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).
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
*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 containingDEET, 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
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.
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.
STEP 2. Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until it is mixed.
It should be pretty cloudy.
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?