So you want to repel insects and bugs in the wild, but only want to to use homemade insect repellents that don’t have any of the nasty chemicals? Awesome!
The chemicals that non-homemade repellents have are a huge reason that I switched over to making my own repellents with my own ingredients.
Some of the best homemade insect repellents can be made from lemon juice, mud, essential oils, vanilla extract, flowers like lavender and sage, and many more ingredients! Let’s go over some more effective and complex recipes.
Rub on Insect Repellent Recipes
This is quite the mix and truly one of the best on this entire list! It should only be used when you need serious bug control.
It works extremely effectively in repelling any type of bug.
I highly advise diluting it with water due to how strong this mixture is. It even has antibacterial and antiviral properties.
A bonus to this mixture is that it can even be used as a tincture to heal some illnesses, although I would refrain from this unless you’re in an emergency.
Make sure to note that the dose for adults is 1 tablespoon in water several times a day. Whereas for children over the age of two, it is 1 teaspoon in water several times a day.
Another added benefit to this mixture is that it will also help nourish your skin!
It also smells quite nice, and if you feel that you need some more of this mixture simply make some more! It’s easy peasy to make, right?
As always, it’s a good idea to read the fair warning I displayed above.
Make sure to also label your container as well as list the ingredients in case the person you are applying it on has allergies.
Though with a bit more ingredients, this repellent is one of the best mosquito repellents you can find.
It is not as good as the other repellents for repelling random bugs and insects, but it is great for deterring mosquitoes.
Just note, if you happen to have sensitive skin, be a bit more careful if you plan on applying this repellent to your face.
The story regarding how I got this recipe is very interesting, but sadly too long for me to explain it.
Nevertheless, this is an East Asian recipe and if you’re looking for a safe recipe that’s been made for years and years this should be your go-to.
It works extremely well in defending mosquitoes, and also works pretty well for lots of other insects as well.
As always, label your container along with the ingredients and read the fair warning above before using and crafting this insect repellent.
This is more of an on-the-go bug repellent. It’s super easy to make and should keep you in the clean for some time.
Another benefit of crafting this insect repellent is that you don’t have to worry about it irritating you if you have sensitive skin.
It’s a very child-friendly insect repellent and works great. If you see some bugs simply reapply it.
You probably already memorized the recipe!
The two tablespoon wonder. You’ll be surprised at how well it works!
Though its defenses against mosquitoes are a bit weak, it certainly does the job against most other nasty ticks!
Let me know how you liked this repellent, and now let’s move onto my final rub-on insect repellent.
Is it a myth? Well, believe it or not, it works!
Lots of ancient people covered themselves in mud when trying to repel insects and mosquitoes in the wild.
I decided to give this all-natural one ingredient insect repellent a try and I was shocked at how well it worked.
Can you guess where the bites were, though? Yep! In the areas where I didn’t have any mud!
I can proudly say that it was worth it, and if you want to have some fun with your family or friends, definitely try this next time you go camping, you won’t regret it.
Voila! You’re done. The finished product should be quite firm.
This mixture can also be extremely helpful to those with damaged skin.
Spray on Insect Repellent Recipes
As you could tell from the name, this repellent requires lots of shaking, but it’s worth it!
Those who use this repellent properly will be protected from mosquitoes and other insects for a while due to how well this spray repellent works.
It is one of my favorites, and I highly recommend you share this exact recipe with others as it is amazing!
A bit of an older recipe, but it works very well. If you want to make it even stronger, there’s one simple trick you can do.
Instead of preparing the herbs as described above, prepare them in an alcohol mixture as a tincture.
This will allow you to use this as a spray directly after straining out the herbs.
The Rava Rova repellent is one of the best homemade insect repellents if you’re looking to primarily get rid of mosquitoes.
It could also protect you against some other bugs as well, but not to the extent to which some of the other repellents can.
Nevertheless, it’s still extremely effective for mosquitoes and is a safe choice if you plan on going camping in a mosquito-infected area.
An added benefit to using this repellent is that it could be quite soothing for your skin.
If you have any bug bites then this repellent will not only stop you from receiving more but also relieve your skin at the moment.
The apple cider vinegar can help reduce fine lines, oily skin, and can also help with protecting your skin from future damage.
A bit more of an on-the-go type of repellent, but it works quite well as long as it is freshly sprayed.
It’s always a good idea to commonly re-apply repellents, but this one, in particular, should be re-applied every 30 minutes to an hour for maximum effect.
This is the last of the “super easy” repellents, but if you’re ever in an emergency and need to make a quick repellent, then this could also be quite effective.
It requires just two ingredients and will ward off mosquitoes for a decently long time after being applied to your skin.
Make sure to shake before use and re-apply if you notice bugs coming (that means its effect has likely worn off).
