Natural Homemade Mosquito Repellents

Say Goodbye To Toxic DEET Bug Sprays
And Hello To A Safe Homemade Repellent

Here in my part of of the USA, it’s time for the moquitoes to start rearing their ugly little heads. As a matter of fact, I got my first bite two days ago, while being outside ONLY ONE MINUTE to empty my kitchen scraps into the compost bin! 😡

Nasty biting mosquito! I don’t know about you, but my whole life I’ve been a magnet for mosquitoes. They choose me first to bite over anyone else standing close to me. The bigger irritation (not to make a pun) is that I’m quite allergic to their bites, so not only does each bite turn into a large angry red bump, but it also makes me suffer for weeks – 3 at least! And the itching! Let’s say I hate mosquitoes!

But all this being said, I also dislike spraying myself with smelly repellents. I also don’t like the idea of spraying myself with something toxic like DEET. Though the active ingredient in most bug sprays, N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or DEET, has been shown to be effective, it has also come under fire in recent years by health researchers. (Learn more.)

So, what does a person like me do? Fortunately with consumer awareness becoming what it has these past few years, over-the-counter repellents with natural, non-toxic ingredients are becoming more and more available.

Or, there are very effective do-it-yourself concoctions that many folks swear by. So, today I thought I’d share these homemade natural repellents that a family member and a neighbor use and say work very well. But you be the judge.

One important thing you have to remember is that with any natural repellent you need to find what works with your body chemistry. What most people do not realize is that each person’s body has its own unique chemistry make-up and you have to find the mix of natural stuff that will work on you.


Essential Oil Repellent Recipe

1-1/4 tsp. Rose geranium oil
1-1/4 tsp. Citronella oil
1 Cup 190-proof grain alcohol

The essential oils can be found in health food stores; the grain alcohol can be purchased in a liquor store.

Place ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Fill a small spray bottle (such as the 4 oz. travel size bottles you can find at drug stores or Wal-Mart) and spray yourself, and your clothes if desired. **Make sure to first test the oils on your skin to make sure you won’t an irritation.


Rubbing Alcohol

Yup! Plain old rubbing alcohol splashed or sprayed on your body will supposedly stop mosquitoes from biting. I have a neighbor who swears by this one. No bad smell and really cheap to use, too.


I have read of one or a combination of these oils doing a very good job at repelling mosquitoes. But again remember – you might have to experiment some to see which oils “work” with your body chemistry.

Essential Oils: Basil, Cedarwood, Citronella, Clove, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Palmarosa, Pine, Rose geranium, Rosemary, Tea Tree

Carrier Oils: Almond, Jojoba, Olive, Soybean

Mix in a ratio of 1-part essential oil to 10-parts carrier oil or grain alcohol.


I’m going to try the Essentail Oil Recipe this year. I’ll let you know if it works for me. If you have a tried-and-true homemade mosquito repellent you’d like to tell us about, please leave a comment. I’d appreciate it!


  1. does the deet in the spray help keep away bugs.

  2. Hi Nicole:
    Yes, DEET is a bug repellent. You can read all about it in an article from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

    Hope this info helps you.

  3. Valentina B. says:

    Thanks for the great post. Look forward to more posts like this one. I’ll check back soon.

  4. This was a great post. I could hardly concur much more with your statements. Cheers for your hard work.

  5. Natalie J. says:

    Thanks for this information! I especially liked the part about using vinegar for bites. Tried it and (drum roll …) IT WORKS!!

  6. I was squeezing a bunch of lemons from my Meyer’s Lemon tree one day, knowing how lemon oil works as a repellent I thought I would do a test. I put the lemon rinds in my wife’s food processor chopped very fine and then steeped them for a half hour in a small amount of boiling water. Strained the tea using a coffee filter to make a “lemon rind juice concentrate”. Once cool mixed this concentrate with water (about 1:4) put in a small plastic spray bottle. The next time the mosquitos were biting I simply sprayed on my skin. Works very well for about 1 1/2 hours then you need to reapply. No chemicals, no oils and a light pleasant fragrance of lemony scent only until it dries then the scent disappears.

  7. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Thanks for sharing J.D. Great idea!

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