How to Make Homemade Solutions

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Introduction to How to Make Homemade Mosquito Repellent

Summer evenings spent outdoors can be pure bliss, but pesky mosquitoes can quickly turn them into a nightmare. These tiny insects not only leave itchy bites but can also transmit dangerous diseases like dengue fever, Zika, and malaria. Mosquito repellents are a crucial defense against these unwelcome guests.

While commercial repellents are readily available, there’s a growing interest in natural alternatives. This article explores the world of homemade mosquito repellents, guiding you through the process of creating your own safe and effective solution.

Mosquitoes and Their Nuisance

Mosquitoes are flying insects belonging to the Culicidae family. Females are responsible for biting humans and animals to obtain blood for egg development.

Mosquitoes and Their Nuisance

Their bites cause itchy welts due to an anticoagulant they inject to prevent blood clotting during feeding. More importantly, mosquitoes can transmit various diseases through their saliva, posing a significant health risk.

How Mosquito Repellent Works

Mosquito repellents work by creating a barrier around your skin that deters mosquitoes from landing and biting. They achieve this in two ways:

  1. Repellency: The repellent creates an unpleasant odor or taste that mosquitoes find offensive, making them avoid landing on treated skin.
  2. Deterrency: The repellent disrupts mosquitoes’ ability to locate you. They rely on visual cues, carbon dioxide you exhale, and body heat to find you. Repellents can interfere with these sensory signals, making it harder for mosquitoes to target you.

Types of Mosquito Repellents Available in the Market:

Commercial mosquito repellents come in various forms, including sprays, lotions, sticks, wipes, and clip-on devices. The active ingredient determines their effectiveness and duration of protection. Here’s a breakdown of some common types:

  • DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide): One of the most effective and widely used repellents, DEET offers long-lasting protection but can irritate skin, especially at high concentrations.
  • Picaridin: A safe and effective alternative to DEET, particularly for children and pregnant women. It offers moderate protection time.
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE): Derived from eucalyptus leaves, OLE provides moderate protection and is a good choice for those seeking a plant-based option.
  • IR3535: This synthetic repellent offers moderate protection and is commonly used in Europe and Asia.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Commercial Repellents:


  • Highly Effective: Commercial repellents, particularly those containing DEET, offer long-lasting and reliable protection against mosquito bites.
  • Convenient: They come in various forms for easy application and portability.
  • Readily Available: Found in most drugstores and supermarkets.


  • Potential for Skin Irritation: DEET and some other chemicals in commercial repellents can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Environmental Concerns: Some repellents contain ingredients that may be harmful to the environment.
  • Cost: Commercial repellents can be expensive, especially for families.

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Ingredients for Homemade Mosquito Repellents

Homemade mosquito repellents typically use essential oils that possess natural mosquito-repelling properties. Here are some popular options:

  • Citronella Oil: A classic choice, citronella oil has a strong citrus scent that repels mosquitoes.
  • Lemongrass Oil: This essential oil offers a refreshing scent and repels mosquitoes effectively.
  • Peppermint Oil: Not only does peppermint oil deter mosquitoes, but it also provides a cooling sensation on the skin.
  • Lavender Oil: Known for its calming properties, lavender oil also repels some mosquitoes and other insects.
  • Tea Tree Oil: This versatile oil has antiseptic qualities and can help soothe existing mosquito bites.

Carrier Oils:

Essential oils are highly concentrated and can irritate the skin when applied directly. Therefore, they need to be diluted in a carrier oil before use. Some common carrier oils include:

  • Coconut Oil: Moisturizing and readily available, coconut oil is a good carrier for homemade repellents.
  • Jojoba Oil: This lightweight oil closely mimics the skin’s natural sebum, making it a good choice for sensitive skin.
  • Witch Hazel: A natural astringent, witch hazel can be used as a carrier or even on its own as a mild repellent.

Additional Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Extract: Adding a few drops of vanilla extract can enhance the scent and make the repellent more appealing.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Some believe apple cider vinegar disrupts mosquitoes’ sense of smell, making them less likely to bite. However, the evidence for this is limited.

