Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Homemade Natural Insect Repellant

 All these April Showers will surely bring May Flowers, but in the Deep South, May and the approaching summer heat and humidity only means one thing...BUGS!
And lots of them!
Mosquitos are especially annoying. 

When I was pregnant with Tripp, in the middle of the summer living out in the country with a pond right behind our house, I was suddenly even more aware of the awful ingredients in mosquito sprays and lotions.
At the time, we owned a natural goods market, so it was no problem for me to easily access a retail product made with natural ingredients that effectively kept the bugs at bay.
But shortly afterwards, when we no longer had the store, the price of these organic items I had grown accustomed to using and buying at wholesale became real.
I simply could not afford to buy them.
I researched making my own personal care products from natural ingredients and just as soon as the temps warmed up again, bug spray was on the top of the list!

I've done a combination of things.
First of all, before moving to Starkville last year, we lived in the country where the ecosystem was much more in balance and we had chickens and guineas to help gobble up bugs. But they were still present and when we would go hang out anywhere else, the mosquitos were rampant.

There are many essential oils that can be used effectively to ward off these summertime pests:

 Lemon Eucalyptus
Lemon Verbena
Rose Geranium

I've been known to just carry a bottle of one of these essential oils in my diaper bag just in case.

In years past, I've used a recipe similar to this, a combo of eo's and vodka. I'm a big fan of eucalyptus, citronella and lavender. My friend, Laura, recently showed me a study that showed Lemon Eucalytpus to be just as effective as DEET without all the obvious harmful effects. This makes complete sense because I know using eucalyptus on us has worked and our summer mosquito spray for outside in our yard that we use prior to outdoor entertaining, is made using lemon dish soap (and a few others things). So, it will be added to the mix this year.

She also found this great tutorial of different insect repellant recipes from Mountain Rose Herbs, my favorite source for bulk organic herbs and oils. We both LOVED the witch hazel recipe and I decided to whip up a batch.

Natural Insect Repellant:
1/2 teaspoon citronella essential oil
1/2 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil
1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil
4 ounces distilled witch hazel

Mix in a 4 oz bottle and spray every 2 hours or as needed!
Simple, easy and inexpensive.
Plus, why waste vodka on bug spray when it goes much better in a Bloody Mary ;)



  1. smells like a nice combo!!!! i love adding peppermint....
    i wanted to poll everyone on their favorite suncreens, i used one two summers ago and loved it, but can't remember the name and i'm not even close enough for google to pull up a search.

  2. I've used several...burt's bees, badger, UV Naturals and Loving Naturals. The Loving Naturals is hands down my fave. Works perfectly and not greasy at all!

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