When you are looking to do some outdoor activities like taking a hike, camping or simply hanging out in your backyard, the thought of getting bug bites or mosquito bites can be a major discouragement.
The good news is, you can protect yourself without having to use a DEET-based chemical repellent. DEET products have the potential to cause health and environmental problems as they may contain some nasty chemicals.
Unless you’re visiting places that have a high risk for mosquito-borne diseases like malaria or Zika virus or yellow fever, natural repellents are a better option especially for children because of their sensitive skin. This natural homemade mosquito repellent is great for mosquitoes, flies, and other warm season bugs.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent Spray
- 2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: witch hazel or vodka
- ½ teaspoon vodka as a preservative (if not already using)
- 2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or neem oil (which contains natural insecticidal compounds)
- 100-110 drops essential oils (you can buy here)
- Add carrier liquids to a small spray bottle (3 or 4 oz. works well so there is room for shaking).
- Add essential oils.
- Shake well before each use. Natural bug repellent will need to be reapplied every few hours for maximum effectiveness.
Other Bug-Repelling Essential Oils:
- tea tree
- rose geranium
Additional Tips and Warnings:
Essential oils should never be put on the skin directly. They are always diluted in a carrier oil such as almond oil. The recipe is usually 3 to 5 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil.
It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction from the active ingredients in essential oils. Before you use any new product, spot-test the product on a small section of your skin and wait an hour or two to make sure that hives or burning sensations do not occur.
As always with essential oils, women who are pregnant or nursing should consult a health practitioner before using. Extreme caution should also be taken when using essential oils on young children.
Essential oils aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s possible to buy a faulty product, so always buy from a reputable source. If you are going to be traveling in an area where mosquitoes are known to carry diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, or the Zika virus, doctors advise a chemical mosquito repellent to reduce the odds of contracting a dangerous illness.
Dark-colored bottles work best for products containing essential oils. Store in a cool, dark place when not using.