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Homemade Natural Insect Repellents

Category Repellants
If you are looking for an alternative to commercial insect repellents, try making your own. This is a guide about homemade natural insect repellents.


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By 15 found this helpful
September 19, 2012

I stopped using chemical sprays to get rid of bugs when I found that mint works just the same. It's very effective and super cheap. Here are a couple ways to use mint as an insect repellant.

Boil a bunch of mint leaves with a few orange peels in some water and let it sit over night. Strain the next day and mix with equal parts rubbing alcohol. Pour in spray bottle. This is my favorite easy-to-make, natural insect repellant.

Crush some dried mint leaves and put in little sachets in your kitchen cupboards. They will deter pantry moths. They also work against small rodents and ants. You can also just use mint teabags!

By attosa from Los Angeles, CA

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May 16, 20170 found this helpful

Same question as above!

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By 11 found this helpful
July 26, 2011

Instead of spending good money on expensive insect repellent, dab a few drops of tea tree oil on most of your pulse-points like your wrists, behind the ears and knees. Don't forget to dab a drop atop of your cleavage, ladies!


I have used this for years as a repellent and if you forget to use it, it will also heal bad insect bites. I personally love the smell too.

By Jeta from Cumbria, UK

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February 24, 20141 found this helpful

I'm sure you all know to keep it (and you wearing it) far away from cats and some dogs. It's been known to cause seizures and sometimes death.

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June 25, 201013 found this helpful

Use 2 1/2 teaspoons of any of the following essential oils, which can be purchased a at health food store: basil, cedar wood, citronella, juniper, lemon, myrrh, pine, or rosemary (choose the one that you like the scent of the most). Add the essential oil to 1 cup of the highest alcohol volume content vodka your state liquor store allows for purchase in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously. Rub a small amount on exposed skin and/or dab fairly sparingly (as you would perfume/cologne) on clothing.


By Deeli from Richland, WA

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June 26, 20100 found this helpful

I have used bergamot essential oil added to a natural, unscented lotion base, and rub it on for lotion as you normally would. I have noticed that the skeeters might land, but they look confused and are easy to shoo away. I never had a bite when wearing this lotion.

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By 4 found this helpful
March 24, 2015

Essential oil is a wonderful all natural insect repellent! Peppermint oil will repel flies, ants, bees, roaches, and spiders! Simply add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1/2 cup of water. Using a spray bottle, spray the area you want to be free of pests. Example: for spiders, spray around doors to keep them from coming in the house. For flies, spray around doors, or anywhere you want them to be repelled. Ants and wasps were always getting in my hummingbird feeders, not anymore:) For mosquitos, use the same ratio, but instead of peppermint add lemon essential oil, lavender also works. You can spray your skin or in the area to be repelled. I would spray a test patch on skin to test for sensitivity. And a bonus is they smell awesome!

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December 8, 20160 found this helpful

Homemade Mint and Geranium Sprays

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This is a guide about homemade herbal insect repellent sprays. Many herbs are natural insect repellents.


November 7, 20160 found this helpful

Insects are attached to this plant and need to be controlled.

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This is a guide about natural pest control. Making or buying natural pest control products can help reduce that amount to pesticides in our environment.


By 2 found this helpful
May 29, 2013

I am going to try this repellent this year. Mainly if I go hiking or on a long walk.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
June 7, 2005

My girls are going to summer camp soon and I would like to give them a natural way to keep the bugs away. I am really anti-chemical and would like to stay away from the bug repelents that you find in the stores. I know some people may recommend dryer sheets (they seem to work for so many things) but I've read an article that they contain dangerous chemicals. I would appreciate your suggestions.


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July 23, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

1/2 cup Listerine, 1/2 cup water, 2tbs vanilla. Put it in spray bottle extract works great for gnats. Careful spraying on light clothing. I usually spray my skin and hair. I play golf and the gnats can be awful. This keeps them away.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 10, 20050 found this helpful

The CDC recently recommeneded Oil of lemon Eucaylptus. Repel sells it and I bought it at Target in the Sporting Goods aisle. It made me smell quite lemony but the bugs were nowhere to be found. GOOD STUFF! it also works on Ticks which most products don't claim

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 23, 20080 found this helpful


I'm looking for a repellent that is effective against gnats that bite. Any suggestions?

Please respond to RVHinton AT

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July 16, 20130 found this helpful

Did you publish, in your article in Dear Webby, a recipe using Listerine mouthwash for keeping insects from bothering you when outdoors? I've lost my copy, and would like to prepare the solution for use these hot days. It was for a "spray bottle".

By Mary L. from Napoleon, OH

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July 18, 20130 found this helpful

There is no recipe. People just spray listerine around. It smells up the patio or where ever and does no good. Use the Off clipons or the Off lamps or the Thermocell devices for effective mosquito repelling, or use a repellent that contains Deet. Nothing else works.

