DIY Recipes for natural insect repellents, homemade and without hazardous chemicals

There are several natural alternatives that can be made at home. The important thing is that they are safe for everyone.

When we think of summer we imagine holidays, swimming pool, beach, family time, children playing, heat and also mosquitoes, insects and all those bugs that reproduce and bite some more than others. Then the parents prepare to counteract these bites, which sometimes cause a lot of discomfort to children. The truth is that some of the products on the market, such as aerosols or lotions, contain various chemicals that are considered toxic and can have health consequences.

There is also a greater danger if these repellents are used improperly, inhaled or ingested. They may contain DEET, whose symptoms include skin irritation, blisters, burns, temporary burning sensation in eyes and throat, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, convulsions, among others. Or pyrethrins that despite being a non-toxic pesticide, can cause breathing problems, coughing, tremors, convulsions and vomiting.

The truth is that over time I have learned to stay away from chemicals as much as I can and I prefer natural alternatives. Some are available in pharmacies or supermarkets and others can be made by yourself. Depending on the environment, the type of bug or the ingredients used, some may be more effective than others. Repellents should be sprayed on clothing or skin, but always avoiding mucous membranes.

Pinterest offers a whole range of alternatives to make your own repellent. For example, I love to see the different options and choose the best from each part, always making sure that it is as natural as possible and safe for the little ones.

There are herbs and spices that are excellent mosquito repellents such as garlic, rosemary, pepper, clove, mint, basil, eucalyptus, thyme, lemon and lavender. Essential oils are usually used which are mixed with alcohol or some other carrier oil such as olive, almond or Scottish elm. The most commonly used essential oils are lemon eucalyptus and citronella. Cinnamon, peppermint and regular eucalyptus can be very effective, but are not safe for children under the age of 6. Some of the oils may be photosensitive. So not everything natural means 100% effective and safe and you need to check and document well first.

There is an epellent very simple to make by mixing a cup of water, 15 drops of lavender essential oil and 15 drops of citronella essential oil. I would suggest adding tea tree oil and it would be perfect.

An English-language website that I regularly go to, called mommypotamus, has several repellent recipes that claim to be very effective and the good news is that they are considered safe for children over the age of two, pregnant women and nursing mothers. Here are two options.

The water-based recipe consists of:

  • 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and/or Scotch elm water, or vodka
  • 2 ounces of water
  • 15 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 15 drops of Atlas cedar or Virginia cedar
  • 10 drops of geranium
  • In addition – Optional – 2 drops of catnip essential oil *

The ingredients should be mixed in a glass spray bottle or PET plastic. It must be refrigerated and use between 2 and 3 months maximum.

The oil-based recipe consists of:

  • 2 oz of liquid oil such as jojoba or olive oil
  • 15 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 15 drops of Atlas cedar or Virginia cedar oil
  • 10 drops of bourbon geranium essential oil.

The base oil is mixed with the essential oils and added to a spray bottle. It should be stored in a cool, dark place when it is not being used. The mixture should be used between two 2 and three months.

In a 12-ounce bottle with spray system combine:

  • 3 oz. lemongrass hydrosol
  • 3 oz. of lavender hydrosol
  • 3 oz. Peppermint Hydrosol
  • 3 oz. of witch hazel or scotch elm
  • 50 drops of Bourbon geranium essential oil
  • 20 drops of Egyptian geranium essential oil
  • 50 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 20 drops of patchouli essential oil

Shake well before using and apply as many times as necessary.

There are several natural alternatives, which can be done at home, the important thing is that they are safe for everyone. Let’s do it!