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Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent Spray


Is it the year of the mosquito or what?!

Either that or our yard is the designated neighborhood breeding ground for some very annoying pests—and that's not a good thing when your kid suffers from Skeeter Syndrome (this is what it looks like). No joke, folks, it's for real.

I don't think our little guy had ever been bit by a mosquito until we moved to Colorado earlier this month. The reaction to those first bites was pretty severe—big, red, hot, swollen. His last bite was just above his elbow and half of his upper arm swelled! Eeeks.

Now, whenever he heads out the door, I douse (well, lightly spray) him with this homemade mosquito repellent. So far, so good. No more bites. The formulation is similar to this brand of repellent (contains a soy emulsifier) which we like and recommend—if you aren't up to making your own. But if you are the DIY-er type, give this recipe a try.

I prefer using castor oil for its extra sticky, but not so oily, factor. Dr. Mercola has a nice write up on castor oil.

Please use therapeutic grade oils. You may shop the Lexie's Kitchen doTERRA store or try Mountain Rose HebsNative American Nutritionals, or Young Living. Some folks have a strong preference for where they source their oils and I totally respect that. The point of my essential oils posts are to show you how I use essential oils and not to sell you on a particular brand. In my research these just happen to be the most reputable out there.

If you make a double batch in, say, a 4 ounce bottle or larger, and you'd like to pretty up that bottle, there's a link at the bottom for a printable that I made. I print it out on my color printer (may have to play with size to fit your bottle) and then affix with clear tape—ensuring the tape extends beyond the edge of the label for water/oil proof protection.

Back Off Mosquito Repellent Recipe


1-1/2 tablespoons WATER
1 teaspoon CASTOR OIL


  1. Add all ingredients to a 2 ounce amber spray bottle, shake vigorously and spray.
  2. ***Be sure to shake well before each use. Reapply often*** 
  3. Sometimes I double the recipe and use a larger spray bottle, but lately have been mixing up three bottles at a time of the 2 ounce size and keeping them by the front door, back door, and in the car.

Click here for the printable label.

Reader Comments (14)

Since you say you like to use castor oil, does that mean any carrier oil will do? I have coconut, sweet almond and olive oil on hand, and would rather not buy another oil if I can use something I already have.

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbitterlily

Bitterlily, Yes, you can try any other carrier oil (fractionated coconut if using coconut). I just like castor b/c of the sticky factor ... can't really explain it :) xoLexie

July 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

What castor oil do you use? Is it what you get in the pharmacy at the grocery store?

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan W.

Susan, I get mine at my natural grocery store or Whole Foods ... look in the beauty department :) xoLexie

July 31, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

Awesome Lex! Liv has quite the reaction to mosquito bites too so this is perfect for us. I looooove castor oil too. I used it during a cleanse and feel in love. Yep, we're weird :)

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

You are such a crafty mamma!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa - Go Dairy Free

Hello. Is there anything I can sub the GERANIUM ESSENTIAL OIL for? I have everything else, but that and this seems a bit expensive.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpeekkaboo

Peekaboo, I would do a search for "essential oil mosquito repellent." There are a handful of oils that repel mosquitos and more than a handful of recipes out there. I love the scent of geranium and it happens to be a good repellent, too :) xoLexie

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Lavender essential oil is another repellent oil. As for carrier oils you can use almond,macadamia or avocado oils.

August 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda dc

This is such a great idea, Lexie. I hate all the awful chemicals in commercial sprays!

August 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Is this safe to use on babies?

August 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercandace

Nice Blog...


August 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArun Kumar

I got oils from the kraft section at walmart, are those going to be effective?

September 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermomofitchyboys

This is a good recipe. Recipes on other sites I've visited called for the usage of citrus (lemon) essential oil. Word of Caution: Exposing one's self to the sun after using Citrus EOs can cause skin irritation. It's advisable to test a product on a small skin area, then wait 24-48 hours to see if you have an adverse reaction such as itching, skin eruptions etcetera.

I've had the unpleasant experience of using a photosensitizing EO when out in the sun:(

Now I make my own blends. My friends and family started asking me to make batches for them too and thus nieceys naturals was born!

Niecey's Don't Bug me is available as a convenient pocket sized roll on and pump spray.

Hope you enjoy not being bitten as much as I do!

Warmest regards,

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNiecey

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