Ingredients in conventional insect repellents, namely DEET, have been shown to be very harmful to human health. But we wouldn't want to scrimp on time spent outside because we're afraid of getting bitten by insects.
If you live in a humid area, you know this problem all too well.
Luckily, you can make your own natural insect repellent using essential oils and a few other ingredients.
It's really easy!
1. Essential Oils for Natural Insect Repellent
There are several essential oils that have natural insect repellent properties. If you think about it, plants create these compounds in the first place because they want to repel insect predators.
Here are some essential oils that repel insects:
- Tea Tree
2. How to Make a Natural Insect Repellent – Oil-Based
Advice differs as to what ratio of essentials oils or carrier oil, but about 40-50 drops of essential oil per 8 ounces of carrier oil is a good rule of thumb.
If you want a liquid insect repellent (such as to use in a spray bottle) you can use one of these carrier oils:
- Grapeseed oil
- Jojoba oil
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- Neem oil (neem also has natural insect repellent properties!)
If you want to use coconut oil (or any other oil that is solid at room temperature), you can melt down to a liquid, then add your essential oils and mix well. Just don't story it in a spray bottle. 😉
3. How to Make a Natural Insect Repellent – Water-Based
Water-based insect repellents are light and easy to apply without staining clothing.
You will need to use an emulsifier in order to blend the essential oils with the water. Here are some natural emulsifiers you can use:
- Aloe vera gel
- Witch Hazel
On top of this, you'll want to add a bit of vodka (if you're not using that as your emulsifier) in order to preserve the formula.
4. To Recap: A Simple Formula for Creating Your Natural Insect Repellent
- 40-50 drops of essential oils
- 8 ounces of carrier oil, or 4 ounces of water and 4 ounces of emulsifier
Directions: Mix your ingredients together and store in a spray bottle or jar. Apply before going outside and enjoy the great outdoors. 🙂
What are your favorite essential oils for warding off insects? Let us know in the comments below!