Best Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Recipes (Easy Homemade Bug Spray)

Best Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Recipes (Easy Homemade Bug Spray)

No matter where you are in the world I am sure, at one time or another, you have been the victim of the mosquito bite! Discover the best natural remedies and herbal tips for keeping biting bugs with the best essential oil mosquito repellent and homemade bug spray – easy to make and super effective!

As well as being extremely irritating and summer fun spoiling pests the Mosquito bite can also lead to serious health complications. So it’s time to get the best natural and safe relief!

Choose Natural Over Chemical For The Best Bug Spray!

Most of us will turn to store bought insect repellents at one, or more, times in our life. We think because they are stocked in supermarkets or convenience stores that they are safe, easy to use and effective at ridding the biting bugs.

While they may be easy to use and certainly effective at ridding biting bugs, most off the shelf repellents are laden with DEET.  DEET, the active ingredient for most repellants is actually a highly toxic pesticide.

In a study of DEET on Everglades National Park employees using it over one quarter of employees showed adverse reactions to the chemical. The effects of DEET usage included rashes, skin irritation, numb or burning lips, nausea, headaches, dizziness and difficulty concentrating.

It goes without saying that DEET not only repels bugs, but is highly toxic to mosquitoes. This is why it is used . It is extremely effective.  However it is also highly toxic to every other living organism.

Used over an extended period of time and in large doses it is equally toxic and dangerous to human health.

Other studies show exposure to DEET by humans was linked to shortness of breath, joint and muscle pain, tremors, weakness, skin irritation, headaches, memory loss and severe migraine.

These symptoms were especially severe in children and infants.

My advice, stay away from DEET if at all possible.

There are many simple to prepare and easy to use natural repellents that are highly effective and truly safe that will ensure bugs are kept at bay.

The following remedies can be used individually or you can mix and match them.  These suggestions form the building blocks of the best natural mosquito repellent recipe.

It is a great herb infused olive oil mixture, which includes any or all of the individual natural oil components.

best natural mosquito repellent recipe - citronella
Citronella is a highly effective mosquito repellent and can be derived from the Lemon Grass plant.

Citronella (or Lemon Grass) – Best Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Recipe

Oil of citronella is an all natural insect and animal repellent made from the distilled oils of a certain variety of grass.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center the oils derived from these grasses are citronellol, citronellal and geraniol.  Luckily for us we don’t need a science degree, we just need the oil!

The Lemongrass is my favourite and is among the most highly prized and most often used.

Purchase some Citronella Oil and use it diluted in a carrier oil as a personal repellent. If you do not wish to apply the oils topically to the skin you can add a few drops to an essential oil diffuser.  

Citronella is perfectly safe to use. It is not a pesticide so it doesn’t kill the bugs it simply repels them.  The fragrance is bad news to bugs, and very effective. It also infuses the atmosphere with delightful citrus fragrance, well delightful to us humans anyhow!

Citronella candles are another wonderful alternative and an excellent addition to a BBQ or picnic. At night when insects are at their worst the candles will add a wonderful ambiance and while they may not be a bug spray, they are brilliant repellents.

Citronella Plants – Homemade Bug Spray

Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Best Homemade Bug Spray
Citronella – LemonGrass

We have already discussed Citronella Oil but why not try growing it!

The distinctive Citronella, or lemongrass when used in cooking, has a very strong citrus fragrance. This is what we want as the fragrance masks the odors which attract mosquitoes.  

Planted and growing citronella plants are known to repel mosquitoes even more effectively than the oil alone.

Be aware this plant doesn’t like snow or frost so needs to be in an area of protection. A good idea is to have it in a pot that can be moved.  Also be aware if left untrimmed they can reach 5 foot tall. Definitely a back of the garden rather than front feature!

best natural mosquito repellent recipe using lavender oil
Lavender is one of the best mosquito repellents. While most humans love the fresh fragrance of lavender mosquitoes absolutely hate it!

Lovely Lavender Can Be Used In Our Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent.

Lavender has to be one of the most popular fragrances in every country around the world.  

However what is a beautiful fragrance to humans, is not to a mosquito! In fact biting bugs cannot stand the smell of lavender and will keep as far away from it as possible.  

There are 2 super simple and super effective ways to utilize the lavender oil and keep yourself bite free.

Use a good organic lavender essential oil. Place one or two drops onto a piece of ribbon or fabric and hang this fabric in an open window or doorway.  

