4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents
Many joke that the unofficial state “bird” of Minnesota, my home state, is the mosquito. When summer hits, the mosquitoes start swarming. Of course, Minnesota isn’t the only place with mosquitoes; most areas of the world with standing water and lots of trees experience these pesky creatures. (See also: Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests)
Unfortunately, the easiest and most effective method to repel mosquitoes involves the toxic chemical DEET. While the health effects of DEET are not conclusive, they are scary enough to warrant the government recommending limited exposure. The CDC recommends that children over the age of two months and adults use repellent with DEET concentrations up to 30%, and Health Canada recommends that children under age 12 use mosquito repellents with a DEET concentration of less than 10%. Even though many repellents may have lower concentrations of DEET, I’d still rather steer clear of any mosquito repellents with chemicals.
Several companies now make natural mosquito repellents, but most are not cheap. Luckily, there are many homemade mosquito repellent recipes available on the internet.
Garlic Mosquito Repellent
- Ingredients: Minced garlic, mineral oil, and lemon juice
- Cost: Less than $5
Mince a few cloves of garlic then cover with mineral oil. Allow it to sit for at least 24 hours. Next you take a teaspoon of *just the oil* and mix it with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Strain through a cheesecloth if you have any floaties then pour into a spray bottle. Shake before each use.
Recipe from Tipnut
Lemon Eucalyptus Mosquito Repellent
- Ingredients: Lemon eucalyptus oil and sunflower oil or witch hazel
- Cost: $9.50 for 8 oz. of lemon eucalyptus oil (can be purchased on Amazon.com)
- Directions: Mix 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil for every 10 parts of sunflower oil/witch hazel. Rub or spray on skin.
Recipe modified from About.com
Lavender Mosquito Repellent
- Ingredients: Fresh lavender (the flower)
- Cost: Free (if you have lavender growing in your yard); otherwise Home Depot sells the plant for about $12
Rub a lavender flower behind your ears, wrists and neck. Not only will you smell great but mosquitoes will leave you alone.
Recipe from Garden Mandy
Vanilla Mosquito Repellent
- Ingredients: Vanilla extract
- Cost: Less than $5 at grocery store
Apply some vanilla extract or vanilla essence to your pulse points.
Recipe from Nora’s post about Easy Homemade Mosquito and Insect Traps
Are there any homemade mosquito repellent recipes that you’ve tried? How did they work out?