Homemade Mosquito Repellents That Work

Readers Share Favorite Homemade Mosquito Repellent Recipes

Have you tried a homemade mosquito repellent? How effective was it?
Have you tried a homemade mosquito repellent? How effective was it?. Nila Aye, Getty Images

Have you made or tried a natural homemade mosquito repellent? If so, let other readers who whether it was effective for you. Do you have any favorite natural mosquito repellent recipes?

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice worked really well for me, and I'm a mosquito magnet. I had shorts on and put lemon juice (just normal lemon juice you can buy from the store) on my legs (it wasn't sticky) and the mosquitoes stopped biting my legs.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a sprayer and they moved on to biting me through my shirt; but not my legs though!

— Charlie

Wow Vicks Really??

So simple an I think it works!! Just tried it this morning and no bites (yet! Knock on wood!) I was mixing up all these spices from the kitchen then came across that post and thank goodness I did! I just moved back to Orlando and the Mosquitos here are only getting worse!! I haven't been going outside. I think and hope u solved my problem!!!! Thank u!!!

— Flsnowbunnyy

Mr Clean please stop!

I would like to ask Guest Mr Clean to re-consider applying dryer softener sheets to his and his children's skin. Chemicals in the sheets might absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, possibly affecting the brain or other vital organs. With all due respect, it just doesn't seem safe.

—NatureHealth

Dawn

I set out a container with water near patio. When larva appear I add a drop of two of Dawn.

I have also caught adult mosquitoes. This seem to reduce the overall population in the area. I keep a ceiling fan on high when on the patio and the mosquitoes stay away. I suspect the fan dissipates the CO2 from my breath that attracts them.

—Guest Donald

Natural Mosquito repellent!!

Rub a light layer of vicks rub on the bare skin!

Not only will you be able to breathe well... little pesky boogers stay away!!! :)

—VICKS

GOTTA TRY IT CHEAP AND EFFECTIVE

I've been using regular bounty dryer sheets for about a year now on my self as well as my 6 yr old, 4 yr old and 1 yr old, and it works AMAZINGLY!!! Just rub it on and thats it! I even tape them to the inside of my tent while camping and I've killed one maybee 2 sqeeters.

—Mr. Clean

Vinegar of the Four Thieves

This stuff kept away the Bubonic Plague! Seriously strong but natural and cheaper than oils. Smells foul when wet but OK when dry: Vinegar of the Four Thieves Insect Repellent Ingredients: ■1 32 ounce bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar ■2 TBSP each of dried Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint ■At least quart size glass jar with airtight lid How to Make the Vinegar of the Four Thieves Insect Repellent: 1.Put the vinegar and dried herbs into large glass jar. 2.Seal tightly and store on counter or place you will see it daily. Shake well each day for 2-3 weeks. 3.After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out and store in spray bottles or tincture bottles, preferably in fridge. 4.To use on skin, dilute to half with water in a spray bottle and use as needed. 5.Use whenever you need serious bug control!

[Note: This mixture is very strong and has antiviral and antibacterial properties.]

—Normski

It works

I take cinnamon pills. I have not been bitten in over 2 years.

—twice shy

Mosquito repellent fumes

Mixture of dried leaves and fruit coats of tree Pongamia Pinneta with 2 % Neem oil and 2 % Pongamia Pinneta oil when burned like incense sticks to give fumes repels mosquitoes from the room. Pongamia Pinneta is called KARANJ in Hindi.

—Sushil Kumar Sharma

Natural Room Spray

Gday! A while ago my Mum found a great add in the paper with how to make this, we went and bought all the essential oils and carrier oil which cost a fortune at the time we figured, we were getting our money's worth if it worked, which it did !It was great! Now I want to make it up, Mum cant find the list of ingredients! sigh, all I can remember, is it had metholated spirits and water with it, vinegar and about 8 or more 100% pure oils, you would literally see the flies come in and back off where she had sprayed in the kitchen, can anyone help here?

I possibley have some of the ingredients wrong and it was in a spray bottle. I do know of a mix to deter toads though, it's affectionately known by my friend's who invented it as "8 hops" cos thats about as far as they get after being sprayed by it, I spray around my doorways and sliding doors, to prevent them coming into the house. It's half and half of Metholated Spirits and Dettol, don't use cheap brands they stink.

—Tonianne

repellents

citronella is the best! try it now please

—adrian

Mosquitoes repellents

I have try inside my apartament, the little patio and entrance putting a glass gar with water and smash garlic, it seams that have worked on me. You can try that.

