One of the most commonly recommended essential oils for insect repellent, especially to repel mosquitos, is citronella. You can even buy citronella candles to burn on your patio or in your backyard.
Another option to clear a space of mosquitoes is to diffuse citronella with an aromatherapy diffuser. If you don't like or don't have citronella, you can also use eucalyptus radiata, lemon, lemongrass, or peppermint essential oil.
This article contains essential oil insect repellent blends to keep bugs off you. For insect control around the home, see getting rid of pests.
Caution: Some of the suggested essential oils, especially
citronella and lemongrass, can cause skin irritation in sensitive
individuals. Spot test to check for a reaction before extensively using
For a simple essential oil mosquito repellent to apply to your skin, use one of the best essential oils for mosquitoes: Mix 25 drops of citronella in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil or lotion.
However, a blend may offer better protection. Here are some suggestions.
Add the following to a four-ounce spray bottle:
Fill the balance of the bottle with distilled water. Shake well before use. Re-apply every 1-2 hours.
You can also make a lotion: Add the three essential oils to a 4-ounce bottle. Fill the bottle with plain unscented lotion. Mix well. Re-apply every 1-2 hours.
Source: Aromatherapist Annette Davis in "Natural Bug Repellent and Bug Bite Relief Blends." NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Summer 2013.2, pp. 59–60.
If you don't like the scent of citronella, try this blend of essential oils that repel insects:
Blend ingredients. Apply liberally to your skin, keeping it out of your eyes.
Blend the following essential oils in a two-ounce spray bottle:
Fill the balance of the bottle with distilled water. Shake well before applying. Re-apply every 2-3 hours or after getting wet.
Source: Aromatherapist Jade Shutes in "Natural Bug Repellent and Bug Bite Relief Blends."
Blend the following essential oils in a small, dark glass bottle:
To use this blend with carrier oil, make a 10% dilution. Rub on exposed areas of skin.
You can also make a spray by adding 10 to 15 drops of the blend to a one-ounce mister bottle filled with purified or distilled water. Shake well before using. Gently mist onto clothing or around an area you want to protect, avoiding eyes or other sensitive areas.
Source: The Essential Oils Complete Reference Guide
For more about essential oils for mosquitoes: "Comparative Repellency of 38 Essential Oils Against Mosquito Bites" in the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, Summer 2013.2, pp. 10–18. The abstract is available on PubMed.
Here are blends of essential oils for insect repellent that offer general protection from a variety of bugs.
Blend the following ingredients:
For convenience you can make this oil in a plastic squeeze bottle.
Source: Aromatherapy: A Holistic Guide to Natural Healing With Essential Oils
Essential Oil Bug Spray
Note: Do not use this spray on your face.
Blend ingredients and apply to your face as needed.
Source: 500 Formulas For Aromatherapy
Combine these ingredients in a 4-ounce spray bottle:
Blend all ingredients in the spray bottle. Shake well. Use as needed.
Palmarosa helps protect the skin. Palmarosa hydrates skin, has antiseptic properties, balances all skin types, regulates oil production, and may help cells regenerate, according to The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia.
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