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Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellent Spray

Time to throw away your chemical-filled, store-bought, insect repellent! This easy, homemade, mosquito repellent is all you need. And it’s 100% toxin-free!

Woman holding homemade bug repellent.

DIY Mosquito Repellent Spray

That time of the year is right around the corner – pool parties, campouts, and backyard barbecues. Time to break out the insect repellent.

But instead of your usual store-bought repellent try this easy, homemade, mosquito repellent spray.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure statement here.)

I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your doctor before using essential oils on children under 5 or while pregnant or breastfeeding. Please do not ask me for medical advice. Click here to read my full disclaimer.

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 that are typically used 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. But there are also other harmful chemicals used in repellents such as pyrethroids, permethrin, cyfluthrin, and more!!!!

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!!!

Related: The Best Essential Oils For Sleep

Deet Dangers

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 sometimes 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 my ultimate beginners guide to essential oils to learn more about them.

Citronella Essential Oil

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

Lemongrass essential oil is extracted from the lemongrass plant. Lemongrass can repel many insects such as mosquitoes and ants. 

Peppermint Essential Oil

I love the smell of peppermint but apparently, bugs do not. Peppermint essential oil has been known to repel mosquitoes, ants, gnats, and horseflies.

You will also need witch hazel and distilled water.

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 over time.

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 blend everything together and you’re done! That’s it!



Yield: 4oz
Active Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Time to throw away your chemical-filled, store-bought, insect repellent! This easy, homemade, mosquito repellent is all you need. And it's 100% toxin-free!



  1. Use funnel to fill the glass bottle with equal parts witch hazel and distilled water
  2. Add 15 drops of citronella essential oil
  3. Add 15 drops of peppermint essential oil
  4. Add 15 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  5. Attach nozzle & gently roll between hands to blend well

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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 bug repellent lying next to essential oils

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 only use 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 kid’s recipe above and lightly spray their clothes only. Avoid contact with skin.

Related: The Best Essential Oils For Beginners

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.

I regularly use Eden’s GardenPlant Therapy, and Simply Earth essential oils. 

If you decide to buy from Simply Earth you can use the code HAPPYHEARTFREE to receive a free $45 Simply Earth gift card with the purchase of your first recipe box.

If you are not familiar with Simply Earth or their recipe box you can check out previous boxes here.

If you order now with the code above you will receive the recipe box, a big bonus box plus a $45 Simply Earth gift card, all for $29.99 (new customers only)!

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 the 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 🙂

Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellent Spray

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