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Green Tip #16 - Recipes and Remedies for Everyday Living - Homemade Mosquito Repellent

Updated on July 26, 2020
bravewarrior profile image

Shauna believes that we can all take steps to bring ourselves and the environment back to good health using items you have in your pantry.

Howdy All!

A few weeks ago I promised a new series called “Recipes and Remedies for Everyday(Green)Living”. Since I’ve successfully escaped diversion from where I wanted to lead you this week, I will begin.

Green Tip #16– Recipes and Remedies for Everyday Living– Homemade Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance but can carry and transmit diseases. In fact, mosquitoes can cause heart worm disease in our beloved 4-legged family members! A few weeks ago, I touched on a few natural ways to repel mosquitoes, as an alternative to using DEET containing products. Most of us don’t relish the thought of spraying poisons on our skin, especially that of young children who are constantly putting their fingers and other objects in their mouths, nose and eyes. (Trusting little souls, aren’t they?)

Today, I give you a recipe for making your own mosquito repellent, but first I’ll tell you what attracts mosquitoes and what to avoid in order to keep the population from attacking in swarms.

Mosquitoes use vision to locate hosts (flesh) from a distance. Dark clothing and foliage are perfect targets. They are also attracted by carbon dioxide, which your body emits when you are hot or have been exercising. Lactic acid, which your body releases after exercising (see, I knew there was a reason this old dog doesn’t want to learn that trick!) or eating salty and heavy in potassium foods, also attracts the little buggers. Floral or fruity fragrances, whether from perfume, hair products, scented sunscreens or even fabric softeners; skin temperature and moisture are all attractive to the mosquito. As mentioned in a previous tip, standing water facilitates reproduction.

Minimizing the above conditions will help, but not deter these pests from dining on your skin. You can make your own mosquito repellent by using essential oils and an oil carrier. Before I give you the simple recipe, there are some facts of which you must be aware, and precautions to take when using the home remedy:

  • ·Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin in their pure, concentrated form, as some oils can cause severe irritation, provoke an allergic reaction and over time, could prove hepatotoxic (causing liver damage).
  • ·Do not use essential oils in their pure form on animals, as they are extremely toxic to their livers and skin, especially cats.
  • ·Essential oils should only be used in small ratios mixed with carrier oils, the recipe for which will follow.
  • ·Essential oils can be aggressive toward rubber and plastics, so make sure the bottle from which your are dispensing the essential oils, contains a glass syringe.
  • ·Always choose organic essential oils to avoid ingesting pesticide residues.

You may be asking why I’m having this discussion as a green option to commercial mosquito repellent, given the above information. Rest assured, if the above precautions are taken, your concoction will be safe for you. Not so much for the biting pests! Essential oils are used extensively as flavoring agents in foods, beverages and confectioneries according to strict Good Manufacturing Practice standards. Essential oils are also used in aromatherapy, making incense, antiseptics, liniments, expectorants, decongestants, skin treatments and even cancer remedies.

The recipe for homemade natural mosquito repellent is simple: Mix one part essential oil (5-10%) with 20 parts carrier oil or alcohol. More simply, 10-25 drops of organic essential oils to 2 tablespoons carrier oil or alcohol. You can make as little or as much as you want following this recipe. You can rub or spray it on your skin or clothing. Reapply an hour after swimming or exercising. Store any unused repellent in a dark bottle away from heat or sunlight.

The essential oils that work best against mosquitoes are:

  • ·Cinnamon oil
  • ·Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • ·Citronella oil
  • ·Castor oil

Safe carrier oils and alcohols are:

  • ·Olive oil
  • ·Sunflower oil
  • ·Any other cooking oil
  • ·Witch hazel
  • ·Vodka (who knew?!)

In closing, essential oils can be found at most health food stores and online.

Enjoy your mosquito-free weekend! See you next week!



This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Shauna L Bowling


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    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      Yes, they would, Crafty. Or just carry some Bounce sheets in a baggie and pull them out as needed.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting Brave! I have these little spray bottles I use for craft projects to spray water droplets on paper when I need to add depth and texture. Those would be the perfect bottles to carry in a purse or pocket.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Right, you don't want to spray the commerical products on her, for sure! Don't forget the Bounce sheets. They work in a pinch. I took some to a charity event my company was participating in. The event was located across the street from a river. I handed out Bounce sheets. Everyone thought I was nuts until they realized they weren't getting bitten!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      9 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is very interesting and useful! Your right! I don't like spraying poison on my skin, but we keep our 9 month old granddaughter 3 days a week and I sure don't want to put any type of poisons on her! Definitely going to try this! Voted up and useful!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Good for you! We have them here pretty much year 'round, 'cept when it gets cold. Yes, it gets cold in Central Florida!