—Margie SantaMaria

lavender oil

i usually get tons of mosquito bites when i go camping but the last couple of times i went i used lavender oil as a mosquito repellent and it worked amazingly! i didn't get a single bite!

—crystal

vinegar

I was told that regular vinegar would repel them but it didn't. i also tried that thing you clip on and it didn't work either. Anyone have any experience with those two? my friend tried the vinegar and it worked for her. and people swear by the clip on thingy. i wonder why they still attack me.

—sharon

Skin So Soft has DEET

Avon Skin So Soft is an effective repellent because it contains DEET. And DEET is less expensive than the Avon product...

—Kathryn

CATNIP OIL is HATED by mosquitos!

Can't believe you didn't mention the essential oil of Catnip! It is off the charts for keeping mosquitos away, AND it doesn't stink! One way you can mix essential oils into water based products is to mix Polysorbate 20 with your essential oil 1:1 BEFORE mixing into water or vinegar..Basically the polysorbate is a naturally derived emulsifier. It will make your oil mix into water so it is equally dispersed, say, in a sprayer. I buy my catnip and polysorbate 20 from a small essential oil distributer. Prob can't name it here, but just google it. You can mix in Witch Hazel instead of water or vinegar or just use all three.

—gina

castor oil is NOT an essential oil

Castor oil is a carrier oil, but I would not recommend it for an application like this since it is very thick and sticky. Two other EO's which are mosquito repellents are Lemongrass and Lavender.

—Erin

retired chem teacher

liquid Ivory soap for dishes worked very well with the added benefit of being able to clean dishes. I rubbed one arm only with it and mosquitoes stayed away for over an hour. My other arm was attacked often.

—DHK

Listerine and Mosquitoes

My little Yorkie gets deathly sick from heartworm medication, can't tolerate most chemicals so can never take her out in evening/early morning. Last year on a tip, tried putting a neckerchief on her sprayed with Listerine...and slapped some on me too (I seem to be a major mosquito magnet). Well, it worked like a charm! Unbelievably, I didn't get a single bite and I live in a huge mosquito infested area d/t lots of woods and ponds. Still don't like taking my little pooch out at night, but if I must take her somewhere, I don't leave home without her Listerine soaked neckachief and I love that there are no harsh chemicals to stress her liver and pancreas (she suffers from chronic pancreatitis so it's essential I totally limit chemicals on her).

—Judyann J

Neem Oil

Light up the tip of a wick (4 inch long cotton threads rolled by hand to form a wick) immersed in a small dish containing NEEM )oil (50ml costs Ind.Rs50/- ).The fumes are not harmful.ventilate the room after half hour.the mosquitoes fly away if windows are open.The just DROP DEAD if this lighted lamp is kept in a closed room. I have tried it and it really works. for outdoors, you can rub neem oil on the exposed part of the body to keep away mosquitoes.

—JAYAKUMAR.R

Listerine

I Have tried this , spraying it full strength on my dogs bed at night. It definately helps reduce the number of mozzies but not all of them. My dog doesn't mind the smell, I used the regular brand listerine. However my friend sprayed her back yard area with the mint listerine and she said it attracted a lot of ants, so she advises againt the sweeter style listerine.

—fastpurpleharley

Ms.

I'm such a mosquito magnet (also black biting flies) that my kids say "Throw Momma off the deck!" In a short trip outside today, I got 4 bites, my husband got none. My skin temp is cooler than most; it's not the time of the month (I'm past that). Oddly I think I'm totally immune to poison ivy--may never have had it. Connection?

—Ellen

Know your oils!

To repond to Keithgvp Cassia Oil is NOT Cinnamon Oil.

—Tommy

Internal Mosquito Repellant

I've found that taking excessive amounts of Vitamin C for a few days before going camping keeps mosquitos and bugs in general away from me. Being water soluble, Vitamin C won't accumulate in the body, but instead will be excreted in sweat. Bugs hate it! NOTE: If you experience diarrhea you're taking too much.

—drdulttl

lemon EUCALYPTUS

Ok so if you buy lemon eucalyptus as a liquid incense it is far more cheaper than buying the oil, as you can dilute the incense in baby oil or mix it with body lotion & apply. And this way it is cheaper and probably better for your skin as with the oil it wasn't really designed for the skin but for oil burners. As well another good technique if you have a baby is to just spray a little on their teddy/doll or something they sleep with. And yes lemon eucalyptus does work (personal experience).

—kandii

mosquito repellent

I hear that spraying oneself and area with the reg. listerine helps get rid of mosquitoes. I hope this helps.

