Homemade Mosquito Repellent

The Zika virus carried by mosquitoes has become a hot topic and is the basis for many unwarranted fears for most people in the United States. While it is a dangerous virus that can be sexually transmitted (one reported in S.C.), here in the US, it only affects about 1000 people per year.

As of August 18, 2016, there are 34 known cases of Zika virus in South Carolina.

* So far president Obama has asked congress for $1.9 billion to help develop a Zika vaccine. WhiteHouse.gov/zika

* The White House also is seeking flexibility to use some of its unspent funding for the Ebola crisis to respond to Zika or other infectious diseases. WashingtonPost.com/ 

You can also learn more about the Zika virus from the Centers for Disease Control at CDC.gov/zika/.

Each state should also provide information. The link for South Carolina is SCDHEC.gov/, which provides useful information on symptoms, transmission and prevention.

Homemade Mosquito Repellent

Regardless of the present threat, it's definitely a great time to reconsider what type of mosquito repellent you have on hand for your family, especially if you live in an area that us inundated with mosquitoes. *The methods I use involve essential oils, many of which are not recommended for pregnant women, so check with your doctor first.

Homemade mosquito repellents can be made with essential oils and water. Just remember to shake well before each use. Best results are from distilled water or purified water as opposed to regular tap water. Distilled water is quite cheap and is available in most grocery stores.

You can also make it yourself by following the directions at OneHowTo.com

What do you need to make homemade mosquito repellents?

You need one or more essential oils and a dropper which comes with most bottles.
You will need distilled water or another base / carrier oil for your recipe.
You will need a roll-on bottle, spray bottle or small container:

  • You can use roll-on bottles that are typically used for perfumes (see link below).
  • You can use a standard spray bottle.
  • You can use any small container with a lid if you are using aloe vera gel as your base.

How much water do you need?

If you only need light coverage, you can use up to 3 cups of water which can be spritzed onto clothing more easily.

If you need a more potent repellent, try using 1 or 2 cups of water as your base.

If you are using a small roll-on bottle, obviously you will simply finish filling the bottle after inserting the appropriate oils.

Do you have to use water?

You do not have to use water; it's a matter of preference. You can also use witch hazel, aloe vera gel for an ointment, fractionated coconut oil, or any combination of these. You can also use moisturizing carrier oils such as jojoba oil.

Personally, I make up small insect repellent recipes using small roll-on perfume bottles which I order from Amazon. I combine 10 drops of two or three of my chosen oils with fractionated coconut oil or witch hazel (with alcohol). You can also add a little vodka if you are not using witch hazel with alcohol.

The following oils are oils I use and purchase through Amazon. These links are my Amazon Associate links.

The oils I use in my insect repellent recipes include:
  1. Eucalyptus oil - NOW Foods Eucalyptus Oil, 4 ounce
  2. Geranium oilRose Geranium 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil -15ml
  3. Tea tree oil Tea Tree Oil (Australian) 4 oz. Glass Dropper By First Botany Cosmeceuticals.
  4. Lavender oilLavender Oil - Highest Quality Therapeutic - Largest 4 Oz Bottle with Premium Glass Dropper - Guaranteed Results - Essential Labs
  5. Order the 3-Pack (all but Geranium) to get started quickly!
Get three favorite essential oils (by NOW Foods) for one low price at Amazon:

3-Pack Variety of NOW Essential Oils: Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender

Recently, I found the following recipe for making a larger amount of mosquito repellent. This recipe is more diluted.

In a quart sized spray bottle, combine 1 to 3 cups of water or carrier of your choice, with one of the following:
  • 30 drops tea tree oil
  • 30 drops lemongrass oil
  • 30 drops rosemary oil
  • 30 drops eucalyptus oil


OneHowTo.com also offers some homemade insect repellent recipes using such things as garlic and ammonia. 

TaosHerb.com provides natural methods of repelling insects, including the use of essential oils.

6 New, High Quality, Amber, 10 ml Glass Roll-on Bottles with Stainless Steel Roller Balls - .5 ml Dropper included

 One of the reasons I prefer the small roller bottles is because I can carry it in my purse. Another benefit is that this concentration seems to work on itching as well as repelling. 


  • The methods I use involve essential oils, many of which are not recommended for pregnant women, so check with your doctor first. 
  • Cats are known to be very sensitive to Tea Tree Oil, and possibly others. 
  • Some people are sensitive to essential oils when applied directly to the skin. This is why a proper carrier oil or water solution is used. If in doubt, spot check before applying to your skin. The essential oils are healing, but they must be used according to directions. 
  • The recipes above should be fine on most people, but spray onto clothing if you have sensitive skin.
  • Some of the essential oils are quite fragrant, and many people do not like the smell. For instance, I love the eucalyptus but my daughter hates it, so I do not use it when she is at home. 


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