DIY Insect Repellant - Moms Across America

DIY Insect Repellant

At Moms Across America, we are always on the lookout for safe, toxin-free alternatives to the many food, household, and body products that we are exposed to every day.

MAA supporter Marielle shares with us some of her favorite solutions that are safe not only for our families but our fur babies too.

Bug repellent and spray products can be scary for moms across the nation, even more concerning than the mosquitoes themselves. Many popular bug repellents are known to contain harsh chemicals (e.g. petroleum) which makes many hesitant to use them on their kiddo’s skin. When the “momsenses” kick in, many moms question sunscreens, lotions, soaps, etc. to ensure the safety and well being of their kids.

mosquito-PTKDCW3.jpgIn the United States, DEET is the most used bug repellent product. According to Consumer Reports, twenty-five percent of Americans avoid DEET and don’t perceive it as a safe product. If you’re a mom, odds are this statistic is a giant red flag for you.

Many moms are turning to natural, safer methods that keep bugs away. A handful of natural ingredients that DIY insect repellents contain are lavender, lemon eucalyptus oil, peppermint, garlic, and cinnamon oil.*

Common DIY Insect Repellent Ingredients

Lavender can be successful in repelling mosquitoes while providing additional benefits like soothing irritated skin. Also, the sweet scent of lavender can be more appealing than the pungent DEET smell.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as an insect repellent ingredient. In addition, this ingredient can reduce pain and increase circulation.

Peppermint is a popular ingredient to include when experiencing rashes or sunburns. This can calm down these irritated areas.

Garlic is an effective ingredient that keeps away insects, especially ticks. Allicin, what repels the bugs, is the compound that formulates when garlic is crushed.

Cinnamon oil can be efficient in killing mosquito eggs and fending off adult, Asian tiger mosquitoes. If you’re located in a mosquito-heavy area, cinnamon oil is your go-to DIY bug repellent ingredient.

Note: Never use clove oil on cats! Clove can be toxic to cats!

Personal Creations includes some of these ingredients in their five natural bug repellents infographic. Of these recipes are Lavender Breeze, Fresh Mint, and Gentle Herb. This graphic indicates whether the recipes are pregnancy safe, pet-friendly, and sensitive skin friendly making it your one stop shop for natural bug repellent research.

3 DIY Insect Repellent Recipes

Lavender Breeze is a sensitive skin and pet-friendly repellent. As stated earlier, lavender actively keeps away mosquitoes and fleas. This makes this recipe ideal for any outdoor activities with the family

  • 30 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • ½ cup water

Fresh Mint is a pet-friendly repellent. Brining your furry friend to the beach or for a barbeque in the park? This DIY recipe will also help repel ticks and fleas.

  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops castor oil
  • 1 cup water

Gentle Herb is pregnancy safe, appropriate for sensitive skin and pet friendly. This recipe checks all the boxes and is versatile for any occasion. Add this to a spray bottle, so you can take it on-the-go.

  • ½ cup fresh crushed catnip
  • 1 teaspoon crushed mint
  • ½ cup with hazel
  • 1 cup water

Bug repellents don’t have to be scary. Be confident in your kid’s skin products and create your own DIY insect repellent.

As a devoted cat mom and (self-proclaimed) favorite aunt, Marielle is always looking for natural ways to keep her loved ones safe. In her spare time she enjoys exploring all the green space that Austin has to offer and snacking on anything chocolate. She enjoys collaborating with brands like Personal Creations, sharing family-friendly resources.

*Moms Across America recommends essential oils that have been tested for impurities and are of excellent quality, such as Aura Cacia from Frontier Coop! You can start a Buying Club today with just 4 other friends and get 40% OFF over 300 organic brands and 10,000 items. Your purchases also support Moms Across America. Thank you! Just email buying-clubs@momsacrossamerica.org to get started with your Frontier Coop Buying Club today!


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  • roger rohe
    commented 2019-07-16 14:59:07 -0700
    Mercola.com has a good repellent.