Make this 2 minute mosquito spray when the mosquitoes are getting the upper hand. This effective spray is just the what you need to keep from getting bitten.
The spring melt has brought an overwhelming flood to our community. Thousands of homes have been evacuated. Many volunteers have been tirelessly sandbagging to try to keep the water away from homes and businesses. Many folks have lost everything they owned in the flood. But we’ve also had mercy. There has been no loss of life.
The community is bracing for a second peak in the water levels even as I write this. It’s raining. Not what we had hoped for. And while not everyone has lost their homes, everyone is feeling the sorrow of the loss. And everyone is being swarmed with mosquitoes even as the flood levels rise and fall. (update: The second peak didn’t come. An answer to prayer! People are starting to return to their homes and to start rebuilding. It won’t be easy. And those mosquitoes are swarming!)
I put together this quick mosquito spray for this season because we’ve all got enough to occupy our thoughts without worrying about toxic chemicals and disease-carrying mosquitoes. You can literally make it in 2 minutes if you have the essential oils on hand.
Essential oils are made up of hundreds of different constituents, many of which have been extracted for testing against various species of mosquitoes. According to a 2010 study in Bioresource Technology the essential oil constituents with the highest repellent activity include α-pinene, limonene, citronellol, citronellal, camphor, and thymol. These are found in various concentrations in different essential oils. For instance, rose essential oil contains 31% to 44% citronellol. Peppermint essential oil contains both α-pinene and limonene but in smaller amounts than its dominant constituent menthol. Lavender essential oil contains α-pinene, camphor, and limonene, along with its other constituents like linalool.
Different batches of essential oil will show varying percentages of each constituent, so if your mosquito repellent is less effective, you may need to look at the batch analysis from your essential oil company to determine if your specific batch of essential oil is representative of the pure essential oil.
To make it you’ll need some essential oils, some cheap vodka, water, and a 2 cup (500ml/16 ounce) spray bottle. I’ve added a little bit of lecithin to the recipe to help the oils and water combine. You can use glycerin, or Turkey Red oil if you don’t have lecithin. Or you could leave it out and just give it a really hard shake before each use. Keep it simple, and you’ll actually make this instead of just thinking about it. In fact, in the time it took you to read this page it could already be in the spray bottle ready to use. What are you waiting for?
If you don’t have all the essential oils called for in the recipe leave the ones you don’t have out and just use more of the ones you do have. Keep the essential oils at 2% of the blend. That’s 10 ml for this recipe. Note that 20 drops of essential oils are 1 ml. So you’ll need 200 drops of essential oil in total for this recipe. If you are making this for a child under 5 years old, cut the essential oils in half and only use 5 ml for this recipe or 100 drops.
2 Minute Mosquito Spray with Essential Oils
Make this effective bug repellent spray in 2 minutes using essential oils.
Yield: 2 cups
¼ cup cheap vodka or witch hazel
30 drops Tea Tree Oil essential oil
20 drops Pine Needle essential oil
20 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
30 drops Peppermint essential oil
40 drops Citronella essential oil
20 drops Rosemary essential oil
40 drops Sweet Orange essential oil or lemon essential oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sunflower lecithin or turkey red oil
Pour vodka or witch hazel into a 500 ml (2 cup/16 ounces) spray bottle. Add the essential oils. Add the lecithin. Cap and shake the bottle. The lecithin or glycerin helps the oils mix with the water. Fill the remainder of the bottle with cold water. Cap tightly. Shake well to combine. Shake before each use. Spray over skin, clothing, shoes, socks, or hair. This recipe is safe for humans, dogs, cows, and sheep. Avoid using this with cats or pet rabbits.
If you want to use this mosquito spray for children under 5, use half the amount of essential oils in the blend and only use 100 total drops. So instead of 30 drops of tea tree essential oil, you’d only use 15 drops. Omit any oils that you or a family member has an allergy or sensitivity to.
Apply the spray liberally to bare skin and clothing. Reapply hourly. Mosquito repellent sprays based on essential oils lose their effectiveness as the essential oils evaporate, usually after 2 or 3 hours. By applying the spray regularly you maintain it’s effectiveness.
These essential oils are effective against mosquitoes, flies, chiggers, and ticks.
If you don’t have all these essential oils on hand try this DIY bug spray based on lavender, instead.
Other essential oils that have been tested in the laboratory against different species of mosquitoes and been found effective include catnip essential oil, clove essential oil, thyme essential oil, lemongrass essential oil, lemon-eucalyptus essential oil, and lemon-tea tree essential oil (lemon myrtle).
Myth Busting and Controversies around Essential Oils
Learn more about using essential oils for health and wellness here.