Deet may be effective, but it also has serious health and environmental consequences. Side effects may include skin irritation, neurotoxicity, kidney and liver damage, birth defects, and more. Alternatively, essential oils that repel insects are also effective, as well as safe.*
Ylang Ylang and Palmarosa are two oils sometimes used to create natural bug sprays. And Ylang Ylang has been used as a mosquito repellent successfully in some studies. In one study, Lemongrass essential oil had high mortality rates against the three species of mosquitoes for up to 24 hours after application.*
To make homemade essential oil mosquito repellent, you’ll need:
1. Fill the spray bottle halfway with about 2 ounces of distilled water
2. Add 1 ounce of witch hazel or vodka
3. Add approximately half an ounce of essential oils (about 50 drops)
Don’t fill the bottle to the top! Also, oil and water will separate, so shake the mixture before each use.
Sometimes, you can take preventative measures and still end up with a nasty, itchy, red mosquito bite!
When this happens, apply Lavender, Tea Tree, or apple cider vinegar directly to the bite. You can also use a chilled Chamomile teabag to calm and reduce inflammation. Ice cubes are also beneficial.*
To read more about useful essential oils and insect bites, visit here.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.
aia, Marta Ferreira, and Sarah J Moore. “Plant-Based Insect Repellents: a Review of Their Efficacy, Development and Testing.” Malaria Journal, vol. 10, no. S1, 2011, doi:10.1186/1475-2875-10-s1-s11.
Sinha, Sonali, et al. “Evaluation of Toxicity of Essential Oils Palmarosa, Citronella, Lemongrass and Vetiver in Human Lymphocytes.” Food and Chemical Toxicology, vol. 68, 2014, pp. 71–77., doi:10.1016/j.fct.2014.02.036.