How to Make Effective, Natural Mosquito Repellent

One mosquito bite can ruin a beautiful summer evening. If you get three or four at once, you’re ready to lock yourself indoors for the rest of the season. What’s the alternative? Bug spray. But, everyone hates bug spray. It’s smelly. It’s sticky. It’s full of chemicals. It can be expensive. It might not even keep the mosquitoes away.

Try this homebrew to keep the ‘skeeters at bay. With this homemade bug spray, you can go natural, save money and avoid the itch.

Mosquito Repellent Recipe

spray bottle WOC
Flickr/Barb Crawford
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerine
  • 14 oz witch hazel
  • 40 drops of essential oils (use one kind or a blend of whatever aromas you enjoy)
    • Citronella, lavender, lemongrass, grapefruit, cinnamon, and eucalyptus are all good choices
  • Combine in a 16-oz spray bottle

Vodka or homemade vanilla extract can be substituted for the witch hazel.

What these ingredients are and where to get them:

Vegetable glycerine: It’s a liquid produced from plant oils. Its texture is like syrup or oil. Palm oil, soy, and coconut oil are common sources for vegetable glycerine. Buy it here.

Witch hazel: It’s a plant. The leaves, bark and twigs are used to create a liquid form. This is commonly used to make medicine. Buy it here.

Essential oils: These are liquids extracted from plants that contain the plant’s fragrance. They hold the “essence” of the plant’s aroma. Buy them here.

Compare to store-bought bug spray

This homemade bug spray offers several advantages over store-bought. These ingredients are all-natural. They also aren’t a huge investment. Vegetable glycerine and witch hazel can both be purchased for as little as 60 cents per ounce. Essential oils can be pricier, but you only need a few drops of each. Altogether, it’s probably going to run you about $10 for your 16 oz bottle (roughly 62 cents/oz). That’s not too shabby, considering the store-bought stuff usually costs over $1.00/oz. Plus, you get to smell nicer.

Next: 10 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes From Your Porch

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How to Make Effective, Natural Mosquito Repellent