Best Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent 4 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 at bay, 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 spoiling pests the Mosquito bite can lead to serious health complications. So it’s time to use the best, safe and all natural relief!

Forget Chemicals! Homemade Bug Spray Is Better!

Everyone has bought insect or mosquito repellent at ome stage

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 in humans is 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 our recipe for best natural mosquito repellent.


Citronella or Lemon Grass,

Oil of citronella is an all natural insect and animal repellent made from the distilled oils of a certain variety of grass. The oil is derived from the grasses citronellol, citronellal and geraniol.

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 repelling to bugs, and very effective. A benefit is that the essential oil infuses your atmosphere with a delightful citrus fragrance, well delightful to 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 they are brilliant repellents.


Citronella Plants.

We have discussed Citronella Oil and Lemongrass Oil so for those of you who like DIY why not try growing it!

The distinctive Citronella, and the lemongrass, both have very strong citrus fragrance.

This lemon scent is what you want. The fragrance masks the odors that would normally attract mosquitoes.  

Citronella plants growing in the garden are known to repel mosquitoes even more effectively than the oil alone.

Be aware these plants don’t like snow or frost so need to be in a protected area. A good idea is to have them in pots that can be moved.  Also be aware if left untrimmed the Lemongrass can reach up to 5 foot tall. Definitely a back of the garden, rather than a front of the garden plant!


Lavender for Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent.

Lavender has to be one of the most popular fragrances 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 lavender oil that will help keep you bite free.

Use a good organic lavender essential oil. Place one or two drops onto a piece of ribbon or fabric and hang the 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 to keep 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 is to make your own lavender infused oil.  This oil is infused with natural organic lavender from your home garden and is extremely effective plus it’s a brilliant way to utilize your lavender plants.



Often mosquitoes attack when you first strike up the Barbecue.  This is due to the carbon dioxide given off which attracts the biting bugs.

The solution? Throw 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 essential oil mosquito repellent.

Mosquito Repelling Plant Essential Oils.

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 fragrance! You can make your own herbal infused oil from these plants or you can purchase the essential oils.

Below are 5 highly recommended plant essential oils you can use in your homemade bug spray.


1. Horse Mint

Commonly known as Bee-balm or Lemon Horsemint, 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


2. Marigold Essential Oil for Mosquito Repellent

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 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 bloom 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!

3. Ageratum

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!


4. Catnip Essential oil.

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.

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.


5. Garlic!

Eating garlic is one of the best natural remedies as it 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!

A less smelly method may be to purchase the garlic essential oil.


Use Neem Oil To Deter Mosquitos.

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.

essential oils
Yield: 20

Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

There are many easy to prepare and simple to use natural bug and mosquito repellent sprays that are highly effective and truly safe. They will also ensure bugs are kept at bay.

The following recipe gives direction using specific oils but can be made by mixing and matching them.  These oil suggestions form the building blocks of 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)
  • 55 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  • 15 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops rosemary essential oil


  1. Add carrier liquids (witch hazel water, vodka and oils) to a small bottle, preferably glass and a dark brown or blue.
  2. Add your essential oils and shake vigorously.  
  3. Apply to the skin.
  4. Reapply every 2-3 hours and shake the bottle before application.  
  5. Store in cool dark place when not in use.


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

YouTube video

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 138Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 0mgSodium 5mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 7gSugar 6gProtein 3g

Did you make this recipe?

If you did I would love to hear your views, so add a comment below or please share some of your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest with the hashtag #healthynatured

Other Essential Oils For Homemade Bug Spray And Mosquito Repellent.

These 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!

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Educator and International Leadership Consultant with over 20 years experience, and still loving it! Qualified and Licensed Reiki Master Teacher, Hypnotherapist and Chakra Energy Health Body Worker. A traveler, a foodie and a knowledge seeker with a passion for all things healthy, herbal and energy holistic!

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