If there is one thing about living here in the North Cascades mountains that I absolutely hate, it’s that we have an intense mosquito season. Even though it’s early May, they are already starting to bite and I am not here for it! Last summer, I started making this essential oil mosquito repellent spray and it’s time for me to whip up a fresh batch. We still use the chemical-y bug spray when it’s really bad, but for day-to-day use, this homemade mosquito repellent works just fine. Here’s how to make your own batch!
How To Make Homemade Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Spray
There is a ton of documentation and info about why each of these ingredients repels pesky bugs that bite. Here’s a quick overview:
Citronella essential oil
Did you know that citronella repels insects by actually making it more difficult for them to locate a target to feed upon? I had no idea until I started researching a recipe for homemade mosquito repellent. This oil can also help to mask the human odors that are attractive to bugs like mosquitoes.
Lavender essential oil
Similarly, lavender is one of the most effective natural mosquito repellents — good thing I have grand plans to plant a ton of lavender plants this summer! The fragrance of lavender helps to fend off adult mosquitoes, plus it is known to have properties that calm and soothe the skin if you do get bitten.
Tea tree essential oil
There is research that indicates this ingredient can also help to repel pesky bugs like mosquitos, bush flies, etc. It’s also helpful for treating any bites that might have snuck in thanks to antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Lemon eucalyptus essential oil
This essential oil is known for being an effective DEET-free bug spray replacement. It provides a barrier that can actually repel mosquitoes for up to 6 hours! Many mass-produced bug sprays use this exact ingredient for this reason.
- Witch hazel
- Distilled water
- Tinted or opaque glass spray bottle — if you’re upcycling an old bottle, be sure to clean it thoroughly.
- Citronella essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Tea tree essential oil
- Lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- Label maker (optional, but always fun)
Combine water and witch hazel in the spray bottle using a 1:1 ratio. For example, my bottle is 4 ounces, so I used 2 ounces of distilled or boiled water and 2 ounces of witch hazel.
Next add your essential oils. I generally eyeball the amounts I add to the bottle, but here’s a rough estimate for a 4 ounce bottle:
- Citronella essential oil: 30 drops
- Tea tree essential oil: 15 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 15 drops
- Lemon eucalyptus essential oil: 20 drops
Once all of the ingredients have been added to the spray bottle, screw on the cap and shake well. I always label any homemade spray I make so that I don’t forget what’s in the bottle. Plus, it’s always fun to get sassy with the labeling. This is a totally optional step, though!
To use the spray, simply shake and then spray directly onto your skin or clothing. I typically reapply after a couple of hours.
Want another natural bug repellent DIY? Learn how to make my spider repellent spray with essential oils.
How to store your homemade mosquito repellent spray:
Some essential oils react or are less effective when exposed to sunlight or heat. Be sure to use a tinted or opaque bottle. Also, store the repellent away from heat and sunlight to extend the life of your spray.
Have you ever made your own essential oil mosquito repellent?? I’d love to know which your recipe is and how it works for you! Leave a comment and let me know.