DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent
There is nothing worse than when it is the time of year for the little pestering mosquitos to come out! You need to make sure you have some sort of protection from these bugs, this is especially true if you are somewhere where the mosquitos can carry viruses such as malaria or dengue fever. When you are trying to enjoy your vacation or your backyard BBQ and end up being covered from head to toe by mosquito bites, it can be a huge annoyance. Make sure you don’t get caught, invest in some bug repellent!
Mosquitos are drawn to you for several reasons:
- Your body heat
- Carbon Dioxide that you exhale
- Chemicals your body excretes on your skin, mainly lactic acid
What is the most popular (not necessarily best) choice to protect yourself from mosquitos?
One of the most popular options out there for protection against mosquitos is DEET. DEET or chemically known as N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamidem was developed by the US army in 1946, during WWII. It was registered as a pesticide up until 1957 when it became available to the consumer market.
How DEET Works
There have been several theories of why DEET works over the years, one theory thinks it confuses the insects senses. A more recent theory suggests that the insects just have a severe dislike to the smell of the chemical.
High concentration DEET can last up to 12 hours without the need to reapply. Lower concentrations can last 3-6 hours. While this can be great when you are out hiking and don’t want to be worrying about reapplying bug protection, you need to consider the harsh effects it can have on your body and the surrounding environment.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:
- Only apply DEET on exposed skin, do not apply on skin that is under clothing
- Never use DEET on open wounds
- Do not spray directly on face
- Make sure you wash off the repellent once you are home
What Can We Use Instead?
There are many other options to keep the annoying mosquitos away however! I believe nature can provide many of the cures we need, and keeping mosquitos away is no different. The following essential oils can are well known as mosquito repellents:
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
- Thyme Oil
- Greek Catnip Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Neem Oil
- Clove Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Mint Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Citronella Oil
- Geraniol Oil
A standard DIY essential oil insect repellent recipe is as follows:
- 2 Tbsp. of one or a combination of witch hazel or vodka (you can get witch hazel here)
- 2 Tbsp. of one or a combination of the following: grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or neem oil (which contains natural insecticidal compounds)
- ½ tsp. vodka as preservative (if not already using)
- 100-110 drops essential oils
Sample Lemograss and Ceadarwood Oil Mix
- 55 Drops Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
- 15 Drops Ceadarwood Essential Oil
- 15 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 15 Drops Rosemary Essential Oil
Insect Repellent with Vinegar
When wet, this can be very smelly. The odor will disappear once it is dry and it is a very good bug repellent.
- 1 32oz Bottle Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Dried Sage
- 2 Tbsp. Dried Rosemary
- 2 Tbsp. Dried Lavender
- 2 Tbsp. Dried Thyme
- 2 Tbsp. Dried Mint
Put the vinegar and dried herbs into a large glass jar
Seal tightly and store in an easy to spot place.
Shake well every day for 3 weeks
After 3 weeks, strain the herbs and store the remainder in a spray bottle
Dilute to half and half with water and put in spray bottle when needed.
Make Sure to spray well
If you have already been bitten then you will be looking for a way on how to sooth your bites! They can be super itchy and annoying, especially when you have several of them over your body! To soothe mosquito bites, Apple Cider Vinegar can work a treat! Try not to itch the bites, as hard as that can be as this will make them worse. Scratching only gives you temporary relief and possibly make your situation worse.
Another great way to soothe mosquito bites is with calamine lotion. You can get store bought calamine lotion which is not overly full of chemicals. You can also make your own calamine lotion if you would rather something with no chemicals in it. Try this recipe below:
Homemade Calamine Lotion:
- 1/4 cup of fresh water (roughly)
- 4 teaspoons bentonite clay
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2-1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 10-15 drops of tea tree or another essential oil, such as lavender or chamomile, or a combination
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin (optional)
- 2-3 teaspoons pink kaolin clay (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda, salt, bentonite clay, and the kaolin clay if you’re using it.
Add water, stirring constantly, until a paste starts to form. Continue to add water until desired consistency is reached-I usually use around a quarter cup, but it will depend on whether or not you include the pink kaolin clay
Add in your essential oils at this point, and the glycerin if you’re using it. Stir until thoroughly blended, and store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to a week, but an easier way is to simply keep a jar of the dry ingredients blended together on hand. Then, when you need it, take a small spoonful of the powder and just add enough of the liquids to make your lotion as needed.
Other ways to keep mosquitos away:
Badger Balm is a great, natural bug balm that you can use to help keep the mozzies away! If you do not have the time or energy to make the above recipes, this will work a treat for you!
All Natural Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks are another way to keep those pestering mozzies away. They are organic and DEET free. They are easy to use and easy to transport. Make sure you take some on your next camping trip or make sure you have them around for a backyard BBQ!
Mosquito repellent bracelets are another great and healthy way to stay bite free. They are made with no toxic chemicals or any DEET. They will last around 5 days, are waterproof and will fit all hands. It is a great way to avoid sprays while not giving up protection.
An ultrasonic pest controller is another option to ward off mosquitos. You simply plug them into a socket, so they can emit a high-frequency sound (inaudible to humans and pets) but the mosquitos and bugs cannot tolerate. You won’t be having to smell harmful chemicals or even citronella. A great thing to have if you live in a mosquito rich area.
Hopefully, you have found some useful information in here and give these recipes a try! If you are headed somewhere where there is a high risk of contracting a mosquito borne disease, then you might be best to stick to the chemicals! If you are just trying to ensure that you won’t come home from your hike covered in itchy bites, then give these recipes a go! Make sure you test it on a small patch of skin first to ensure you do not have any irritation and if you have any problems, make sure to consult a doctor.