'Tis the season for outdoor activities….and their inevitable accompanying health concerns. Mosquitoes come with many, from the plain old itch factor to West Nile Virus and EEE. How can you protect yourself without bathing in DEET or other crazy chemicals?

There are many natural repellents on the market, but you can make your own and probably pay less in the long run. Below are the ingredients and instructions for making your own natural mosquito repellent, courtesy of chemistry.about.com. I can’t wait to try it!

Natural Mosquito Repellent Ingredients

If you are making large amounts of mosquito repellent, a good rule of thumb is to mix the repellent so it’s 5-10% essential oil, so mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol.

For a smaller batch use:

10-25 drops (total) of essential oils

2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol

The essential oils that work well against mosquitoes are:

cinnamon oil

lemon eucalyptus oil

citronella oil

castor oil

Safe carrier oils and alcohols include:

olive oil

sunflower oil

any other cooking oil

witch hazel


Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe

Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil or alcohol. Rub or spray the natural insect repellent onto skin or clothing, using care to avoid the sensitive eye area. You’ll need to re-apply the natural product after about an hour or after swimming or exercise. Unused natural insect repellent may be stored in a dark bottle, away from heat or sunlight.

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