If you loathe mosquitoes, you’re not alone. Mosquitos can be pesky, buzzing, blood-sucking summer burdens, especially if you happen to be a part of a “delicious” population that mosquitoes tend to target most. Perhaps you are unfortunate enough to excrete higher amounts of gases and natural body chemicals that attract mosquitoes – namely, carbon dioxide and “nonanal” – than other people (1).
But if you’re thinking about stocking up on store-bought mosquito repellent for the summer, you should think again. Why waste all that money on brand-name bug repellent when you can make a more effective, cost-efficient version from home?
Here’s a recipe for homemade mosquito repellent that will allow you to enjoy those beautiful summer evenings and forget all about those irritating little beasts!
Recipe: Homemade Mosquito Repellent
- 100 grams of fresh garlic clove
- 100 ml of baby oil
- ½ liter of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
- Place the garlic clove in a bowl with the alcohol and let sit for 4 days. Stir the mixture twice a day.
- After 4 days, add the baby oil to the mixture.
- Apply to your skin, as needed.
The repellent is gentle enough to put on your skin without serious side effects. You will only need a couple of drops on each of your most popular biting areas, like your wrists, ankles, the back of your neck, and the backs of your knees.
A major bonus of this particular repellent is that it also repels fleas. So if your dog is dealing with a bad flea problem, feel free to share it with your furry friend!
But remember to be safe with this repellent. Like many other bug sprays, this repellant contains harsh ingredients – and should not be ingested or applied near the eyes. Keep it out of reach of young children, and supervise them when they apply it to themselves.
Bonus Recipe: Oil-free, Alcohol-Free Homemade Mosquito Repellent
If you would prefer not to use baby oil or alcohol, try this recipe:
- 2.5 ml (50 drops) of each essential oil of your choice (Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint)
- 4 ounces (118 ml) of witch hazel water
- 4 ounces (118 ml) of distilled or boiled water
- Fill an 8-ounce (250-ml) spray bottle with the distilled or boiled water. Alternatively, you may choose a spray bottle of any size and pour enough water to fill up half of the bottle.
- Add the witch hazel water almost to the top, leaving as much room as you desire.
- Add 30-50 drops of each of your desired essential oils. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be.
Mosquitoes may seem like a minor annoyance, but they can carry extremely harmful diseases. The more bites you get, the more likely you are to contract diseases like West Nile or Malaria (2)! So find a bug spray that works for you, for the sake of your health – and peace of mind.
- Syed, Z. and Leal, W. (2009). Acute olfactory response of Culex mosquitoes to a human- and bird-derived attractant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(44), pp.18803-18808.
- Gao, B., Fang, Y., Zhang, J., Wu, R., Xu, B. and Xie, L. (2017). A DNA Barcoding Based Study to Identify Main Mosquito Species in Taiwan and its Difference from Those in Mainland China. Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, 20(2).