Homemade Mosquito Repellent

mosquitoIt’s Spring here in Northern California and that means it has become just warm enough for the mosquitoes to breed in the pools of water that lie around in the parks, green belts and woodlands.  I noticed them a few nights ago when they started to attack me while I was grilling dinner.

I hate those little creatures.  There are few insects that are more annoying than the little mosquito. The buzzing around your face along with the pesky bites on your exposed skin is just too much to handle sometimes.

After the first attack I decided to figure out how to get the mosquitoes to leave me along without resorting to store-bought chemical based mosquito repellents. I searched the internet and came across a couple “recipes” on other sites.  Each of these sites has some great information in addition to the recipes.  There is a link to each site.

Before we get to the homemade repellents there are a couple of things to you can do to lessen your risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes.  Here are a few things, to avoid when possible, because they attract mosquitoes:

  • Dark Clothing
  • Carbon Dioxide (you exhale CO2)
  • Lactic Acid (in perspiration fluid)
  • Floral or Fruity Fragrances (perfumes)
  • Skin Temperature
  • Moisture (perspiration)

Vinegar of the Four Thieves Mosquito Repellent


  • 1 32 ounce bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 TBSP each of dried Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint
  • At least quart size glass jar with airtight lid


  1. Put the vinegar and dried herbs into large glass jar.
  2. Seal tightly and store on counter or place you will see it daily. Shake well each day for 2-3 weeks.
  3. After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out and store in spray bottles or tincture bottles, preferably in fridge.
  4. To use on skin, dilute to half with water in a spray bottle and use as needed.
  5. Use whenever you need serious bug control!

[Note: This mixture is very strong and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can also be used as a tincture for any illness. For adults, dose is 1 TBSP in water several times a day,for kids over 2, dose is 1 tsp in water several times a day. More on this in an upcoming post!] — Wellness Mama

Shoo! Spray Mosquito Repellent


  • 1/8 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 c. rubbing alcohol
  • 1/8 c. distilled water
  • 25 drops eucalyptus essential oil (1/4 tsp.)
  • 25 drops citronella essential oil (1/4 tsp.)
  • 50 drops peppermint essential oil (1/2 tsp.)
  • Smallish spray bottle


Not a lot of directions here. Pour everything in your spray bottle and shake well. Shake well, again, before spritzing. This doesn’t need to be refrigerated, though it may feel good if you do. It should keep well for several months in a cool, dark place.

mosquitoNotes: This isn’t just for kids. Go ahead. You can use it, too. However, after reading several recipes on the web (and ultimately adapting this A LOT from the Mother Earth News recipe), I decided that because I was making it for small children, I was going to go a little easier on the citronella and eucalyptus oils, mainly because sensitivities can happen to both of these, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t overkill at all. If they’re not sensitive to it, they can always spray more. If you’re making this just for grown-ups or older kids, you can go a little heavier on all of the oils.

But this is VERY IMPORTANT: Eucalyptus oil, in particular, should not be swallowed. It’s known, in high quantities (and it would take quite a bit to cause major issues) to cause toxicity. If you get some, keep it out of the reach of your children.

Lastly, peppermint oil is known to be very effective against mosquitoes and other winged critters. As a bonus, kids love the smell – and it offers a distinct cooling sensation, perfect for hot, sweaty weather. — Crunchy Betty

Wellness Mama Mosquito Repellent


  • Essential oils: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint
  • Natural Witch Hazel
  • Distilled or boiled Water
  • Vegetable glycerin (optional)


  1. Fill spray bottle (I used 8 ounce) 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
  2. Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top
  3. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using
  4. Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be. My personal favorite mix is: Rosemary, Clove, Cajeput, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus… it works great and smells good too! — Wellness Mama




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