Important Note: Always conduct a patch test on a small area of your inner arm before applying any homemade repellent to a larger area. Apply a small amount and wait 24 hours to check for any signs of irritation.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Homemade Mosquito Repellent

There are many variations of homemade mosquito repellent, but here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


  • 30 drops of your chosen essential oil(s) (e.g., citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, lavender)
  • 1 ounce (30 ml) carrier oil (e.g., coconut oil, jojoba oil)
  • Optional: 5 drops vanilla extract
  • Spray bottle (preferably amber glass for sun protection)


  1. Combine the essential oil(s) and carrier oil in the spray bottle.
  2. Add vanilla extract (optional).
  3. Fill the remaining space in the bottle with distilled water (optional) if you prefer a spray application. Shaking with water helps dilute the essential oils further.
  4. Secure the spray bottle top and shake well to combine the ingredients.


  • For a lotion-based repellent, omit the water and use a thicker carrier oil like shea butter or aloe vera gel.
  • Label your repellent with the ingredients and date of creation.
  • Store your repellent in a cool, dark place.

How to Make Homemade Rose Water (Optional)

Rosewater is a natural astringent with a pleasant scent that can be incorporated into your homemade repellent. Here’s a simple recipe:


  • 1 cup (240 ml) rose petals (fresh or dried)
  • 2 cups (480 ml) distilled water


  1. Place the rose petals in a heat-resistant bowl.
  2. Pour the distilled water over the petals.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer on the stovetop.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  6. Strain the rosewater into a clean container.

Using Rosewater in Your Repellent:

Substitute rosewater for some or all of the distilled water in your homemade repellent recipe for a refreshing and potentially mosquito-repelling effect.

Using Rosewater in Your Repellent: Mosquito

Advantages of Homemade Repellents

  • Natural Ingredients: Homemade repellents avoid harsh chemicals often found in commercial products, making them a good choice for those with sensitive skin or concerns about using chemicals on their body.
  • Customization: You can choose the essential oils you prefer based on scent and desired repelling properties.
  • Cost-Effective: Making your own repellent can be significantly cheaper than buying commercial brands.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Homemade repellents typically use natural ingredients and avoid plastic packaging, making them a more eco-friendly option.

Important Note:  Homemade repellents generally do not offer the same level of protection or duration as commercial repellents containing DEET or Picaridin.

Application and Usage Tips

  • Apply the repellent generously and evenly to exposed skin, avoiding the eyes and mouth.
  • Reapply the repellent every two hours, or more frequently if sweating heavily or swimming.
  • For additional protection, consider treating clothing with a permethrin spray (always following label instructions). Permethrin is an insecticide that binds to fabrics and repels mosquitoes for extended periods. However, it is not intended for direct skin application.

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Additional Tips for Mosquito Control

  • Eliminate breeding grounds: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Empty any containers that hold water around your home, such as birdbaths, flowerpots, and clogged gutters.
  • Minimize outdoor exposure during peak mosquito times: Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Consider scheduling outdoor activities during the day or taking extra precautions during these times.
  • Wear long, loose-fitting clothing: This provides a physical barrier against mosquito bites.
  • Use mosquito nets: When sleeping outdoors, use a mosquito net to create a barrier around your bed.


Homemade mosquito repellents offer a natural and potentially effective way to deter these pesky insects.

While they may not provide the same level of protection as commercial repellents, they can be a good option for those seeking a natural alternative. By combining homemade repellents with other mosquito control methods, you can create a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

Remember, always prioritize your safety and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about using essential oils or if you’re in an area with a high risk of mosquito-borne diseases.


1. How long does homemade mosquito repellent last?

Homemade repellents typically last 1-2 hours, so reapplication is more frequent than with commercial brands.

2. Can I use homemade repellent on children?

Consult a pediatrician before using essential oils on children, especially very young ones. Dilute them more than adult versions.

3. Are there any essential oils I should avoid?

Yes, some essential oils, like clove oil, are not safe for skin application. Always research specific oils before using them.

4. Can I use these repellents on pets?

No, many essential oils are toxic to pets. Consult a vet for pet-safe mosquito repellent options.

5. Will homemade repellent work against all mosquito species?

Effectiveness varies, so research which essential oils work best against the types of mosquitoes in your area.

6. Can I use expired essential oils in my repellent?

No, essential oils lose their potency over time. Use fresh oils for optimal effectiveness and scen

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