Mosquitoes are my nemesis! The pesky bugs have been horrible this year (and we’re still dealing with them!). Sadly, it has made us almost too afraid to play in the backyard. Not being a big fan of slathering the kids in chemicals, I’ve looked for ways to repel them naturally with essential oils. I found 3 homemade recipes for a spray, diffuser and lotion that we tested for keeping the bugs at bay. Here’s what we learned!
Lemon mint patio spray
Combine 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol with 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice and 10 drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle. Spray around the perimeter of your gathering or play area. Bugs don’t like the intense smell of lemon or mint so it acts a natural barrier.
Upside: Things were definitely less buggy, and it added a nice aroma to the yard.
Downside: It’s hard to cover the entire perimeter and you have to remember to respray every hour to keep bugs away.
Combine 5 drops of eucalyptus oil and 5 drops of lavender oil with 6 ounces of water in a pretty cup and add reed sticks. These essential oils are perfect for deterring flying pests with the added bonus of making your table look pretty. Flip the reeds over every couple of hours to refresh the scent.
Upside: Definitely the easiest of the natural remedies! And the smell is nice and soothing.
Downside: Only covers a small area and doesn’t deter mosquitoes.
Combine 5 drops of lemongrass oil and 5 drops of clove essential oil with 1 cup of unscented body lotion. Mix together in a bowl and transfer to an empty bottle. Lemongrass makes you unappealing to ticks and mosquitoes and cloves can keep mosquitoes away for up to two full hours.
Upside: The lotion actually smells good! No yucky bug chemical scent to follow you around.
Downside: You have to catch the kids every hour or two to reapply.
The lotion was definitely the winner for us, but I’ll keep using all 3 recipes to supplement. What do you do to keep mosquitoes away?