Get ready for outdoor explorations, and mosquitoes, with a homemade DIY repellent. Image by Jill Robinson.
The weather is improving in my little corner of North America, and that means hiking, camping, and late-night campfires for this DIY traveler. Unfortunately, mosquitoes tend to take quite a liking to my blood type.
Luckily, there are effective ways to avoid becoming an all-you-can-eat buffet for swarms of these pests with a few all-natural ingredients.
Ditch the DEET
I will admit, there are times when I can’t stand the constant attack of mosquitoes and have chosen to douse myself in a chemical shower of bug spray. Outdoor adventures are a lot more enjoyable without the obsessive swatting and scratching of swollen bites.
The downside is that the chemical DEET, found in many commercial sprays, can cause some pretty serious side effects, not to mention it’s toxic to birds and aquatic life. To take better care of the environment, and myself, I went the DIY route with this all-natural insect repellent recipe.
DIY Bug Repellent Ingredients
If you have read my previous posts, you know I have a LOVE of essential oils, and it’s no surprise they are once again the stars of the show for keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 oz. spray bottle
- ½ tsp of vegetable glycerin (optional) to help your spray bind to your skin
- 2 Tbs of witch hazel or vodka
- 2 Tbs of carrier oil of your choice (olive, jojoba, almond, or neem oil)
- Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil (55-60 drops)
- Lavender Essential Oil (15 drops)
- Rosemary Essential Oil (15 drops)
Making Your Mosquito Repellent
Getting all the ingredients out and ready to go is really the hardest part of the project. I purchase all my essential oils here. Once you have all your ingredients on hand, you’ll be mosquito-free in only a few minutes.
The first step is to mix your vegetable glycerin, witch hazel/vodka, and carrier oils in your spray bottle.
Next, add in your essential oil mixture, and roll the bottle between your hands to mix up the ingredients.
Finally, label and date your repellent, and store it where you can find it for your next outdoor travel adventure. You’ll need to apply this every few hours, but you can rest assured that your body won’t be taking in harmful chemicals.
What to Do If You’re Out of Repellent
If you are short on a few ingredients or find yourself on a spontaneous trip without time to make up a batch, there are a few tricks to help keep mosquitoes and bugs from ruining your outdoor adventure. Lavender flowers and fresh or dried herbs in the mint family are alternative options to help protect yourself against bites. Rub the plants behind your ears, under your arms, and on your neck before heading outdoors.
Vanilla extract rubbed on your skin or diluted a bit and sprayed on your body is also another possible option, although I have not tried this myself and therefore cannot vouch for its effectiveness.
For a fraction of the price. you can now enjoy your upcoming outdoor travel adventures with your new batch of DIY Insect Repellant. As a DIY traveler, you can have the peace of mind that you’ll keep bugs at bay while being good to your body and the environment.
Like all recipes using essential oils, it’s important to exercise caution if you are pregnant or applying the solution to young children. It’s best to do a small test on your skin to avoid reactions.