil for midges in Weardale, County Durham, England. Amazing results, not a bite, without it i’m eaten alive with bites from head to toe

  85. The best all natural bug spray out there by far is made by a company called Mission Essentials (www.mission-essentials.com) – it’s called Fight Back 2…it smells great, works fabulous and has no alcohol so it feels good.

  86. 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.

  87. 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

  88. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. Can this be used on dogs to keep mosquitoes off of him I don’t like the side effects I have seen with all of the heart warm products out there on the market would like to use something natural to keep the mosquitoes off him instead

  92. 🌒🏕️🕷️🐜🐝🤱👶we can use the bugger off when we take the baby for a walk in the park, we can use it after dark, when camping with the folk, getting bitten aint no joke, bugger me

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