Find out which essential oils naturally repel mosquitoes and soothe irritated skin, including all natural DIY recipes.
Bugs are a fact of life. Unless you live at the North Pole or Antarctica, chances are you'll be dealing with some kind of bug problem at some point during the year.
One of the most annoying (and potentially most dangerous) bugs is the mosquito.
Here are a few tips to help you combat mosquitoes naturally, with easy to make at home DIY recipes that are free of chemicals and safe for the whole family.
Meaning "little fly" in Spanish, the mosquito can be a terrible annoyance as well as a carrier for diseases. Feeding on blood, the mosquito's saliva transfers into the host during the bite, which can cause itching, swelling and a skin rash.
So we have two issues: repelling the mosquitoes from biting in the first place, and, if they do bite you, soothing skin irritated by the bite.
Essential oils known for their mosquito repelling qualities include:
- melaleuca (tea tree)
- lemon eucalyptus
- repellent blend
Essential oils known for their skin soothing properties specific to this kind of bug bite include:
- Roman chamomile
- melaleuca (tea tree)
- cleansing blend.
Mosquito Repellent Spray
Here is a basic recipe to help repel mosquitoes from biting you in the first place:
4 oz glass bottle with spray nozzle top
1/4 cup witch hazel
10-20 drops citronella
10-20 drops lemon eucalyptus
10-20 drops cedarwood
1-3 tsp fractionated coconut oil or carrier oil of choice
Fill all the ingredients into the glass bottle, secure the top and shake well before using. Spray as needed onto skin or clothing, avoiding mouth and eyes.
The amount of essential oils you'll use will depend on how sensitive the user is. Use a lower amount of essential oils and a higher amount of the coconut oil for children, the elderly or those with sensitive skin.
Essential oils won't leave an oily stain on your clothes but the coconut oil may. It should come out easily in the wash but if you're concerned about clothing stains and not about sensitive skin, you can omit the carrier oil.
This recipe is easy to modify depending on what oils you have on hand. For example, you could use lemongrass instead of citronella, or spearmint instead of cedarwood. Play around using oils from the list above until you find a blend that works for you and which smells great too.
I also use this spray on my horse and my dog, being careful to avoid their faces.
If you don't have a spray bottle handy, try
- diffusing 2-3 drops of 2 or more of the above oils in your tent, camper or picnic shelter.
- combining 5 drops each of 2-3 oils of your choice with 5-10 drops or more of fractionated coconut oil and rubbing the blend directly onto your arms, legs and back of neck. Always avoid contact with eyes.
Soothing the skin after a bite
Despite your best efforts, a mosquito still managed to bite you. You might be one of the lucky people whose skin shows little or no reaction to a mosquito bite. On the other hand, some people experience prolonged itching, swelling, or redness of the skin where the bite occurred.
Here's our favourite recipe to help soothe the skin irritation and help your body deal with the effects of the bite.
5 ml roller bottle
10 drops lavender
10 cleansing blend
5 drops melaleuca
5 drops Roman chamomile
fractionated coconut oil or carrier oil of choice
Add all the essential oils to the roller bottle, top with the fractionated coconut oil and secure roller top. Apply directly to affected area as needed.
For an extra boost, try adding 5 drops of frankincense to the above blend. Not only is frankincense known for its skin rejuvenation properties, it also amplifies the other essential oils it's paired with.
Our mosquito story
My older daughter has fair skin that seems to be especially reactive to mosquito bites. The skin around the bug bite will instantly turn red and swollen and become very itchy. If we don't get it under control fast, she will be dealing with the discomfort for several days. I have used several essential oils on her, starting with lavender, tea tree and the cleansing blend. All of them provided soothing relief but the above combination seems to be a winner for us.
Now you also have two great tools for enjoying the beautiful outdoors with peace of mind!
Do you have a favourite essential oil for repelling mosquitoes? If it's not listed in this article, let me know the oil in the comments section below, so that I can add it to the list!
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