Natural Mosquito Repellent: 8 Homemade Recipes

Scientifically proven

Natural mosquito repellents can be applied directly to the body (which is the case with citronella or clove-based repellents) or used in a room (like a vinegar repellent). 

These homemade mosquito repellents can be used to avoid bites from Aedes Aegypti mosquitos, which can transmit dengue, Zika and Chikungunya infections. They can also repel mosquitos that cause malaria and yellow fever. However, it is important to note that the duration of efficacy of homemade repellents is generally lower, and therefore should be applied more frequently than pharmacy repellents. 

Natural mosquito repellents are a great option for those who which to avoid applying chemicals to their body or adding them to their environment. 

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Body repellents

Natural mosquito repellents for the body can be used on the skin most exposed to mosquitos, like the arms, face and legs. However, you should avoid applying these repellents close to the eyes, mouth or nose as they can cause irritation. You are advised to wash your hands thoroughly after applying to avoid contact with these areas.

Another important recommendation is to spray these repellents not only on the skin, but also on the clothes, as mosquitos are capable of biting through fabric. 

1. Repellent with cloves 

Repellent made with cloves is essentially rich in eugenol, which is an essential oil with insecticide properties. It can repel Aedes aegypti mosquitos (which cause dengue, Zika and Chukungunya), as well as other mosquitos and ants. 

This homemade repellent can be used by adolescents and adults, as well as pregnant women. Its maximum efficacy time on the skin is 3 hours. 


  • 500 mL of grain alcohol
  • 10 g of cloves
  • 100 mL of mineral oil or almond oil 

How to prepare

Pour the alcohol and the cloves intro a dark, sealed container for four days, being sure to store it in a dark environment. Mix these container twice per day, in the morning and at night. Then strain, add the oil and shake it lightly. You can then pour the mixture into a spray bottle.  

This repellent can also be used on surfaces that attract ants. If you typically find ants in your sugar, for example, you can place a few cloves directly in the sugar. 

2. Repellent with eucalyptus oil

Mosquito repellent with eucalyptus oil contains methoglycol, which is a natural repellant that wards off mosquitos, like Aedes aegypti, and ticks, like Borrelia burgdorferi that cause Lyme disease.

This repellent can be used on pregnant women and children under 3. Its effects can last for up to 6 hours. 


  • 15 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of almond oil or mineral oil 
  • ¼ cup of water 

How to prepare

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on the skin and reapply every 6 hours. This mixture can also be sprayed in a room. 

3. Repellent with citronella

Natural repellent with citronella is made with this plant’s essential oil, which contains citronellal, citronellol and geraniol. These substances contain insecticide properties which protect against dengue, malaria and yellow fever mosquitos. 

This repellent lasts for up to 2 hours and can cause irritation in the eyes or on the skin. It should not be used by pregnant women, children or people with a history of high blood pressure.  


  • 5 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or sunflower seed oil 

How to prepare

Mix the ingredients and place in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the skin, particularly on skin most likely to be exposed to mosquitos, like the arms and legs. Avoid applying to the face, and be sure to wash your hands after applying to avoid accidental contact with the eyes, nose or mouth. 

Citronella can also be found in candles or essential oil diffusers to keep mosquitoes away. 

4. Repellent with lavender 

This repellent is made with lavender essential oil and can be safely used on babies over 2 months of age to prevent bug bites. 

This repellent is also soothing and hydrating for the skin and can last for up to 3 hours. It should not be used by pregnant women. 


  • 150mL of a moisturizing cream 
  • 1 tablespoon of lavender essential oil 

How to prepare

In a glass bowel, mix the cream with oil very well. Then pour into a clean and dry container and seal. Apply everyday to all areas that may be exposed to mosquitos.

5. Repellent with catnip

Catnip is a medicinal plant that contains nepetalactone, which is a component of catnip essential oil. It contains insecticide action against the Aedes aegypti mosquitos that cause dengue, Zika and Chikungunya, as well as malaria mosquitos. 

This natural mosquito repellent is made with catnip essential oil and can last for up to 7 hours. Catnip mosquito repellent should not be used on pregnant women or children. 


  • ½ teaspoon of catnip essential oil
  • 1 cup of almond oil 

How to prepare

Mix the ingredients and pour into a spray bottle. Spray it directly on the skin and spread it along the skin by rubbing. Then wash your hands thoroughly. 

Room repellents 

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Natural mosquito repellents can be sprayed throughout the room and areas where mosquitos can enter, like windows and doors. They can also be used inside electronic repellents to make them more efficient. 

Some great options for homemade, natural mosquito repellents include: 

1. Repellent with vinegar

Homemade repellent with vinegar is an easy, economical way to ward off dengue, Zika and Chikungunya mosquitos. It should only be used within a room and not applied to the body. 


  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup of water 

How to prepare

Mix the ingredients and pour into a spray bottle. Spray this solution on windows and doors

2. Mosquito repellent 

Another great natural repellent is to stick cloves into half of a lemon or orange. 

Cloves contain properties that irritate insects, and these properties become even more heightened when in contact with citric fruit. 


  • 10 g of cloves 
  • 1 orange or lemon 

How to prepare

Stick the cloves on the outer peel of the fruit and leave it in the room. To maximize the repellent effects, you can cut the orange or lemon and half and stick the cloves in the pulp. You can also squeeze the fruit gently to release the juices, which will have an even higher repellent action with the cloves.