You might have to go to the store to get yourself some liquid castile soap, but trust me, it’ll be worth it!
This homemade insect repellent works extremely well and I think you’ll be very satisfied with this recipe.
Look at those Italians! They even found a way to incorporate their amazing cuisine into making insect repellents!
This truly is a great recipe and I give props to the Italians for coming up with this one.
If you ever go camping in Italy, make sure to craft yourself one of these repellents!
This recipe comes from my grandmother, and I use it quite often in case I want to repel some mosquitoes.
It has never let me down, and even though it does require a bit more materials to make, it’s worth it as this repellent should keep you secure for 6 to 8 hours after applying it.
If you want to learn some more homemade mosquito repellent recipes from my grandmother, check out my other post here.
Probably one of the most versatile repellents on the list, I would clearly say this is one of the best homemade insect repellents.
It lasts you for hours after applying it, and works against absolutely everything!
It’s not too hard to prepare, and holds the saying true of “saving the best for last”.
Safety Tips and Warnings Before Making Repellents
1. Beware before applying on children and elderly people
Some of the ingredients in the insect repellents might leave some of the people listed above sensitive to them.
If you want to stay safe, make sure to check in with a doctor and see if all the ingredients are safe.
For reference, some of the more extreme ingredients include but are not limited to citronella, lemongrass, and peppermint.
2. Use non-essential oil on children and elderly people
As stated above, repellents including essential oils might leave some of the people listed above a bit more sensitive to them.
Just check in with a doctor, or use non-essential oil repellents to be extra safe.
3. Put a label on every repellent
Just in case someone is allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients in a repellent, including a label will let them stay safe.
Adding the date is also a good idea as the effectiveness of some repellents may wear off as time passes.
4. Refrain from spraying directly onto your face
If you spray the repellent directly on your face, you may accidentally spray some of the repellents in your mouth or eyes.
Though non-essential oil-based repellents won’t do any damage, spraying some of the more extreme repellents directly on your face may irritate some of your skin.
Instead, just spray the repellent on your hand and then rub it onto your face so that you can ensure you will miss the eyes and mouth.
5. Make sure to re-apply the repellent every few hours
Since all of these repellents are naturally made, whether you like it or not, they will eventually wear off.
If you see some bugs heading your way, just simply re-apply the repellent to be protected.
The perfect time for re-applying a repellent is usually every 1-2 hours unless otherwise stated.
6. Store all repellents in a dark cool place
What better place to store your repellents than in your fridge?
Storing your homemade bug sprays in a dark cool place helps preserve them, and is a very good idea.
7. Keep away from reach of children
Even though they’re labeled, some children may not care to read the label and mistake the repellent for something to drink.
Make sure to warn your children not to drink or touch the repellents, or if you want to be extra safe, just lock them away somewhere you know your kids won’t reach.
8. Look at all the ingredients
Even though you’re the one making the repellent, please make sure to look carefully at every ingredient and find out if you or those around you are allergic to it.
The last thing you want to be doing is having allergic reactions while camping in the middle of nowhere.
9. Avoid putting on too much of the repellent
Some people like to soak their skin in the repellents, and as always, having too much of anything is not good.
Simply spray enough to reach all exposed areas and you will be safe from all insects and mosquitoes.
10. Do not mix different repellents
Though you think to mix different repellents will make them more powerful, that’s not always the case.
Just stick to the recipes I have provided for you and do not try to make your custom repellents as sometimes mixing the wrong things can cause things to go south.
Why Natural Repellents Are Better
1. They are chemical-free
Most insect repellents use a chemical called DEET, which is actually very dangerous. There’s no point in using DEET when you can use some of these natural homemade bug sprays.
Some of them are as effective, if not even more effective than purchasable repellents containing DEET, but without those nasty chemicals.
I mean just look at some of the research! A study by Dr. Abou Donia says that DEET caused “neurons to die in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory, and concentration”. The pharmacologist also says that children are at a higher risk for brain changes after DEET exposure because their skin absorbs it more readily.
2. They are cheaper
If you look at the total price, you’ll probably think it’s more expensive to make your own repellent, but actually, that’s not true at all.
The ingredients you buy are enough to make you multiple different repellents, and if you do the math precisely, you’ll realize that it actually turns out to be cheaper when you are making your own natural bug repellents.
Besides, even if it was more expensive to craft your own repellents, I’d still prefer that over risking changing my brain by using DEET.
3. They’ve been used for years
Some of the repellents on this list are based on very ancient recipes that have worked well for years.
I always like to stay as close to nature in everything I do, so I always trust things that have been made for years because back then people knew what they were doing.
I hope you all enjoyed these repellents, I’d really appreciate it if you can share this post so that you can help out your friends with repelling insects as well!
If you’re interested in looking at specifically mosquito repellent recipes, I suggest checking out reading this article I wrote a while ago.