How to Make Natural Insect Spray

No matter how nice the weather is in Gig Harbor, a few hungry, pesky mosquitoes and insects can spoil your outing in a hurry. Help keep those buggers at bay with your own homemade, natural mosquito repellent that takes only a few minutes to make.

  • 8 oz. misting spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Witch hazel
  • Citronella or lemon eucalyptus essential oil

Making the Mixture

Fill a clean spray bottle ¼ full with distilled water. Add witch hazel until the bottle is nearly full, leaving enough room so the bottle can be shaken later. Pour in 20-30 drops of your chosen essential oil, then replace the lid on the spray bottle, making sure it’s securely in place. Shake the bottle vigorously to blend the ingredients.

When you're ready to use the repellent, shake the bottle first to re-blend the ingredients. Spray a fine mist onto bare skin areas such as the back of hands, arms and neck. Do not spray it directly on your face or on sensitive skin. To protect areas such as your cheeks, spray a small amount of the repellent into your hand, then rub it on your face, avoiding the mouth and eyes.

  • For a milder version suitable for young children, mix equal parts water and witch hazel and use only 15 drops of essential oil. Do not use lemon eucalyptus oil on children under age 3.
  • Add other bug-repelling essential oils such as rosemary, geranium or lavender to your blend to create a new fragrance.

Simple Prevention Measures

Mosquitoes and insects are attracted to body heat, sweat, some fragrances and even carbon dioxide emitted simply by breathing. Keep them from targeting your exposed skin by covering as much of it as possible if you suspect mosquitoes may be active – wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks that cover your ankles to minimize the chances of getting bitten.

  • Avoid using perfumes, colognes or perfumed soaps because these can attract mosquitoes.
  • Wear light colors and tightly woven clothing. If mosquitoes are abundant, tuck pants into socks for additional protection.
  • Avoid planning outdoor activities at dawn and dusk if possible – mosquitoes are most active during these times.
  • Stay away from stagnant water because mosquitoes lay eggs in still water. Remove any potential sources of stagnant water from your own yard, such as old tires or bowls of water for pets.

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