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Homemade Mosquito Repellent: {Recipes}

If you’re interested in experimenting with homemade mosquito repellents, here are a few different recipes that you can try.

Most of these have been sent in by readers and they’re all easy enough to make (thank you for sharing guys!). A few are made with assorted essential oils but there is one shared by Jennifer that uses simple ingredients (garlic cloves, mineral oil, water and lemon juice) so the expense is really minimal.

Here’s a tip sent in by Angela for her tried-and-true solution:

This is a recipe given to me by my aunt, I find that it stores well but should be used within the year.

1/4 cup vegetable oil mixed with these essential oils (mix and store in a spray bottle):

8 drops cedar
5 drops eucalyptus
4 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary
2 drops juniper
1 drop peppermint
1 drop cinnamon
1 drop clove

Here’s one from Mark:

I like this because it only needs a few items and it’s a breeze to put together. Make sure you shake it up for a few minutes each time before you use it. I hope your readers try it because it does work just as well as bought and it’s better to use on your body than those poisonous sprays that they try selling us in stores.

2 cups witch hazel
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
20 drops citronella essential oil
20 drops lemongrass essential oil

Instructions: Mix in a spray bottle and shake well before use.

Jennifer sent this one in:

Mosquitoes hate garlic and so when I saw this in a magazine a few years ago I clipped it, tried it and found that it did a good job keeping me bite free.

Directions: Mince a few cloves of garlic then cover with mineral oil. Allow it to sit for at least 24 hours. Next you take a teaspoon of *just the oil* and mix it with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Strain through a cheesecloth if you have any floaties then pour into a spray bottle. Shake before each use.


Here’s another one from Mother Earth News [1]:

Since the 1999 appearance of West Nile virus in North America, it’s more important than ever to keep these pests at bay. You can outsmart them with this homemade, Earth-friendly solution.

It couldn’t be easier to make, ingredients needed are any combination of these essential oils: basil, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, palmarosa, pine, rose geranium and/or rosemary mixed with 190-proof grain alcohol (see article for suggested quantities).


Yarrow Bug Spray [2]: Here’s one that’s super easy to make and only requires a few items: fresh yarrow flowers and leaves (can also use dried), vodka (or other alcohol), catnip essential oil and spray bottles.

The yarrow is infused in the vodka for a week, strained then the catnip EO added before bottling.

There’s also this tip to try: Use plantain (the weed) by crushing it and applying to bite area (also mentioned in Tipnut’s big list of itch relief tips found on this page [3]).

Prefer something that you don’t apply to your body? Here’s a project from Positively Splendid for making DIY Bug-Banishing Candles [4]:


Since we spend a great deal of time outdoors in the evenings each summer, I am always on the lookout for natural insect-repelling solutions. When I discovered that most citronella candles sold in chain stores are a racket, I decided to try my hand at making my own! After doing a little research, I was happy to discover the process really is quite simple.

If you’ve lost faith in the effectiveness of commercial citronella candles, this tutorial for DIY candles promises to help keep them at bay by using Citronella essential oil (rather than citronella-scented oil found in many products). The containers used for the candles are pretty frosted glass jars (instructions for making these are included) and bits of colored crayons are mixed with the soy wax to tint the candles in a variety of colors.

Don’t miss this page [5] for more prevention ideas.