Not only will it send the gorgeous fragrance of lavender into your home it will form an invisible repellent barrier that keeps all mosquitoes out!

They wont cross the lavender border!

Make your own essential oil mosquito repellent “lavender body oil”.  Not only will you smell great and have smooth skin you’ll also protect yourself from any mosquito attack.  

There are 2 simple ways to make a lavender body oil.  

The first is to place a few drops of lavender essential oil into a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond. Then rub this mix onto your skin.  

The second, and this is the one I recommend, is to make your own lavender herb infused olive oil.  This olive oil is infused with natural organic lavender oil from your home garden and is extremely effective and a brilliant way to utilize the drying lavender flowers.

best natural mosquito repellent recipe using rosemary
Having a Barbecue or Camp Fire? Add aromas of the Mediterranean and repel mosquitoes.

Rosemary Can Also Be Used In Our Best Homemade Bug Spray

Often mosquitoes will attack when you first strike up the Barbecue.  

This is due to the carbon dioxide given off which draws the biting bugs.

This can be avoided by throwing a few sprigs of fresh rosemary onto your barbecue, or fire. Not only will you add a wonderfully fragrant aroma to the air, and a wonderful flavor to your food, you will also turn your fireplace into a natural mosquito repellent.

Mosquito Repelling Plants To Use In Our Mosquito Repellent Recipes.

There are many plants that naturally repel mosquitoes.  

Adding these plants to pots, or your garden beds, will repel the biting bugs naturally.  

If you do decide to grow these plants they have a multitude of uses. All stemming from their natural goodness and fragrance! You can make your own herbal infused olive oil.

This oil repels mosquitoes as well as offering you a host of other health and healing properties.  

Below are 5 of my highly recommended plants to use for your homemade bug spray.

natural mosquito repellent plant horsemint
Horsemint or BeeBalm is a lovely flowering plant which naturally repels mosquitoes.


Commonly known as Bee-balm or Lemon Horse-mint, this highly adaptable perennial plant repels mosquitoes in a similar manner as the citronella.  

It repels mosquitoes by confusing their sensory perception.

In layman’s terms its strong incense like odor masks the smells which usually attract the mosquito.

Horsemint is a great choice of plant as it is fast growing, shade-tolerant and drought-resistant.  It reaches 2-3 feet in diameter and is especially fond of dry sandy soils.  Highly resistant to salty conditions this is ideal for beach planting or gardens near the ocean


best natural mosquito repellent recipe - mariigolds
Another highly effective plant for repelling mosquitoes are the common marigold.

Often seen as decorative border plant the Marigold has a  very distinct smell.

It is a smell that mosquitoes, and in all honesty a lot of people, find offensive.  

If you, like me, find the smell of marigolds to be acceptable then it is the Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents, produced by the marigold that will ensure a bug free garden and environment.

Marigolds need decent soil, or soil that is regularly fertilized and enjoy full sun placement. 

Marigolds are easily grown from seed or from small plants.  Once established then these annuals will self sow each year so you should only need to plant once!  

Remember to keep your marigolds trimmed and remove dead flower heads. This will keep your plants in flower throughout the late spring, summer and early autumn seasons.

Potted marigolds positioned by house entrances will form a natural bug repellent.

Tip: Growing marigolds in your vegetable patch or among tomatoes will deter all forms of crop destroying bugs!


best natural mosquito repellent recipe plant ageratum
Ageratum or Floss Flower is another highly decorative insect repelling plant.

Ageratum, or Floss flowers as they are commonly known, emit a smell which mosquitoes find particularly offensive.

The active ingredient in Ageratum is Coumarin, which is another natural plant secretion widely used in commercial mosquito repellents.

Ageratum is fabulous for borders, pots and front beds as it is low lying reaching no more than 12 inches in height.  

It is easily recognized by its blue or lilac flowers which have a fluffy flossy look.

The Ageratum plant will grow easily in even the poorest of soils and harshest of conditions and is often seen in rock gardens or roadside verges.

The leaves can be crushed to produce even more of an insect repelling odor however the oils are strong and can be irritating to the skin. So if used topically make sure you do a small patch test first!


best natural mosquito repellent recipe utilizing catnip
Catnip is easily grown and very effective at repelling mosquitoes and other biting bugs.

Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent. In August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents.

Catnip as a plant is extremely easy to grow. Closely related to the mint this perennial herb is almost weed like in its tolerance of almost any growing condition.

Close proximity to Catnip will keep mosquitoes at bay.  

