Summer is big time bug season here in Northwest Washington and summer is just around the corner. Summer brings joys of warm sun, beautiful flowers and hikes in the woods. It also brings itchy welts and painful lumps from stings. As self defense against the critters that seem to be hell bent on driving their stingers into my skin, I decided to do some research and find a good homemade mosquito repellent that would also work for yellow jackets, wasps and hornets.
Join in the experiment
I think I found it. Then I got to thinking about all of you. Some of you live in parts of the world where insects are a problem all the time. Some of you live where it is coming soon into your winter season. However, all of us live with stinging insects whether we like it or not. I’m guessing that most of you are like me and would prefer that insects, except perhaps butterflies, keep there distance. So, I decided to share this post before even trying my new homemade mosquito repellent blend since it uses some of the best essential oils known to repel insects.
Must have a nice aroma – a criteria
Perfumes and scents added to lotions, creams and hair care products often attract mosquitoes. Unfortunately, they also attract an assortment of other stinging insects. Therein is a problem. I want my homemade mosquito repellent to repel insects, not my friends. In short, it has to smell nice.
This post lists the essential oils that are known to repel insects the best. Our job is to find the right combination so that we smell great and drive away the beasties. Catnip is one of the best mosquito repellents so I’ll definitely use that in my first recipe.
The best mosquito repelling essential oils to use in our homemade mosquito repellents
- Pennyroyal essential oil
- Lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- Cinnamon essential oil
- Rosemary essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Clove essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Catnip essential oil
- Tea Tree oil
Homemade bug repellent spray
1/2 ounce catnip oil – good for mosquitoes
1/4 ounce lavender oil – repels mosquitoes and other insects
1/8 ounce pennyroyal oil – repels fleas
1/8 ounce peppermint oil – repels ticks, hornets and wasps
1/8 ounce clove oil – repels mosquitoes and biting flies
Add these oils to 16 ounces of perfumer’s alcohol or 100 proof vodka in a spray bottle (shake before using).
Here’s a recipe that specifically targets mosquitoes
14 ½ tsp perfumer’s alcohol or 100 proof vodka in a spray bottle
9 ½ tsp lemon eucalyptus
This will have a strong scent, but is just as effective as strong DEET according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). This repellent should not be used on children under 2.
Let us know
If you have a nicely scented formula and it works well for you. Please tell your sisters here on SpaFromScratch about it. The goddesses that come here are from all parts of the world and I know they will be interested in hearing about your success.
Hornets and wasps scare me because I’ve been stung by them for no apparent reason other than I happened to be in their neighborhood. The stings are painful and I will vacate any area where they are prevalent. Regardless of that, I know they are useful and dine on other insects that are harmful to my garden plants. For this reason, I don’t want to kill them. Besides I sure as heck don’t want to put out anything to damage the few honey bees we have left. That’s why I’m working on a means to just keep them from associating my body as a food source. My hope is that my homemade mosquito repellent will do just that.
Notes: Remember do not use undiluted essential oils directly to your skin and do a patch test to make certain you aren’t allergic. It doesn’t do much good to discourage a stinging insect if you’re going to break out in an itchy rash or, worse yet, hives.
Now go have fun and relax.