DIY Non-Toxic Mosquito Repellent


Now, whenever he heads out the door, I douse (well, lightly spray) him with this homemade non-toxic mosquito repellent. So far, so good. No more bites.

Non-Toxic Mosquito Repellent Recipe

It’s a beautiful thing to live in a home that borders a lush, green open space. But when part of that opens space is a soggy, boggy marsh, you can bet on mosquitos in the summer. Lots of them.

For my son, that’s not a good thing. You see the poor kid suffers from Skeeter Syndrome (this is what it looks like). No joke, folks, it’s for real.

I don’t think Little Man had ever been bit by a mosquito until we moved to Colorado. The reaction to those first bites was pretty severe—big, red, hot, swollen. His last bite was just above his elbow and half of his upper arm swelled up!

Now, whenever he heads out the door, I douse (well, generously spray) him with this homemade non-toxic mosquito repellent. So far, so good. No more bites. The non-toxic mosquito repellant formulation I am sharing is similar to this brand of repellent which I like and recommend to those of you who you are not up to making your own. But if you are the DIY-er type, give this recipe a try.

If you make a double batch in, say, a 4-ounce bottle or larger, and you’d like to pretty up that bottle, here’s a label printable I made for you. I print it out on my color printer (may have to play with size to fit your bottle) and then affix with clear tape—ensuring the tape extends beyond the edge of the label for water/oil proof protection.

Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent Spray

Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent Spray


  • 1-1/2 tablespoons WATER
  • 1 teaspoon CASTOR OIL


  1. Add all ingredients to a 2 ounce amber spray bottle, shake vigorously and spray.
  2. ***Be sure to shake well before each use. Reapply often*** 
  3. Sometimes I double the recipe and use a larger spray bottle, but lately have been mixing up three bottles at a time of the 2 ounce size and keeping them by the front door, back door, and in the car.

I prefer using castor oil for its extra sticky, but not so oily, factor. Dr. Mercola has a nice write up on castor oil.

Please use therapeutic grade oils. You may shop the Flo & Grace store (affiliate link) or try Mountain Rose HebsNative American Nutritionals or Young Living. Some folks have a strong preference for where they source their oils and I totally respect that. The point of my essential oils posts are to show you how I use essential oils and not to sell you on a particular brand. In my research these just happen to be the most reputable out there.

More Good Stuff


bitterlily July 30, 2013 - 9:16 pm

Since you say you like to use castor oil, does that mean any carrier oil will do? I have coconut, sweet almond and olive oil on hand, and would rather not buy another oil if I can use something I already have.

Lexie July 30, 2013 - 9:45 pm

Bitterlily, Yes, you can try any other carrier oil (fractionated coconut if using coconut). I just like castor b/c of the sticky factor … can't really explain it 🙂 xoLexie

Susan W. July 31, 2013 - 1:26 pm

What castor oil do you use? Is it what you get in the pharmacy at the grocery store?

Lexie July 31, 2013 - 3:30 pm

Susan, I get mine at my natural grocery store or Whole Foods … look in the beauty department 🙂 xoLexie

Maggie July 31, 2013 - 3:48 pm

Awesome Lex! Liv has quite the reaction to mosquito bites too so this is perfect for us. I looooove castor oil too. I used it during a cleanse and feel in love. Yep, we're weird 🙂

Alisa - Go Dairy Free July 31, 2013 - 9:52 pm

You are such a crafty mamma!

peekkaboo August 2, 2013 - 12:25 am

Hello. Is there anything I can sub the GERANIUM ESSENTIAL OIL for? I have everything else, but that and this seems a bit expensive.

Lexie August 2, 2013 - 2:19 am

Peekaboo, I would do a search for "essential oil mosquito repellent." There are a handful of oils that repel mosquitos and more than a handful of recipes out there. I love the scent of geranium and it happens to be a good repellent, too 🙂 xoLexie

Linda dc August 3, 2013 - 4:36 am

Lavender essential oil is another repellent oil. As for carrier oils you can use almond,macadamia or avocado oils.

Carolyn August 5, 2013 - 4:00 pm

This is such a great idea, Lexie. I hate all the awful chemicals in commercial sprays!

candace August 8, 2013 - 8:02 pm

Is this safe to use on babies?

Arun Kumar August 19, 2013 - 12:51 pm Reply
momofitchyboys September 3, 2013 - 2:37 pm

I got oils from the kraft section at walmart, are those going to be effective?

Niecey July 9, 2014 - 6:26 pm

This is a good recipe. Recipes on other sites I've visited called for the usage of citrus (lemon) essential oil. Word of Caution: Exposing one's self to the sun after using Citrus EOs can cause skin irritation. It's advisable to test a product on a small skin area, then wait 24-48 hours to see if you have an adverse reaction such as itching, skin eruptions etcetera.

I've had the unpleasant experience of using a photosensitizing EO when out in the sun:(

Now I make my own blends. My friends and family started asking me to make batches for them too and thus nieceys naturals was born!

Niecey's Don't Bug me is available as a convenient pocket sized roll on and pump spray.

Hope you enjoy not being bitten as much as I do!

Warmest regards,

Lori Gross August 20, 2015 - 3:00 pm

Hi – I know this is an old post, but what size/company of labels do you use for the 2 oz bottles? The ones you made are really cute – thanks for sharing! And do you use waterproof ones or just regular?

Ginny December 14, 2016 - 8:35 am

Add an equal amount of Polysorbate 20 as your essential oils, premix it first in a small, separate vessel, then add it to your water and mix until well blended. No need to shake after that because the Polysorbate 20 (yes, its natural) will solubilize the essential oils into the water without needing to shake anymore.

I am a chemist. Its good advice. NO need to have your essential oils separating out of the water like salad dressing.

Alexa December 14, 2016 - 12:53 pm

Ginny, THANK YOU! So very helpful! I love learning stuff like this. Now I know what Polysorbate 20 is 🙂 Thank you for sharing your knowledge. xo

Nikki Ross Patterson May 12, 2017 - 10:05 pm

It’s important for people to know to ONLY use detoxified castor oil. In it’s natural form, castor oil is toxic. Any castor oil to be used internally, topically, or in products like soap or shampoo bars should be detoxified.

Mosquito risk and your pet | Van Wijk Street Vet October 11, 2019 - 4:03 am

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