Best Homemade Bug Repellent

Today we have a guest post by my associate, Dr. Samantha Weiss.

Spring is finally here.  If  you and your family are anything like mine, you will start spending more time outside, especially during the evenings.  While it is great to enjoy the outdoors, it is not enjoyable to get eaten alive by mosquitoes.   Bug repellent is a must, especially in the summer months; however the bug repellent sold in stores smells horrible and can be more toxic to humans than bugs.  

I spent many summers getting bug bite after bug bite and smelling of insect repellent.   I decided that there had to be a natural way to repel mosquitoes.  I found a home remedy that is easy, cheap and effective at repelling mosquitoes.  The natural repellent is made of a mixer of essential oils and a carrier oil or alcohol.  

The essential oils that seem to work best are the following: cinnamon oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, citronella oil and castor oil.   The essential oil is then mixed with a carrier oil such as olive oil, sunflower oil, or other cooking oils,. Witch hazel or vodka can be used in place of a carrier oil.  From the above list, you take one of the carrier oils or alcohol and one or several of the essential oils and mix them together. I would recommend using  lemon, eucalyptus, lavender or citronella oil in your mix of essential oils.  When making large quantities of mosquito repellent it is best to mix one part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol.  

After mixing the essential oil(s) of your choice with the carrier oil or alcohol you can either spray or rub it on your skin and clothes, making sure to avoid areas such as your eyes and mouth.  Since the repellent is natural it needs to be re-applied after an hour or after swimming and/or exercise.  You can store your natural repellent in a dark bottle away from both heat and sunlight.

If you are pregnant or nursing make sure to consult with your physician prior to use.  One more bit of advice it is best to mix your repellent and test it out on a small area of skin first to see if an irritation develops. Remember essential oils are very potent so a little goes a long way.  On that note go out there and enjoy your summer protected from the bugs.


Dr. Samantha Weiss earned her chiropractic doctoral degree and Certification in Acupuncture from National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois. She also received her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

As a member of the American Chiropractic Association, Dr. Weiss is able to advocate for and promote the best care possible for her patients. Even though she enjoys all areas in the chiropractic field, Dr. Weiss has a particular interest in caring for both maternal and pediatric patients, and hopes to explore and develop treatment options for these patient populations.

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