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Make Your Own NATURAL Insect Repellent

Nothing ruins the fun more than swarming, biting insects. We’ve been to parties where the insects have upstaged the guest of honor. Protect your family with this Natural Insect Repellent–no chemicals, just natural essential oils.

Studies into plant-based bug repellents, such as this summary from a 2011 edition of Malaria Journal, have shown that some of these oils can repel insects to varying degrees. Those most closely associated with repellency are citronella oil, eucalyptus oil, and catnip oil, but others include clove oil, patchouli, peppermint, and geranium.

There are many essential oils known for being beneficial natural insect repellents.

  • Citronella
  • Clove
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedar
  • Catnip
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Basil
  • Rose Geranium
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Thyme
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Pine

woman spraying natural insect repellent

Essential oils are chemicals extracted from plants that are, according to the EPA (PDF), “responsible for the distinctive odor or flavor of the plant they come from.” In other words, they are the distilled essence of the plant. 

For the best results, make sure you are using therapeutic-grade oils.

With the exception of Lavender and Tea Tree oil, you’ll need a carrier oil, rather than applying the essential oil directly to the skin.


Natural Insect Repellent Recipe

Natural Insect Repellent What you’ll need:

  • 6 drop Peppermint (Menthapiperita)
  • 6 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • 9 drops Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • 1 Tablespoon base of oil (jojoba, sweet almond, sunflower, coconut)

How to Make Natural Insect Repellent 

  • Combine the essential oils
  • Add to your base oil
  • Apply to exposed skin

You can also skip the oil base and use witch hazel or vodka to create a spray repellent. The ration is 4 ounces of liquid to 75 drops of essential oils.

dad spraying son's legs with natural insect repellent

Common pests and essential oils that work as repellents:

Mosquitos –

These essential oils work as repellents for mosquitoes: citronella, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, catnip, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, and lavender.

Fleas –

Ward off fleas with these essential oils: cedarwood, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, lemongrass, lavender, orange, and pine,

Ticks –

Rose geranium, juniper, rosewood, thyme, grapefruit, and oregano are all essential oils that are repellents against ticks.



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