—audrey

essential oil caution

When using any essential oil, mix a small amount first and test it on your wrist. If you have a bad reaction, don't use it! The only oil I have issues with is Lemon. Cinnamon Oil has been a favorite of mine for other uses, so will be trying it as a mosquito repellent tonight. I'm guessing the camphor and eucalyptus in Vicks is what does the trick against mosquitos.

—Everythingherbal

Listerine & Dryer Sheets

I live in Northern California. We have mosquitoes. I spend a lot of time in the woods and attract the little buggers like crazy. I have found Regular Listerine( buy the cheaper generic brands ) and even clothing softener sheets work very well . I see where the mouth wash contains eucalyptus oil and I prefer it to the sheets . I just use it undiluted in a spray bottle..Apply it every couple of hours.

—Jim

All Natural Bug Deterrent Candle

I make soy wax candles and have been wanting to make a "Be Gone Bug" one, esp living in the Southeast! I'll let ya know how it turns out...

—Heather Jernigan

Repellent Alternative

I like the idea of making my own insect repellent but I don’t always have the time (or all the ingredients) to do so. I did some research and learned that Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) is the only plant based product recommended by the EPA and CDC for use as an insect repellent. (Check out http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/RepellentUpdates.htm if your interested in what they have to say) OLE is proven to work as well as DEET without the harmful effects. If anyone is interested in trying it, Cutter and Repel both make an OLE product

—Ashley

mint leaves and vicks can help

I've found Vicks very useful as the mosquito repellent. What's the annoying chemical in it for mosquitoes? For other insects such as house flies, I found mint leaves dipped in a bowl of water are very effective.

—irfana aamir

Mosquito repellents

I have used Avon's repellent also, but I discovered if I get some mosquito fish and put them in water around the outside or see standing water and dump it out it helps keep them down. I know some parts of our country are just mosquito prone. I wish everyone could get some fish that eat this kind of pest.

—Anna Elizabeth Wooten

vics

I found that if I apply Vicks on a few places on my legs, arms and forehead I have no problem the whole night.

—AK4Services

Dangerous Cinnamon Oil!

This is dangerous! I am warning readers not to try cinnamon oil, even diluted 20 to 1, as a mosquito repellent. At that ratio I sprayed some on my face and shoulders (luckily not in my eyes) and in seconds my skin was red and burning. I was in agony as I tried to wash it off, and covered my skin with bicarbonate of soda (a base). I can't believe a PhD would recommend this as a treatment without probably trying it herself. This seems highly irresponsible. Imagine if someone, perhaps a child, sprayed themselves with a cinnamon oil repellent and was nowhere near a source to wash it off? Again, This is a highly dangerous substance: WARNIING, DO NOT USE CINNAMON OIL! (or at the least, the kind I purchased - Chinese Cassia Cinnamon Oil made by a company called Now Foods, in Bloomingdale Il. However, I have had success with a lemon-eucalyptus combination cut with witch hazel.

—Keithgvp

The Listerine Remedy

I've tried Listerine on and around my doors to keep mosquitoes away. It works just fine. Although you do have to reapply every couple of days, it sure beats spending big $$ on commercial repellents. The old tried and true Skin So Soft (Avon)works well also, in conjunction with one of the oils. Skin so Soft works well on my grandson. But if we are going out for a LONG time, I will lightly spray his clothing BEFORE he is dressed with Off. I just find using a variety of methods is quite efffective.

—Mellinpie

Listerine for Mosquito control

I too have heard of using Listerine around the deck and on the screens and windows. Has anyone else heard of this? If so, how well does it work and why?

—James Talley

Mosquito Repellent

For a couple of backyard events, before guests arrived, we sprayed equal parts of lemon-flavored ammonia mixed with lemon Joy or Dawn (liquid dishwashing soaps) in one of those Miracle Grow hose dispensers, and sprayed around the yard and bushes. This is a temporary fix, but seemed to help.

—jandalton

Favorite Natural Mosquito Repellents

The easiest repellent to make, for me, has been cinnamon oil in olive oil or another vegetable oil. Unlike most of the other mosquito-repelling oils, I actually have cinnamon oil in the cupboard to use as a flavoring for cooking. A little goes a long ways... don't over the cinnamon, especially if you are going to use the product on your skin. If you rub it in your eyes it will burn. My favorite natural mosquito repellent, in terms of effectiveness and scent, is lemon eucalyptus oil in either vodka (non-greasy) or else a mix of vodka and vegetable oil. Another really good natural mosquito repellent is lemon oil. If you aren't up for making your own insect repellent, I've seen lemon oil available commercially as a Burt's Bees bath oil.

—gemdragon