How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Mosquito Repellent


Mosquito season is here, and although I’ve found my personal zen with them it’s no fun to find yourself flailing, yelping and slapping when those little critters come buzzing around. You can preserve your personal comfort this summer by making (or growing) your own mosquito repellent.

The recipe goes like this:

- 2 ½ teaspoons of any mixture of the following essential oils: basil, catnip, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, myrrh, palmarosa, pine, rose geranium or rosemary.
- ½ cup of 190-proof grain alcohol (such as high quality vodka)
- ½ cup distilled, filtered or spring water
- Put this mixture in a small spray bottle, shake it up and you’re set.

Many commercial repellents contain DEET, which rates a 6 (moderately dangerous) in the Cosmetic Safety Database. Your skin absorbs everything you put on it and carries it to the rest of your body, so if you choose to buy mosquito repellent, check the ingredients and go natural.

And if you’ve already been bit, rub some crushed plantain on the itchy spot. A common “weed,” plantain (plantago) is nature’s best bug bite remedy. You can also stick a small strip of regular Scotch tape over the bite – the adhesive will draw out the irritating liquid and help to relieve the itching.

Image: James Jordan