I know it isn't really the time right now for mosquitoes and other insects but "be prepared" is one of my mottoes so thought I would share a recipe for home made insect repellent and have added some beneficial information as well. So glad I was having a cupboard sort through or I wouldn't have realized I was almost out of it until I needed some.
If like me you like to steer clear of using too many chemical filled products either on yourself, in your homes,or on your pets then you might consider making your own homemade mosquito repellent. Store-bought insect repellents are expensive and filled with toxic chemicals that are both unhealthy for you and your children and not so good for the environment either.
This recipe is all natural and made from essential oils. Although you will initially have to make an investment in the essential oils necessary to make this product, you can then use the leftover oils to make other homemade products.
To make your own mosquito repellent you will need:
1 c. witch hazel
20 drops citronella oil
20 drops lemon eucalyptus oil
10 drops lavender oil
10 drops peppermint oil
Small empty spray bottle
Use a small funnel to pour the witch hazel into the clean spray bottle. Add the drops of essential oil, replace the top of the bottle, and shake until blended.
I have seen recipes that call for distilled water instead of witch hazel, but the oils really blend better with the witch hazel. Spray this solution on yourself every couple of hours. Be careful of spraying too much on your clothing or the oils could possibly stain them.
Do not spray directly on your face. Spray on your hands first and then wipe on your face, avoiding eyes, nose, and mouth.
This solution is not recommended for children under the age of 3, as some of the oils may have an adverse reaction in young children.
This natural mosquito repellent is also effective for repelling ticks. The lemon eucalyptus oil works great for tick prevention.
If you haven’t been using essential oils in and around your house or even for personal use then the same rule applies as when buying anything else, test a small area of your skin first to make sure that your not allergic to any of the oils. Even if a product is natural, you can still be sensitive to any of the ingredients, and allergic reactions can vary from person to person.
If you are curious what the different oils are for, here are some short descriptions of each oil.
Lavender oil is considered to be a great insect repellent all on its own, although when applied without the other oils added it will only last for about 30 minutes on your skin. Lavender oil has many other uses such as an antiseptic and pain reliever for insect bites and stings, is said to be antibacterial, has calming properties and also used to help one relax and to promote sleep although if used in excessive amounts it can have the opposite effect becoming a stimulant.
Peppermint oil also works as a insect repellent on its own and is also safe for pets. Its many health benefits include its ability to treat indigestion, respiratory problems, headache, nausea, fever, stomach and bowel spasms, as well as for pain relief. Due to the presence of menthol, peppermint and peppermint oil finds wide applications in the manufacturing of soap, shampoo, cigarettes, toothpaste, chewing gum, tea and ice cream.
Citronella oil and lemon eucalyptus oil are both well known for the insect repelling properties. The lemon eucalyptus oil has the added benefit of repelling ticks. None of the other oils listed here repel ticks. Citronella on its own would have to be one of the most well known oils for repelling insects as is lemon eucalyptus both of which have strong anti fungal properties.
Mixing the different oils together enhances their benefits and the different scents also combine to create a nice smelling herbal spray.
If you are tired of using personal products full of toxic chemicals, then give this easy recipe a try. If you don't have access to all the oils listed, use the ones you can find and see what works for you.
I am told that you can use this natural repellent to assist in preventing ticks on your dogs as the lemon eucalyptus oil in particular works great for tick prevention. As with humans some animals can have a reaction such as seizures when exposed to some essential oils, and reactions vary between animals so it is recommended that you test first for any sign of allergic reaction. When using on dogs do not apply to their skin immediately following a bath.
My husband and I use this recipe mix as a mosquito repellent every summer although have to say my husband was initially sceptical. It is natural and so I much prefer to use this.