However you can also crush the leaves and rub on the body  or add catnip oil to a carrier and apply as a body lotion for more robust mosquito protection.

Tip: If you are a cat owner perhaps think twice about applying catnip oil or crushed leaves to your skin as your moggy will react to you the same way they react to your catnip plant.


Eat Garlic!

Eating garlic results in the garlic oil being released from your pores.  This oil acts as a repelling barrier between your skin and those biting beasties.

However too much garlic may repel more than mosquitoes…just saying!

Best natural mosquito repellent -
Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent - Best Homemade Bug  Spray recipe using Neem oil
Neem Oil is a safer and natural alternative to DEET and just as, if not more, effective at repelling mosquitoes.

Use Neem Oil As Part Of The Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Recipe

Neem oil is derived and extracted from the Neem tree which is native to the Indian sub-continent.  In Indian subcultures and various religions it is often referred to as “the tree of life”.

Neem oil is more often used as a natural and safe insecticide and applied to other plants to stop insect invasion and protect crops. 

Applying Neem oil to the skin acts in the same way and keeps mosquitoes away.

The Best Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe!


  • 2 tablespoons of witch hazel water.
  • 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or Neem oil (or a combination of these oils)
  • ½ teaspoon vodka as preservative (you can do without this if you will use the repellent within 3-4 days)
  • 100 drops of essential oils (singular oil or a combination – see recommended essential oils below)

This is The Homemade Bug Spray Essential Oil Blend That I Recommend:

  • 55 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  • 15 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil


Add carrier liquids (witch hazel water, vodka and oils) to a small bottle, preferably glass and a dark brown or blue.

Add your essential oils and shake vigorously.  Apply to the skin.

Reapply every 2-3 hours and shake the bottle before application.  Store in cool dark place when not in use.

Other essential oils which can be used in combination or on their own.

  • citronella
  • eucalyptus
  • tea tree
  • peppermint
  • cypress
  • rose geranium
  • bergamot
  • lemon

I hope you enjoyed this post and now are confident in ridding your outdoor activities of mosquitoes.  

As well as removing the pest you are also removing the risk of mosquito borne disease and illness.  

If you enjoyed this post please do share it!

Best health – Love and Light

Discover the best essential oil mosquito repellent.  Learn the plants to use to create a homemade bug spray that keeps your summer pest free!

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13 thoughts on “Best Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent Recipes (Easy Homemade Bug Spray)”

  • Conscious content always activates my 3rd eye! Namaste to you for raising the vibe!

  • Hey there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone!

    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  • Hi Jason, I couldn’t help but read this post. You know those people that attract every mosquito and flee around? You know the ones that can be in the same space as another person who will emerge unscathed, yet they will be covered? Yep, that’ me. Not only do I get bitten, but the bites swell, and itch for weeks, The only treatment that has ever taken away the itch is a combination of baking soda and water. The repellent recipes you have may be the lifeline I need. I guess I shouldn’t have dug up those marigolds then!

    • Hey Hindy,
      You and me both! I wrote this post because I, like you, am one of those people that biting bugs love to feed on. All my family and friends can be happily enjoying the BBQ or great outdoors and not get even one bite…while I am being bitten alive. Hope this helps. I swear by it!
      Love and Light

  • Hello Jason, I am very impressed by your post on best natural mosquito repellent recipe. Once I saw your headline I said to myself that this is a ”most read” and didn’t regret reading through. I learned a lot from this post and also drawing our attention to the shelve pesticides as containing dangerous substances that could harm us is also great. Now that you have proffered other ways of preparing mosquito repellent I can now consider these options.

    Thanks you because mosquito is a universal problem…

  • This saved my life this night.
    Yesterday I was mosquito food, but today they didn’t get close.

    Thank you so much for this, I’ll recommend for everyone I know.


  • Hi Jason,

    Thanks for this lovely post. It really came to me at the perfect time when I am literally struggling with a few mosquitoes. I really think this is worth sharing with the world. You always provide quality information and this is what every webmaster should do.

    Thanks for sharing, all the best to you!

  • Hi Jason,

    What a great post!
    Who doesn’t want an effective anti-mosquito repellent?? And all natural??

    I believe this is definitely a win-win and am grateful for this post!

    I’m going to give all the examples a closer look and try them out in the summer for sure!


    • Hi Rian

      Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Hope you find them effective. It’s mid summer here and the mosquitoes are out and about…and this is keeping me bite free! Usually they love me so I’m very pleased!


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