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Make your own mosquito repellent with lemon eucalyptus and vegetable oil. Photo by Rebecca Johnson.
Make your own mosquito repellent with lemon eucalyptus and vegetable oil. Photo by Rebecca Johnson.

Buzz Off

Apr 27, 2012

I’m hoping to get something planted in my garden this weekend. I love working in the dirt and getting things started. I’m a fairly new gardener. My husband and I have rented a plot in Yankton’s community garden for the last few years and I was surprised to find that I love weeding. It’s great to get away from the TV and computer, sit on the ground and pull the weeds. It’s sort of a meditative experience for me, but nothing ruins it more than the mosquitoes.

I’m not a big fan of most store bought bug repellents. I despise the smell and sticky, greasy feel. I also have a hard time with the chemicals involved because of my allergies so I decided to look for a natural mosquito repellent recipe to use this summer. I found this one on the Internet. It’s very simple and smells lovely if you enjoy the smell of lemons.

Just mix about 15 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil with every two tablespoons of vegetable oil and dab a little on your skin. You have to reapply more often than chemical repellents because the scent wears off eventually, but its pleasant smell is safe for most people with sensitive skin and allergies. You can find the essential oil at most health food stores. I found mine in the health food section of our grocery store and it was just a little over $5 a bottle. I'm storing the concoction in a spice jar I found there as well, for just 99 cents.

What do you like to use for insect repellent? Any good natural remedies to share?


07:31 am - Fri, April 27 2012
Laura said:
I always thought the commercially-available sprays were pretty gross, myself. This seems like an easy alternative. Thanks, Rebecca!
03:09 pm - Fri, April 27 2012
Julie said:
I think this is a great idea. I hate the commercially-available sprays too. I have used pure vanilla extract to ward off biting flies in the goat barn when I am milking. This works pretty well too. I bet you could also use lavender oil too. Smells wonderful.
05:10 pm - Fri, April 27 2012
Steve said:
Weeding is FUNdamental
06:22 am - Sun, April 29 2012
Rebecca said:
Julie, I will try that. And Steve, I love your comment!
11:07 am - Sun, May 6 2012
Christian said:
My mom used vanilla extract to keep away biting gnats. The problem is that is wears off really fast when you get hot and sweaty (so in 5 minutes or less for me). I wish there was a way to keep it on longer as gnats are more my nemesis than skeeters. If you can come up with that solution, I'll be the first in line to buy it!
04:01 pm - Tue, June 5 2012
mark said:
My wife made a 1 liter batch of 4 Thieves Vinegar to be used as an insect repellent. It's concoction of Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme and Mint essential oil along with 1 clove of crushed garlic add in wormwood or rue if you have it stewed in the vinegar for at least 30 days.
11:50 am - Wed, June 6 2012
Laura said:
The nice thing about your recipe, Mark, is that it'll keep away the Black Plague as well as insects.
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