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Essential Oils Mosquito Repellent

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Clean Bug Spray

Growing up in Florida and then spending nearly 4 years in Minnesota, I know all about mosquitoes and how to keep them away (for the most part), so I’m gonna share my experience to help you avoid some mosquito bites with a homemade bug repellent.

I spent my fair share of time and money on chemical-laden bug sprays to avoid insect, not realizing I was basically dousing myself and my children in poison, making a homemade bug repellent sound very promising. I know, hindsight can be depressing.

Now that we live in Colorado, we don’t see nearly as many mosquitoes as we did in our Minnesota days, so I haven’t had much need for a good insect repellent. Until recently. I spent a week in Wyoming with my 12-year-old daughter and about 150 other teen girls and leaders at a girls camp with our church. This particular area is known for their horrendous mosquitoes during the dusk hours in the summer months and some of them had sensitive skin.

Natural Mosquito Repellent {with essential oils}

Essential Oil Bug Repellent

I knew I didn’t want to douse myself and my daughter in chemicals, so I set out to see what the most effective mosquito-repelling essential oils were. Turns out, I had all but one on hand already, and I came up with a concoction that I hoped and prayed would actually work because I was not bringing a chemical-spray backup with me on the trip or any other kind of insect repellent.

The base of this homemade bug spray is witch hazel, my absolute favorite facial toner. With the addition of this blend of essential oils, this bug repellent worked incredibly well and I actually got requests from the other girls at the camp to use my spray instead of theirs because they loved the smell of the spray bottle (and it kept the bites away).

Natural Mosquito Repellent {with essential oils}

The only downside, in my opinion, is that it must be kept in a glass bottle because of the essential oils, and I always worry about it breaking. But the bottles (I brought 3 with me) all survived being thrown around in bags during camp all week, plus I keep one repellent in my purse and have yet to have any casualties. So I guess it’s not really a downside at all.

I tend to use essential oils from a variety of companies, but if you have a favorite brand as the essential oils Doterra, definitely go with that. The brand I link to in the recipe is just my suggestion, not a requirement for an effective bug repellent.

Natural Mosquito Repellent {with essential oils}
Natural Mosquito Repellent {with essential oils}

Essential Oils Mosquito Repellent

Yield: 6 oz
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 6 oz Witch Hazel
  • 20 drops Citronella Essential Oil
  • 20 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil


  • 3 (2 oz) Dark Glass Spray Bottles
  • Funnel


    1. Combine witch hazel and all essential oils in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid (I like to use a Ball canning jar). Twist the lid on tightly and shake vigorously to combine all the oils together.
    2. Place the funnel in the opening of one of the 2 oz glass bottles and pour in the mosquito repellent almost to the top, leaving room for the tub on the sprayer top. Twist the cap on the spray bottle on tightly. Repeat with the remaining 2 bottles. Store in a cool dark place until ready to use.
    3. Shake gently before use and spray liberally on all exposed skin and on clothing to repel mosquitoes and other insects.
Stop spraying poison on your most delicate organ (your skin!) and use this all-natural, kid-safe, mother-approved mosquito repellent that uses essential oils to keep the bugs at bay.

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Sunday 23rd of August 2020

Why do you need to use a glass bottle? I’ve mixed all in glass jar but only have a plastic spray bottle. Will that still be ok?


Thursday 28th of October 2021

@Cindy, not only does it break down the plastic, I’ve had it happen, the oils also go bad more quickly. If you’re going to use it soon it’s not a big deal though.


Saturday 28th of August 2021

@Karen, hi Karen! I know this is a year too late, maybe, but I was under the impression that the oils could break down the plastic. A few of the essential oil websites I frequent recommend using cobalt or amber-tinted glass or plastic so long as it’s HDPE or High-Density Polyethylene.


Friday 17th of July 2020

Hello Kendra. Thank you for the bug repellent info. Cant wait to try it. Wanted to ask you if you have any tips for making my own body spray antiperspirant / deodorant. Also do you have any tips on using oils to cool down body from menopausal iossues.


Tuesday 3rd of September 2019

How often would you apply?


Thursday 16th of May 2019

Is the lavender oil a essential part component as I am allergic to it, Is there another oil that could be used instead of the lavender.


Thursday 16th of May 2019

@Tania Just leave it out, it's probably more to make it smell prettier. I don't think it will make it or break it.

Nancy Conte Fisher

Tuesday 15th of January 2019

Any thoughts on “duck repellent” using essential oils? To be kind to both the ducks and the plants! Thank you!

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