Several essential oils are known to work against pests. These include lemon, lemongrass, catnip, citronella, lavender, geranium, peppermint, and eucalyptus oil. The choice of oil often depends merely on which smell you prefer. Once you’ve settled on which oil or oils to use, you must then decide on a base—that is, a skin-friendly carrier for the mosquito-fighting essential oil. The three most popular carriers are witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil. For each base, you’ll find a tried-and-true repellent recipe below.
WITCH HAZEL – 1/3 cup witch hazel – 40 drops of essential oil
In a small spray bottle, combine the witch hazel with an equal amount of water. Because witch hazel doesn’t have its own odor, it pairs well with virtually any type of essential oil. After adding about 40 drops of oil, shake the bottle to mix the ingredients.
COCONUT OIL – 1/3 cup coconut oil – 15 drops of essential oil
Sweet-scented coconut oil makes for the least offensive base where children are concerned. Add the coconut oil to a small, lidded jar, then follow with essential oil (peppermint or lavender are both good bets). Shake, then apply the mixture by hand.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 40 drops of essential oil
Combine the apple cider vinegar and an equal amount of water in a small spray bottle. Next, add in your chosen essential oil, noting that rosemary, lavender, and peppermint best complement the somewhat strong scent of the base. Give the bottle a good shake to finish.