An Essential Home Made Mosquito Repellent

mosquito-eating-personTwo summers back, I received a phone call asking for permission to spray my backyard for mosquitoes. I politely declined, much to the caller’s bewilderment. As I kept thinking about the issue, I realized that my neighbors might have succumbed to that call. It seemed likely that the whole neighborhood, except for our house, would be sprayed within the next 2 weeks. That means all the mosquitoes would flock to our yard. This would not have been safe for our kids who play in the yard, or for us as we work in our organic garden.

Time to do something. But it had to be a natural, organic measure. The first thing we did was to make sure there was no standing water (please don’t do this if there are a lot of frogs in your area – this isn’t the case for us). Then as I researched natural remedies for the problem, I came across essential oils. I researched all the plants that could be used as a repellent, and decided to give these a try. Since I was already into making my own moisturizers, I had some of the necessary oils on hand. I made a blend of the repellent oils and added it to coconut oil, and I applied this mixture to all exposed areas of the body. This worked very well for us. My kids could now play in any part of the yard without the fear of being bitten by mosquitoes.

In a warmer climates many of these plants can be grown around the home. While this isn’t completely impossible here in zone 6, it’s not really practical for me. So, essential oils were the best way to go for me and my family. I used eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, geranium and lavender. I mixed those in to about 6oz of coconut oil. You will know how effective this combination is when you slather your body but miss a particular area! Don’t ask me how I know this.

I’m usually covered up with clothing from shoulder to mid-calf. Even when I’m pressed for time, I am careful to cover certain areas like the temples and forehead, around the ear and neck, upper arms, and around the ankles. I no longer need those expensive candles and I’m no longer trying to grow all these repellent plants around my yard. I am a walking repellent!

It is no longer we who fear the mosquitoes, but they fear us! And what if one of them happens to bite me? Well, my remedy still works. As soon as I can get to it, i.e. before the wound closes naturally, I apply the same mixture of essential oils. This prevents any swelling and itching when it is applied often. If I am too late and the bite has already closed up, I just squeeze the bite to open the wound and apply the oil mixture.

So, now that I am armed, I can spend some quality time growing organic food for my family. I hope this works for you too!

Thanks to Shirley for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest. We have over $1,500 in prizes lined up for the current writing contest, with more to come. Here is a list of the current pot of prizes:

– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $380 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $279 value
– 1 year of free membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $240 value
– A copy of The Summer of Survival Complete Collection from Life Changes Be Ready, a $127 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $60 each
– The complete 2014 Grow Your Own Food Summit interview series, a $47 value
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $42 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $40 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $32 each

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  • Janet D says:

    Great idea. One question, though – you list the EOs you use, but you don’t mention how many drops you put of each in the 6 oz. of coconut oil. That info would be helpful. Thanks.

    1. Mike says:

      I am curious as to the ratio also. My wife would love to test this…

    2. Lori says:

      Janet D – My sentiments exactly. The article isn’t complete or effective unless the exact recipe is stated.

  • Ernie says:

    I like your article however what quantity or drops of the oils do you use in the 6oz of coconut oil.
    I’m very familiar with essential oil and I know that some times to much is as bad or worse than to little. The brand I use are pure and pretty potent.

  • Linda says:

    I would like to know how many drops from each oil is needed.

  • Paula McCormick says:

    Yes, I agree with Janet D. There is no mention of how many drops to use of each ingredient in the coconut oil. That would be helpful information.

  • dave says:

    Yes. I would like to know how much of each oil also.

  • Kimberlay K says:

    I absolutely love natural vs chemical answers to those kind of challenges. However, natural oils are potent little things. And blending them is a challenge too because the ratio and amount is critical. Please tell us what amount and ratio of the oils to add to the coconut oil. I can’t wait to try this!
    Kimberlay – Edmonton, Alberta Canada

  • Ridding yourself of skeeters. In your backyard, skeeters won’t fly around in the wind. Work under a forceful fan and you won’t have any skeeters! For camping as well as backyards, I fill my old fashioned hurricane kerosene lanterns with citronella, place them about 20 feet apart. Even when the skeeters and deer flies are horrible, there are none at all in your area!

    Lewis Brackett

  • patsy says:

    Could someone please give us the recipe so we all can stop getting chewed up on our property!

  • Michael Ford says:

    Alright, everybody… I haven’t gotten a response from Shirley yet, so I decided to take this matter into my own hands. Thanks to everyone for being positive and patient in your requests!

    The best resource I know of for these matters is Valerie Ann Worwood’s The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. To be sure I had good info, I also cross-referenced this with Connie and Alan Higley’s Reference Guide for Essential Oils. The two have minor differences, but they are close enough that I feel confident this is a safe and effective recommendation.

    Step 1 – Create Synergistic Essential Oil Blend
    Insect Deterrent Synergistic Blend by Valerie Ann Worwood
    #1 – 4 drops Thyme
    #2 – 8 drops Lemongrass
    #3 – 4 drops Lavender
    #4 – 4 drops Peppermint

    Step 2 – Mix Synergistic Blend with Oil
    Mix the synergistic blend with your preferred oil. You can use coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, or another unscented lotion, cream, or oil that you prefer. Mix the synergistic blend into the oil at a rate of one drop per teaspoon. That’s 36 drops for 6 oz of oil, and 48 drops for 8 oz of oil.

    To make enough synergistic blend for 6 oz of oil, you will need to double the recipe above.

    Note: I noticed eucalyptus, citronella, and geranium used in several variations of this recipe that are posted online. I think you’re safe to experiment with any of those at the dilution strength we’re talking about here. Both books I checked use citronella in other repellent recipes. Both books use eucalyptus for treating various bites and stings.

  • Rob says:

    Hi Shirley, I have read that Noxema is used as an insect repellant due to the camphor it contains.

  • Perry says:

    Where’s the ingredient list for home made
    Mosquito repellent? Cannot find it

    1. Michael Ford says:

      Perry – Look up – it’s in the comments, 2 comments up from yours.

  • Chloe says:

    Virginia Beach has started its summertime effort to combat mosquito populations throughout the city and this year they are also keeping a close eye on the Zika virus. To avoid mosquito bites, get mosquito nets

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