DIY Mosquito Repellent Spray
That time of the year is right around the corner. Pool parties, camp outs, backyard barbecues. Time to break out the insect repellent. Instead of your usual store bought repellent try this easy, homemade, mosquito repellent spray.
Harmful Chemicals in Insect Repellent
Since you came to this post in search of a diy insect repellent it’s probably safe to assume you may already be aware of the harmful chemicals in insect repellent. But just in case you don’t know, let me share just a few of the nasty chemicals that can be found in store bought insect repellents like Off and Cutter.
Deet is the most popular active ingredient found in insect repellent. More about deet below. But there are other harmful chemicals used in repellents such as pyrethroids, permethrin, cyfluthrin and more!!!!
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Side Effects of Chemicals Used In Insect Repellent
Many of the chemicals used in store bought insect repellents have been linked to neurotoxicity. Neurotoxicity refers to damage to the brain or peripheral nervous system caused by exposure to a biological, chemical, or physical agent.
Symptoms can include headaches, vision loss, loss of memory and cognitive function, fatigue, sexual dysfunction and quite honestly the list goes on and on and on. Scary stuff!!!
Deet is especially dangerous! When deet is applied to the skin some people may experience a rash, redness or hives. If accidentally ingested it can cause seizures! And like so many of the other harmful chemicals used in products today, deet is believed to be a carcinogen.
There are actually many other harmful effects of deet. You can read this article to learn more about them.
Alternative (Deet Free) Insect Repellent
It can be hard finding alternatives to many of the toxin filled products available today. Even the so called “natural” products available in stores still contain harmful ingredients.
The best way to avoid toxic chemicals is to make your own diy products. That way you know exactly what you are putting on your body.
This all natural, homemade, mosquito repellent is super easy to make, works great and is 100% chemical free! And you only need 5 ingredients!
Homemade Mosquito Repellent Ingredients
3 out of the 5 ingredients for this homemade insect mosquito repellent are essential oils. If you are unfamiliar with essential oils please read this article to learn more about them.
Citronella essential oil comes from the Asian grass plant known as Cymbopogon nardus. It is actually used in many well known insect repellent products such as sprays, creams, and candles.
Citronella has been registered as a plant based insect repellent in the United States for over 50 years. Citronella is known to repel dangerous Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are capable of spreading the Zika virus.
Lemongrass essential oil is extracted from the lemongrass plant. Lemongrass can repel many insects such as mosquito and ants.
I love the smell of peppermint but apparently bugs do not. Peppermint essential oil has been known to repel mosquitoes, ants, gnats and horseflies.
How To Make Homemade Mosquito Repellent
To make this diy bug repellent you’ll just need the ingredients above and a small glass bottle. I use a 4 ounce bottle for this diy. It can be purchased from Amazon. If you use a different size bottle you’ll need to adjust the ratios below.
Also it is very important that you use a glass bottle. Plastic bottles should never be used with essential oils. Pure essential oils are very potent and the plastic may begin to deteriorate and leach into the essential oils.
Okay, back to the recipe. Fill the glass bottle with equal parts witch hazel and distilled water. Then add 15 drops each of citronella, peppermint and lemongrass essential oils. Gently roll the bottle between your hands to mix up and your done! That’s it!
How To use Homemade Mosquito Repellent
This spray is simple to use. Just spray liberally all over your skin, hair and clothes whenever you are in an environment with a lot of bugs. This spray won’t last as long as your typical, chemical filled, store bought repellent. It should be reapplied every hour.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent For Kids
The above recipe is recommended for children 10 and older. For children 2-10 years old please use lavender essential oil instead of peppermint. And use only 10 drops of each essential oil instead of 15.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent For Babies
I do not recommend using this bug repellent on babies 3 months old or younger. For babies 3 months to 2 years old please use the kids recipe above and lightly spray their clothes only. Avoid contact with skin.
Use Pure Essential Oils
There are many essential oil companies that sell high quality essential oils. I used to use Young Living oils exclusively but I just couldn’t afford to use them anymore. I was pleasantly surprised to discover several brands that sell amazing, high quality essential oils at very affordable prices.
A few of my favorites are Eden’s Garden, Plant Therapy and Florihana. Plant Therapy and Eden’s Garden have amazing blends that can be easily purchased from Amazon. And Florihana is my go to for single oils.
DIY Bug Repellent Tips
- If you plan on storing this mosquito repellent longer than 30 days add 1/2 tbsp of vodka to preserve freshness
- Do not spray on face
- If you have never applied any of the above mentioned essential oils to your skin before please do a skin patch test prior to applying all over to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction
- Mix well before each use
Conclusion about Homemade Mosquito Repellent
I’m extremely passionate about natural living and eliminating chemicals from our homes. I truly believe that the things you put ON your body should be safe enough to go IN your body.
I hope this diy bug repellent helps you get one step closer to eliminating the toxic chemicals in your home and creating a toxin free environment for you and your family!
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below 🙂