Wondering how to get rid of mosquitoes without chemical-filled bug sprays? We’ve got five ways all-natural mosquito repellents, including both ways to keep mosquitoes out of your yard and DIY personal repellents to make sure they don’t want to land on your skin!
Reusable Mosquito Repellent Jar
Here’s a creative idea for keeping insects (particularly flies and mosquitoes) away from you out on your deck or patio. You’ll need an old tin or Mason jar with a lid, as well as a clean cloth or rag. Saturate the cloth with a diluted essential oil like eucalyptus, pennyroyal, peppermint, lavender, or lemongrass; place the cloth in the tin or jar and seal. To use, open the jar and place it on whatever table you’ll be using outdoors. Its fragrance will repel insects. After ever few uses, refresh the cloth with more diluted essential oil. People will love the scent, and it’s usually much cheaper than buying cintronella candles.
Use Nature to Keep Mosquitoes Away
As we told you in our recent podcast, sometimes the easiest thing to do is plant flowers that will keep mosquitoes away. You can you also reduce the number of mosquitoes around your property just by attracting the right birds! Many birds—such as chickadees, orioles, finches, cardinals, and others—eat both seeds and insects. The trick is to give these birds what they’re looking for, so fill feeders with sunflower and safflower seeds, or use suet feeders. The birds will stop by your place to eat, and then make a dent in the mosquito population while they’re at it.
DIY Personal Mosquito Repellent: Easy Version
If you’re uncomfortable with all of the unpronounceable ingredients in commercial bug sprays, try making this natural version. Mix together ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup witch hazel, and around 20 drops of a combination of any the following essential oils: rosemary, citronella, tea tree, cedar, eucalyptus, or lemongrass. Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle, and shake before each use. Spray directly on exposed skin and the bugs will stay away!
DIY Personal Mosquito Repellent: SUPER Easy Version
The easiest way to get rid of mosquitoes ever? Simply keep a fabric softener sheet in each pocket. Whether or not this tip works has been hotly disputed (both online and in our very household), but it’s said that there is a chemical in most dryer sheets that is similar to citronella, which is used in bug-repelling candles.
DIY Personal Mosquito Repellent: Impressive Lotion Bar Version
You may have seen lotion bars in bath and beauty shops—they look like soaps, but you rub them on dry skin like lotion. They make great presents, and if you have a double boiler and a good health or alternative store that you can buy ingredients like beeswax at, they’re pretty easy to make! Super power these lotion bars with natural bug repellents like rosemary, thyme, cloves, lavender, and catnip (it’s OK to use what you have and skip some ingredients if you want) and you’ll have coveted gifts on-hand for every summer birthday on your list…if you don’t use them all first. Here’s how to do it: In a double boiler, stir together ½ cup coconut oil, 2 tablespoons each of dried rosemary and catnip (available at pet stores), 1 tablespoon dried thyme, and ½ teaspoon each of ground cloves and ground cinnamon. Once the coconut oil has melted, cover the mixture and allow it to cook for 15–20 minutes, until slightly darkened. (Periodically check the water levels in the bottom of the double boiler, adding more if needed). Strain the mixture, then return it to the double boiler. Then add ¼ cup cocoa butter and ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon beeswax. Stir until melted, and then remove from the heat. Add 5 drops each of lavender essential oil and lemon essential oil. Pour the mixture into silicone ice cube or candy molds. Allow the bars to set overnight until hard. To use, just rub a bar against exposed skin. Your skin will be moisturized, and bugs will find someone else to pester!