Bug spray is a miracle product, especially during the sticky humid summers of the South. But if you're like me, you're not the world's biggest fan of the smell of DEET and would rather not use it on a daily basis. Thankfully there are natural mosquito repellent options (that actually work) and the best part is that the ingredients to make natural mosquito repellant are found right in your garden. All natural and non-toxic, you'll want to wear it for the perfume smell alone.
DEET stands for Diethyl-meta-toluamide, and it works well when used properly, but can leave a gross residue and smell, as well as be dangerous if ingested. It's a chemical I try to stay away from and an all natural solution can be used almost as effectively. Avoid itchy bites with my tried and true recipe for all natural mosquito repellant:
- Fresh or dried herbs
- 1 Cup carrier oil
- 1 Cup Water
- 10-20 Drops essential oil
Gather the herbs from your garden, or dried from your pantry, choosing ones that are naturally repellent to mosquitoes such as lavender, bergamont, geranium, mint, rosemary, sage, marigold, and citrus. Smash the leaves to release the oils and scents from the plants. Add 10-20 drops of essential oils of your choice if you'd like it to be stronger. Peppermint, cinnamon, geranium, lemon eucalyptus, tea tree, and pine oil all work well for this.
Add one cup of the carrier oil, such as room temperature coconut oil, witch hazel, olive oil, or vegetable oil. Add one cup of water. Seal, and keep in a warm place such as a windowsill where you will remember to turn it every few days. Let steep for at least one week to infuse.
When it has had some time to infuse, strain the concoction, squeezing the last drops of goodness from the herbs to make sure you get every bit of beneficial oil. This step isn't necessary, but I like to do it to make sure the spray bottle doesn't clog. Pour the liquid into spray bottles using a funnel and use liberally within the season!
Best Essential Oil To Repel Mosquitos
If you're too lazy to DIY, there are quite a few natural options available on Amazon, such as this Trail Guard essential oil blend.
Made with a Blend of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Coconut Essential Oil, Vanilla Oil, Virginia Cedarwood Oil, Nootka Wood Oil, Litsea cubeba Oil, Catnip Oil, and Western Red Cedarwood Oil, this essential oil blend is sure to keep your skin clear of bug bites.
Homemade bug spray works especially effectively if you combine it outside with a diffuser of essential oil, incense with similar scents, or a citronella candle. Enjoy your homemade, all natural solution to keeping those pesky mosquitoes away!