Mosquito repellents

My friend Nia is currently in Bali and being eaten alive by mosquitoes. So, I thought it appropriate to look up eco-friendly ideas on repelling these nasty vampire bugs.

Here’s the first recipe I found on

Mosquito Repellent Oil

10 drops essential oil (use oils such as basil, eucalyptus, cloves, geranium, peppermint, rosemary, lemon balm (citronella), onions, garlic, and feverfew)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine the ingredients in a glass jar; stir to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothing.
Note: Pregnant women should consult with their doctor before using essential oils.

From Mother Earth News I found this recipe:

Herbal Insect Repellent

2 1/2 teaspoons total of any combination of the following essential oils: basil, cedarwood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, palmarosa, pine, rose geranium and/or rosemary (available at health food stores)

1 cup 190-proof grain alcohol (available in liquor stores)

Place ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Transfer to small bottles for storage. To use, rub a small amount on any exposed skin (test first to be sure your skin will not be adversely affected by the repellent) or dab it on clothing.

Experiment a little to find which essential oils work best with your body chemistry. If you’re lucky, you also will like the way they smell; otherwise, add a few drops of peppermint oil to fine-tune the fragrance.

Here are some other options:

  • For a short time, you can try to rub celery juice on your skin – though you’ll have to have some sort of juicer to extract this from the celery stalk.
  • Lemon-eucalyptus oil is also said to help repel mosquitoes and no-see-ums.

If you’ve already been bitten and are looking for some natural relief, try the herb plantain. It is a very common weed, often growing in compacted soil along sidewalks and driveways. To use the plant as first aid for a mosquito bite, crush a few leaves and rub them on the bite. The leaves look like:

Plantain Broad Leaf
From the University of California Agriculture and Research Site


5 Comments on Green Tip Tuesday – Mosquito Control

  1. I love this post! I hate, hate, hate mosquitos. I also hate, hate, hate insect repellent. I’ve been using Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil as a repellent for years, but I like the idea of using something more natural. I’m going to go with eucalyptus oil. It’s one of my favorite scents.

  2. Thanks for the tips….I’m going to actually try it….hee-hee…not unless Lita has a batch made already…hint-hint!

  3. jen, you are the best!!

    the funny thing is i have essential oils with me thanks to my essential oil queen Nori. we’re going to try the eucalyptus/geranium oil. and today as we are walking in to the spiritual and artistically rich village of ubud i will be looking for that little plant you told us about….and i’ll bring it back to the hotel for research before rubbing it on my poor little red polka dotted face…dont need poison oak rubbed on top of the skeeter bites. ha!



  4. when i first moved to LA, i thought i had found valhalla– no mosquitos! i could leave my doors and windows open, and occasionally i’d get a black fly, but that was all.
    we had the weirdest, wettest summer this year, and now i’m getting eaten alive. i’m definitely trying the oil!

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