Here on Oahu, the rainy season is picking up and the mosquitos are OUT. Here's a simple, DIY insect repellant with all natural ingredients and essential oils that's super easy to make at home!
Why choose a natural insect repellant?
Conventional insect repellants generally contain either a synthetic chemical called Pacaridin, or DEET. The U.S. EPA considers picaridin to be slightly toxic for acute dermal and ocular exposure
What about DEET?
DEET is linked to neurotoxicity that may lead to physiological and behavioral problems, especially with motor skills, and learning and memory dysfunction.
It is absorbed quickly through the skin: one study showed that 48% of the applied dose is totally absorbed within six hours. DEET has even been shown to cross the placenta. In animal studies, DEET was found in the fetus and in newborns up to three months old after exposing the mother to the chemical.
In the environment, DEET breaks down slowly in soil and has potential to contaminate groundwater; it has been detected in groundwater, surface water, and drinking water.
Natural Mosquito Repellant Ingredients
Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella is known to e highly effective against mosquitos. It can provide up to two hours of protection against mosquitoes. This small study of citronella candles discovered they reduced bites by about 40%.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Lemon Eucalyptus oil has been found to e the most effective natural mosquito repellant. The CDC and EPA agree that lemon eucalyptus oil is safe and is as effective as DEET at repelling mosquitos, though not as long lasting.
Studies have found that the efficacy of this particular oil falls third in line, behind DEET and picaridin.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil isn’t only helpful for relaxation and sleep. It can also be
Peppermint Essential Oil
Studies suggest that peppermint oil works to both kill and repel mosquitoes. Plus, another study concluded that peppermint oil may be effective at keeping spiders away as well.
You can use any combination of these essential oils, but citronella and lemon eucalyptus have been proven to be the most effective against mosquitos.
Witch Hazel is an alcohol based astringent, but is gentler on the skin than straight alcohol.
DIY Natural Mosquito Repellant Recipe:
- 1/2 cup distilled water
- 1/2 cup witch hazel
- 20 drops citronella essential oil
- 20 drops lemon eucalyptus oil
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 10 drops peppermint oil
*You may need to adjust the quantities of the ingredients according to the size of spray bottle that you have.
Add all of the ingredients into a glass spray bottle (cobalt or amber glass works well to preserve the integrity of the essential oils over time).
Shake the spray bottle to combine, then spray on skin and clothing to repell mosquitos!
**Natural insect repellant will need to be reapplied every few hours for maximum effectiveness.
Shop the DIY Spray Bottle here.
You can refill all of the above mentioned essential oils at our Brick & Mortar location!