      Thanx for checking it out, tho, Bill. I didn't think these green tips were your cup of tea. But I'll bet Bev is interested.... LOL my friend!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      9 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This one snuck right by me, Sha! I never say it in my email box....oh well, I'm here now. Great suggestions! Luckily we only have mosquitoes for about a month around here; they are pesky little buggers and I can't stand them. I'll remember these tips in case it gets bad around here.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Sorry 'bout the Citronella oil, TT. Try the bounce sheets in your pocket, even rub them on your arms. It works and you'll smell good! BTW, I see your VUMS in many of your comments. What does that mean?

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      9 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Brave: great article! I'll be using these this year! Well, except for the Citronella oil. That stuff gives me an instant headache and makes me wheeze. VUMS! :)

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      So, do I, Spy. I love it when you smile!

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      9 years ago from Neverland

      Hehehe!! i love it when you make me smile

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Jennifer, living in Central Florida, and especially in a wooded area near water, I too have a constant mosquito battle. What purpose do they serve, anyway???

      Thanx for the comment. Much appreciated!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      You're welcome, Andriy! Essentials oils have many purposes. You can even put a dab on your lamp bulbs to create a nice aroma when the lamp is on. Whodathunkit, huh?

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      They love me, too Jennzie! Another trick I use is to put a bounce sheet in my belt loop when out in a mosquito infested area, such as around a lake. They don't like the smell. I also rub the sheet on my arms before parking it in my belt loop. It really works!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Yes, dzymislizzy (love the name! too much eucalyptus? hahaha) choose one oil. Try cinnamon oil, perhaps?

      Thanx for stopping by!

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 

      9 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      We have a huge problem with mosquitoes every summer because we live near water! Great tips, I'll give it a go! Thanks, voted up and stuff, Jen

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks! Useful information right on time! Never knew I can use essential oils like that. Have to try, because the idea is great!

    • jennzie profile image


      9 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Nice hub! For some reason mosquitoes are attracted to me, so this is very useful. Will share!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      9 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Hmmm...interesting....except for one thing...Eucalyptus is a major trigger for my hay fever allergy... :-( It seems to be a favorite in all kinds of remedies--from rubs and creams to cough drops.

      I have to read labels very you know how hard it is to find a Eucalyptus-FREE cough drop??!!

      I hope you meant to use any ONE of the oils, and not all in combination.... ;-)

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Hey, Spy! I'm so tickled you've come to this edge of my corner! Wow!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Robert, I'm honored! Welcome to this piece of my corner. I actually have 28 Green Tips so far. I try to post a little more as time allows. Please be patient with me....

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Cathleena, Skin So Soft has long been known as a mosquito repellent to those who are in the know. I'm so glad you stopped by and I'm honored you are following me. I'll be sure and check you out when I finish moving.

      Thanx again!

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 

      9 years ago from Tennessee

      Very interesting hub - I enjoyed reading this and hadn't realized that oils were the remedy though I do use a DEET free alternative that Avon came out with called "Skin-so-soft". It works very well as a mosquito repellent. I didn't know that a salty diet would attract them and always contributed it to a diet with too much sugar, perhaps as we do, they like them both.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 

      9 years ago from California

      This is great! I love all of these green tips. I will definitely be following you to learn more of these fantastic ideas. I have been looking into alternative mosquito repellent anyway, thanks for sharing! I am sharing this and you have gained a new follower.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      9 years ago from Neverland

      wow Bravewarrior, very informative. i never used oils for mosquitoes repellant though. thanks for this green tips. voted up and shared.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Finance, so true! I'm surprised there's not a pill out there for mosquito bites!

      Mhatter, no you should not be insulted - I wish they didn't like me, but seem to zero in. Thanx for taking the time for me today.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      9 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. For some reason mosquitoes don't like me. Should I feel insulted?

    • The Finance Hub profile image

      The Finance Hub 

      9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Lots of good info here. Much needed too in a world where doctors make a living getting consumers addicted to unnatural substances! Voted up!


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