Essential Oils Vs. Mosquitos!

Summers are so darn short in Minnesota.  After a tortuous winter of freezing your butt off in sub- zero temperatures, summer finally comes. Such bliss!  (Spring may, or may not, be in there somewhere.  Occasionally Minnesota just skips that one altogether.)  Camping, swimming, hanging out on the boat, endless nights around the fire pit.  It’s all just so wonderful, except for one little thing. Mosquitos! They are the ruination of all things fun in the all-too-quickly-fading Minnesota summers. I know, I live in Georgia now, but one never forgets how quickly the cherished summers go by, nor the torment that ensues from the swarming, pterodactyl-sized blood suckers. Georgia has its share of the nasty offenders too!

So how do we rid ourselves of these nefarious little creatures without saturating our skin and clothes with truckloads of dangerous chemicals?  Drum roll………!  By making your own little nuisance repellent with essential oils, and a few things you probably already have around the house.  It will be safe for you and for your munchkins.  No more worries about the kiddos breathing in, and being slathered in, potentially harmful chemicals.  (At some point I will throw a blog on here that explains “why” essential oils repel insects. But it’s 1:00 am right now and my brain pretty much shut down an hour ago. Please don’t rip me to shreds if I don’t have the strength left to spellcheck when I am finished.)

So let’s start with what you may already have around the house. I prefer a base of distilled water.  White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar are great options too.  If you don’t mind smelling like vinegar while hanging with your friend’s out on the boat, then just roll with it! The mosquitos won’t dig it for sure!

Next we need a little kicker.  My preferred “kicker” is witch hazel.  If you don’t have any witch hazel on hand you can use rubbing alcohol, vegetable glycerin, or give up a little of that spendy vodka you’ve been keeping all to yourself. 

Lastly, before we add the magic, we need something to disperse those precious oils a bit.  I like to add a little Castile Soap to my mix, but a touch of dish soap will do the trick too.

The options for essential oils, as bug repellents, is vast.  The recipe I am sharing with you is one of my “go-to” blends for my family.  If your nose rejects the aroma of my blend, give your own blend a whirl.  On that note, a few words of caution from the aromatherapist in me…  Please refrain from using citrus oils for your blends in the summer.  The majority of citrus oils are phototoxic, and can cause serious burns when used on skin exposed to direct sunlight.  I will not be listing ANY of the citrus oils for this reason.  That being said, if you have a citrus oil that was steam distilled, rather than cold pressed, it won’t be an issue.  Feel free to email me if you have any questions.  Keep in mind that essential oils are strong.  You may be tempted to add more of one oil to enhance the smell, or effect, but serious skin irritation can be the outcome. Not fun, probably worse than mosquitos! My recipe has specific amounts, or dilutions, to keep you safe from such an outcome.  Again, email me if you have questions.   

Mix this puppy up, get out on the lake, and enjoy your summer! Safe from those nasty mosquitos AND harsh chemicals. 

(Quit Buggin Me, the original formula, will be on the site soon if you’re not a DIY person.)


1oz Witch Hazel

1oz Distilled Water

1 tsp Castile Soap

16 drops Patchouli

10 drops Cedarwood

4 drops Lemongrass

4 drops Peppermint

*Add a 1tsp of aloe for a little skin lovin treat!

*Shake well before you apply the repellant, every time!

A few other options for your own blend:

Basil, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Rosemary

“It is astonishing how much worse one mosquito can be than a swarm. A swarm can be prepared against, but one mosquito takes on a personality—a hatefulness, a sinister quality of the struggle to the death.” » F. Scott Fitzgerald