With warmer weather comes flying, biting insects that can turn a good time out in nature into a painful, itchy, and downright miserable experience. If dousing yourself in potentially harmful commercial bug sprays isn’t to your liking, however, how about an all-natural bug repellent instead? This DIY essential oil mosquito repellent contains some of the best essential oils for mosquitos and other biting insects, along with a couple of basic ingredients you likely already have on hand or can readily find in any drug store.
While store-bought insect repellents can certainly be effective, many people are concerned about the toxicity of the ingredients they contain. For others, the smell makes them feel nauseous or they don’t like the sticky, chemically feeling on their skin. If any of this sounds like you, then why not try your hand at an easy homemade mosquito repellent?
DIY Mosquito Repellent to the Rescue
This DIY essential oil mosquito repellent recipe uses three different essential oils that are known for keeping mosquitos and other creepy-crawlies at bay:
The only other ingredients you’ll need are some rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, distilled water, and a squirt bottle.
Since plastic tends to break down when exposed to essential oils, we recommend using a glass bottle. If you’re concerned about breakage, try storing extras in a sealed glass jar in the fridge and just adding to a plastic spray bottle when you’re ready to use it. Whichever way you go, just be sure to shake well before using.
Other Essential Oils for Insect Repellent
In addition to the oils listed above, there are many other essential oils that are good at keeping away mosquitoes, flies, and ticks. Some of the most popular are:
- Clove oil
- Tea tree
The Best Essential Oils for Bug Bite Relief
One key benefit of making your own mosquito repellent using essential oils is that the ingredients also help soothe the skin if you are bitten. Lavender essential oil is excellent for healing skin irritation. You can apply a drop neat (meaning undiluted) directly to an itchy bump or dilute with a skin-soothing oil (such as the ones shared in this article) and then apply.
Rosemary, peppermint, and tea tree essential oils are also top-notch itch relievers – just be sure to dilute first with a carrier oil before applying.
6 Safety Tips for Using Insect Repellent
Whether you’re using a DIY natural mosquito repellent such as the one below or insect repellent from the store, always follow best safety practices for applying bug spray (along with heeding any additional safety instructions listed on the product itself):
- Spray clothing rather than applying on skin directly when possible (and don’t bother applying to skin that will be covered with clothing).
- Don’t apply over cuts, wounds, or other skin irritations.
- Keep repellent out of eyes, ears, mouth, and other sensitive body parts.
- Wash hands after applying so you don’t accidentally get product into your eyes or mouth.
- Spray in a well-ventilated area (outside is best).
- Don’t allow young children to handle or apply insect repellent on their own.
Caution When Using DIY Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent With Children
This recipe should be safe for adults and children over the age of 10 when used with care and caution, following the safety practices above.
Stick to Lavender Oil With Young Children
For younger children (ages 2 and up), a safe DIY essential oil insect repellent is to dilute 1 drop of lavender essential per ½ teaspoon of safe carrier oil and apply topically (externally) to skin. Castor oil, for example, has some insect-repelling properties on its own and is considered safe to use externally on children.
Please always exercise extreme caution when using essential oils with children and test a small amount before applying more liberally. Infants should have their carriage or stroller covered by mosquito netting to keep stinging/biting insects away.
- 10 drops of Organixx Lemon Essential oil
- 10 drops of Organixx Eucalyptus Essential oil
- 5 drops of Organixx Peppermint Essential oil
- 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol (91%)
- 3 oz of witch hazel
- 3 oz of distilled water
- Mix together in an 8-ounce spray bottle.
- Spray and repeat as required.