The chances are you’ll likely find yourself somewhere this summer where you’ll be subject to mosquitoes. If you’re camping, hiking, or even just gardening in your backyard, you might become the target of mosquitoes, and if you’re like me, you might end up with large red itchy welts for a few days as a result of mosquito bites.
Here is a 3-ingredient recipe for a natural DEET-free mosquito repellent. It doesn’t last as long as bug spray with DEET, so remember to reapply at least once every four hours. And if you do find yourself bitten, try my bug bite soothing oil.
This recipe is child-friendly. However for young children less than 2 years old, I would apply the spray to their clothing rather than on their skin unless the mosquito problem is quite severe or if you’re trying to avoid something like the Zika virus, malaria, or dengue fever. In those cases, I would spray the repellent onto your hands and then apply it to your baby, avoiding their eyes.
No time to make your own mosquito repellent?
You can order my premade Natural Mosquito Repellent.
- 1/2 cup witch hazel – this acts as an emulsifier (you could also use 1/4 cup witch hazel and 1/4 cup coconut oil)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (no sugar and no added alcohol) – Mexican or Madagascar Vanilla, as it contains a higher concentration of vanillin, which is a natural insect repellent as it confuses mosquitoes and interferes with their ability to hone in on their food source. It also extends the length of time for which the spray is effective.
- 30 drops lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) essential oil. NOTE: This is the key ingredient and it is not the same as lemon-scented eucalyptus essential oil, so make sure you get the correct one. Lemon eucalyptus oil has been tested to be quite effective for repelling mosquitoes.
- Combine all 3 ingredients in a small spray bottle (preferably glass or stainless steel) that includes a cap to prevent accidental sprays or leaks. You might also want to carry it in sealed ziploc bag just to be on the safe side.
- Shake well just before applying.
- Apply to clothes and exposed skin, being careful not to spray in eyes.
- Reapply every 4 hours.