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July 18, 20130 found this helpful

I use the Listerine and spray ahead of me as I walk around patio/deck. It seems to work - but never have had a huge problem with mosquitoes. Just put is a pray bottle and spray away. A way to keep mosquitoes down is to put a drop or two of olive oil in any container(s) (or whererever water collects) in your yard that might hatch mosquitoes. The oil will kill the larvae and then when the water evaporates the container will be lined with the oil - then when it gets water in it again the left over oil will be in the water... I put a drop or two in containers about 3 times during the summer.

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July 28, 20110 found this helpful

I am looking for DIY insect or bug repellent?

By Robin

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July 29, 20110 found this helpful  l1480l1.7.2l10l0

Skin So Soft, honest!

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July 30, 20110 found this helpful

My mom swears by vinegar. She cuts it with water and puts it in a spray bottle.

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July 31, 20110 found this helpful

If anything homemade actually worked, Deet would not have been developed.

Thermocells and Off Lamps work in repelling mosquitoes from your area. They do not seem as stinky to me as the coils, which also work but have quite a strong smell. If you don't want to put something on your skin, this is the way to go.

Another solution, if you are working in your yard, is a big jacket with hood. The hood zips up and covers your face. And cover up the rest of your body-pants, socks, and gloves. My son, who hates chemicals wears one of these. He is building a log house next to a forest preserve and a river, lots of skeeters there. Inside his house, he has a thing shaped like a badminton racket that he swats/swishes mosquitoes with. It has batteries and kills them with an electric current; good for enclosed spaces with a limited number of mosquitoes, like inside a screen porch or your house. Some people use them around a campfire, swishing in front of their face, maybe it helps there too. It gives you something to do, anyway. However, it is effective in an enclosed space and works way better than swatting with your hand.

I use Deep Woods Off; if you have lots of mosquitoes you need a repellant with about 25% Deet. I live in Saskatchewan, and we are having a terrific (or horrific, depending on your viewpoint) mosquito year because of all the rain and flooding we have had. Trust me; I know my mosquito repellants.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 1, 2011

Is there a such thing as a green/natural homemade insect repellent for indoors?

By Loleini

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June 2, 20110 found this helpful

Insects do not like the smell of Citronella Oil which you can burn in an oil burner, Silverfish hate the smell of Cinnamon oil - just sprinkle the oil near the crevices that they crawl out of.

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June 3, 20110 found this helpful

I have heard that if you keep a basil plant in your kitchen it will repel flies. Thanks for reminding me, I am going to repot some of my basil this weekend, and bring it into the kitchen window to see how it works.

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September 25, 20160 found this helpful

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth if it gets wet you'll have to do it again

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August 22, 20060 found this helpful

I would like to know a cheap and safe way to spray for pests (ants, etc.) to keep them from getting in the house. I stopped my pest control service which was charging me $360 per year to spray 4 times.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

JB from Harrisburg, PA

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August 24, 20060 found this helpful

Hello JB

I do my own pest control on my 1 acre. Here is the site I buy my products.

The chemical I buy and that works best for me is Talstar. I think I pay around $50.00 and it lasts me a good 7-8 months. It's water soluable so you'll need to purchase a sprayer from your garden center.

The best thing is I can spray whenever I want and not have to wait for the pest control guy!

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 24, 20060 found this helpful

Since I nearly died of chemical poisoning twice in my garden and once at a garage sale accident over my lifetime, I STRONGLY URGE ANYONE DEALING WITH CHEMICAL PESTICIDES, cheap or expensive, TO READ AND HEED THE WARNING LABELS TO THE LETTER! ! ! God keep you in His care and give you the wisdom to do this.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 4, 20070 found this helpful

What about duraspan I know u can buy it on the internet, we also sprayed it around the house to deter snakes. Found a black moccasin in the dog pen one day, spray it and immobilized it's nervous system. I don't like to put such dangerous chemicals around b cause I don't want to kill anything, except SNAKES

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 25, 20100 found this helpful

For an herbal insect repellent, make your own by infusing a cup of basil leaves (packed) in 4 oz. of water. Strain and add 4 oz. of vodka. Pour the liquid into a squirt bottle and voila! There you have it! Homemade mosquito repellent.

By Terri


Herbal Insect Repellent

Don't think I can convince a young mom with a toddler to spray vodka on him. Do you have any other remedies, will not use toxic pesticides (06/16/2005)

By Eileen

Herbal Insect Repellent

Don't worry about the vodka. Many spray-on insect repellents use a form of alcohol as a carrier (think rubbing alcohol). The vodka will not make the baby drunk. Vodka in this diluted amount is far healthier than the very toxic ingredients used in over-the-counter insect repellents, including Skintastic and the like. (06/16/2005)

By Mary

Herbal Insect Repellent

Someone told me about 1 tablespoon vanilla with 1 cup water, either put in a sprayer or wipe on with a papertowel. Haven't seen any bites, but not sure if we just haven't met a mosquito yet? ; ) A man at my husbands work got West Nile and was hospitalized for 3 days. He said it was like the flu X 100. YUCKO! I hate knowing that "it's" nearby! (06/17/2005)

By melissa

Herbal Insect Repellent

No, officer, really, I haven't been drinking. No, it's the mosquitoes! (07/25/2008)

By mountain girl

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