Bug repellent: It’s about time!

With all the talk about West Nile Virus in the US I figured I better hunker down and make the bug spray I have been wanting to make.

I have had all the ingredients to make it up, but the mosquitoes haven’t really been a problem for me so it hasn’t been high on my list of things to do. Even though I get a bite from time to time, I didn’t worry, but I guess I need to start paying attention.

There are a lot of recipes out there in other blogs. A few recipes that I came across used a mixture of witch hazel and grapeseed oil as a base. Some used vodka, others used vinegar and some used witch hazel with a bit of vegetable glycerin. What I liked about using the grapeseed oil is how it would help carry the essential oils and help them stick with me a little longer.

There are many essential oil that are helpful when it comes to keeping the mosquitoes away. Some of them include:

  • Cedar
  • Citronella
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Rose Geranium
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree

Essential oils that made sense to me are lemony things and rose geranium. Lemon balm and rose geranium leaves have been what I have been using for several years. I just take a few leaves and rubs them on my arms and legs. The rose geranium body powder that I make up has helped keep the chiggers away.

My bug repellent mixture:

  • 1 oz witch hazel
  • .75 oz grapeseed oil
  • 30 drops citronella
  • 15 drops lemongrass
  • 10 drops lemon
  • 10 drops lavender

Put in some sort of small spray bottle. Shake vigorously to combine ingredients. Apply every few hours, or as needed. (bottle in photo below is from Mountain Rose Herbs – you order the spray nozzle separately. They are called fingertip misters.)

The ingredients will separate over time so you will need to shake this mixture before you use it.  To make sure I am getting good coverage, I will spray a few spots and use my hand to spread it around.

I have been using this mixture a few weeks and it is working well.  As I perused many recipes I realized that it is all about coming up with a combination that works for you, personally. While my mom isn’t bothered by mosquitoes AT ALL, I know they are a bit more interested in me and then there are other people who just seem to be magnets for the nasty bug. So, what it all comes down to is, what works for me just might not work for you, but don’t let that keep you from coming up with you own bug repellent.

What do you do to keep the mosquitoes and bugs away from you?

Sincerely, Emily

P.S. Since I made up my mosquito repellent a few weeks ago, West Nile Virus cases are popping up a lot closer to home (San Antonio.) I encourage everyone to be very vigilant around their property and make sure you have no standing water. It is an open breeding ground for mosquitoes.

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6 Responses to Bug repellent: It’s about time!

  1. I did the same thing. My mixture is a little different in that I used Rosemary, Lemon, Lemongrass and Peppermint. My base is Jojoba Oil which is very good for the skin. I have the same spray bottle you do. I actually like the smell. I tried using geranium oil, however my husband had an aversion to it. Just like the bugs, ha!

    • Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for sharing you combination of essential oils for your big spray. I added rosemary to my second batch. Both seem to work well, and like your mixture, I like the scent too. I will have to try jojoba oil in one of my batches. Thanks again.

  2. Nancy Davis says:

    So far I have not noticed them here but have not been outdoors early morning or late evening either. Nancy

    • Hi Nancy, I am glad you aren’t noticing any mosquitoes in your area. We used to joke up in Minnesota and Wisconsin that the mosquito is the state bird – they are large and plentiful up there. Here in my area, they seem to be small and luckily there are not many. They haven’t really bothered me much, although I do get a few bites from time to time. With the West Nile Virus found in our area, I would rather be proactive and make sure those nasty things aren’t biting me at all.

  3. I saw a recipe recently using rose water, then essential oils of bergamot, lemongrass and orange. She said her friends liked the smell and the mosquitoes didn’t!

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