One thing we totally did not expect, coming from southern California, was those huge and fearless mosquitoes! As soon as we stood still to admire the natural beauty around us, we would acquire at least two new bites.
So when we were getting ready for our Florida trip this year, I knew this would be a great opportunity to make some all natural mosquito repellent for a test.
I am happy to report that both the spray and the balm worked super well!
They are so easy to make and so pleasant to use. The secret that makes them really effective are certain kinds of essential oils.
Here is another good reason for homemade bug repellent: one of the most widely used ingredients in conventional bug sprays is DEET, which has been linked to neurological problems. It is also toxic to birds and aquatic life.
Through some researching, I learned the best all natural mosquito repellent often contain some of the following essential oils: Lemon Eucalyptus oil, Citronella oil, Tea Tree oil, Lemon oil, and / or Lavender oil .
You can use any combinations of the above. Because of the raving reviews I read about Lemon Eucalyptus oil as a mosquito repellent, I decided to use it as the main ingredient, with the addition of Tea Tree oil, and Lavender oil.
Let us start with the simple mosquito repellent spray first.
For each 2 oz glass spray bottle of water, add a total of 20 drops of essential oil: I used 10 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus oil, and 5 each of lavender and tea tree oil.
You can substitute with other oils such as Citronella, Lemon or Lemongrass. (See more in additional tips section at the end.)
You will see the oil floating on top. To use, shake well right before spraying.
I also made this mosquito repellent balm because it is easier to carry on a hike, and it stays on longer especially when we sweat a lot in the heat.
The bees wax and oil in the right proportions will create the right consistency of a firm butter-like lotion. If it is too soft, it may become runny in the heat.
You can skip the Shea butter and make it with just bees wax and an oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil.
Here is the proportion I used: 1 tablespoon each of beeswax ( cut to small pieces or use pellets) and shea butter, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a total of 20 drops of essential oil.
Create a double boiler by bringing some water close to boiling in a small saucepan, and place a glass or metal dish inside the pan.
Add the oils, butters and bees wax. The beeswax will melt in about 5 minutes. Add the essential oils, pour into a container and let cool. The mixture will harden in about 20 minutes.
If you do not like the consistency, just return the mixture to the double boiler. Add more bees wax for a firmer consistency and more oils for a softer balm.
- Essential oils are potent concentrates. It’s important to know the basic safety guidelines. Here are two excellent articles by Christina at Hippy Home Maker: general safety, and safety for children
- Store these in a cool dark place when not using.
- Lemon Eucalyptus oil is not a blend of Lemon and Eucalyptus oil. It comes from the tree Corymbia citriodora.
By the way, another fun way to use essential oil at home is to add a few drops to these beautiful mason jar oil lamps, tutorial here.
Happy creating! xo