You know the feeling: It’s a beautiful sunny day, and you’ve finished work early. The perfect opportunity for an afternoon hike in your local park. But just as you’re about to leave, someone mentions the word “mosquitoes.” Your heart sinks and the perfect afternoon goes from bad to worse. But don’t fret; there are plenty of natural ways to repel mosquitoes that won’t require you to spend the rest of your evening smelling like minty-fresh mouthwash and dousing yourself in DEET. In fact, if you have access to natural and accessible ingredients like essential oils, vinegar, and witch hazel—you can make your own homemade mosquito repellent in no time at all.
What’s so bad about DEET?
DEET is one of the most widely used mosquito repellents in the world. It was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 as a chemical weapon against the mosquitoes of the Malaria-ridden South Pacific. The mosquitoes were a big enough threat to the health of soldiers that the government decided to look into ways to keep the insects away. A group of military scientists eventually stumbled upon the idea of using “Diethyl-m-toluamide,” or DEET—a chemical used as an insecticide in agriculture—as a mosquito repellent. The idea worked, and the rest is history. The chemical is now widely available and can be found in sprays, lotions, and even candles. But there are also some serious health risks associated with DEET. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists DEET as a possible neurotoxin and a potential carcinogen. Some of the more severe risks associated with DEET include skin irritation, seizures, and even death. The CDC also notes that DEET isn’t recommended for use on children under the age of two, so if you have a baby, you’ll probably want to find an alternative to DEET.
How to Make a Natural Mosquito Repellent with Mouthwash
Mouthwash is one of the most effective all-natural mosquito repellents. This is thanks to the ingredients on the label, which include eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, and methyl salicylate—all of which are known for their strong anti-mosquito properties. And mouthwash happens to also be super cheap and easy to find. Just go to your local drugstore and pick up a bottle of Listerine and you’re good to go. You can use it as is, but you’re better off diluting it with water. To do this, simply add two to three tablespoons of mouthwash per two cups of water. Alternatively, you can put it in a spray bottle and spritz it on yourself. Just make sure you don’t directly spray the solution into your mouth—it’s meant to be applied to your skin, not ingested.
Three natural mosquito repellents you can make at home
Now that we’ve looked at some of the most effective ways to repel mosquitoes, let’s take a look at some of the simplest ways to keep the pests away. Essential oils, vinegar, and witch hazel are all natural and easy to acquire. You can easily make your own DIY mosquito repellents with these ingredients. Essential oils – Essential oils have been used for hundreds of years to repel pests, including mosquitoes. Rosemary, peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus are some of the most popular choices that are known for their anti-mosquito properties. You can apply these essential oils directly on your skin. Alternatively, you can mix them with a carrier oil and rub the mixture on your skin.
A DIY Bug-Repeling Shake-and-Spray
If you’re looking for a super simple and effective DIY mosquito repellent that you can make with ingredients you can find in your pantry, this recipe is for you. All you need is:
- One tablespoon of dried herbs (Tansy, pennyroyal, and/or catnip work best)
- One teaspoon of dried herbs (Citronella and/or lemongrass are best)
- Two tablespoons of vegetable oil (Castor oil works best)
- Two tablespoons of citronella or lemongrass oil (Optional—it adds scent to the repellent)
- One cup of water Cup or jar with a screw top (These can be found at most grocery stores)
Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, it’s time to make the spray. Simply add all the ingredients to the jar or cup and cover with water. Shake the jar vigorously and let it sit for a few hours before using. Store it in a cool, dark place and use as needed.
A DIY Bug-Repeling Misting Spray
This recipe is another simple shake-and-spray, but unlike the previous one, it contains essential oils and water. All you need is:
- One ounce of water Two ounces of witch hazel
- 10 drops of citronella essential oil
- 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, put them in a spray bottle and shake vigorously. You can use this DIY mosquito repellent in two ways: immediately after shaking or storing it in the refrigerator for a cooling effect.
A DIY Bug-Repeling Coating for Clothing and Bedding
This one might sound a little weird, but it actually works really well. Yes, you can make your own bug repellent for clothes and bedding just by mixing baking soda and water. All you need is:
- One cup of water
- Four cups of baking soda
Mixing bowl If you’re making a repellent for clothes, add the baking soda directly to them. If you’re making a repellent for bedding, add the baking soda to a spray bottle and spritz it on the sheets. Let the mixture sit for around 10 minutes before washing it off.
homemade mosquito spray for body
Mosquito bites can be unpleasant and make you uncomfortable, but there is a way to prevent them: make your own mosquito spray. It may sound like something difficult to make, but it is actually very simple. All you need to do is use a combination of essential oils, such as citronella or lemon eucalyptus, and water to create a homemade mosquito spray. You can use the spray on yourself or put it in a small spray bottle to use on your pets. The key to making the spray effective is mixing the ingredients correctly so that they have the desired scent and are combined in the right proportions. Once you have made your own mosquito spray, you can be sure that you will be able to prevent any annoying bites from mosquitoes.
homemade mosquito repellent for dogs
Many people worry that the chemicals in commercial mosquito repellents can be harmful to their pets. But there is no evidence to support this claim, and even some studies have found that these products are safe for pets.
There are several ways you can make a homemade mosquito repellent for dogs. One option is to simply mix together one part citronella essential oil with two parts coconut oil. Another option is to make a solution of baking soda and water. You can also try making a spray by combining citronella essential oil with water and spraying it on your dog. It’s important to remember that none of these options are completely safe, so you should only use them if your dog will be outside during mosquito season.
Bonus: How to Make a Natural Mosquito Repellent with Soy sauce
If you’re looking for a DIY mosquito repellent that doesn’t require any fancy ingredients, this recipe is for you. All you need is: One cup of soy sauce Jar with a screw top Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, add them to the jar and let the mixture sit for around a month. You can then use the concoction as needed.
Mosquitoes are a nuisance that can ruin any outdoor adventure. Luckily, there are plenty of natural ways to repel mosquitoes that won’t require you to spend the rest of your evening smelling like minty-fresh mouthwash and dousing yourself in DEET. In fact, if you have access to natural and accessible ingredients like essential oils, vinegar, and witch hazel—you can make your own DIY mosquito repellents at home with ease.