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DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent 
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:48 am
Posts: 5
Post DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent
Hi there -

I want to make my own Mosquito and Tick Repellent using essential oils. A bunch of sites suggested using lemongrass, rose geranium, lavender and peppermint. I noticed there are different kinds of lemongrass and geranium. Which type of lemongrass and geranium is the most effective for bug sprays?

Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:43 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:51 pm
Posts: 164
Post Re: DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent
Hi Smiiley,

Lemongrass "citral" is best, as it is the lemony part that makes several oils effective: Citronella, Lemon Tea Tree, and Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Citraodora) for example.

Lemon Eucalyptus is pretty highly thought of, particularly if one doesn't care for the aroma of the classic Citronella. Use the 'standard' Geranium essential oil, Pelargonium graveolens.

Catnip is the single most potent essential oil to repel mosquitoes, 10-20x more powerful than DEET (depending on how one interprets the research). It also works for cockroaches - I don't know if that means ticks as well.

It seems for ticks, blends usually contain Cedarwood and Geranium essential oils. I'm actually not sure if the same formula for mosquitoes is optimal for ticks as well, but there's no harm in blending these oils together.

We've a post on the blog about making your own mosquito repellent:

I would look at blend #2 and add Cedarwood, perhaps instead of Peppermint.

So for a water-based spray addressing both ticks and mosquitoes, the recipe for 4 ounces could be:
(there are about 35 drops essential oil per ml)

2ml Catnip essential oil
5ml Geranium
5ml Lemon Eucalyptus
2ml Cedarwood

Use "Tween20" to emulsify the oils in water (so they stay mixed in). I use as little as possible - maybe 1ml per ounce, though some say to use as much Tween as the total amount of essential oil. I use less and just shake well before use.

Hope this helps! :D

Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:15 pm

Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:48 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent

I second all of ericcech's wonderful suggestions, and would only add that I use the variety of catnip which has the highest nepatalactone content (the active constituent that is so effective at deterring insects). It is the Canadian catnip (Nepeta cataria L., fam. Lamiaceae).

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini var. motia) is also noted for being an effective tick repellent, and I have had good results adding it to my blends.

Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:44 pm

Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:10 am
Posts: 10
Post Re: DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent
I use Catnip by itself for mosquito repelling and it works way better than Deet ever did. The only cons with this is that my cats can't stop rubbing themselves all over me when i wear it- :lol: - and I'd rather not smell like catnip. Not an offensive aroma, but not what i want to smell like.

I also wonder about an effective tick repellant, and if Catnip is as effective for this too. So far, I've yet to find any on me or anyone who's wearing Catnip - and I live in a heavily tick infested area. I'll continue to put Catnip to the test for this.

Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:24 am
Post ok
I'm away from home, but I will write you that I know a lot about this and then i write about it.

Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:52 am

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:32 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent
Catnip is a very powerful repellent that works wonders for repelling insects, but I don't love the aroma. I add a heavy dose of Geranium Asperum (which is much less expensive, highly effective as an insect repellent and really improves the fragrance). I modified the recipe for a spray from Ananda under the Catnip profile that calls for blending 1 cup of vodka or rubbing alcohol, 1 cup of water and 44 drops of catnip oil. I added 88 drops of Geranium Asperum. This smells good enough to spray on body, clothing and bedding and IT WORKS!

Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:26 pm

Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:52 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent
Can the person who used the catnip and floral fragrance please post the percentages? My grandson has a terrible time with bugs, they love him.

Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:56 pm

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:32 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent
Hi Suzy,

I'm no expert, but I used about 3% Catnip and 6% Geranium. I tend to go a bit heavier on my percentages, so you might want to try 2% Catnip and 4% Geranium and see how that works.

I would also recommend you try the new blend from Ananda called Catnip BugBeGone. It has the same ingredients blended with spring water and a little "tween" (that keeps the oils and water blended). This can be sprayed on clothing, skin (avoid eyes), bedding and other surfaces. It comes in 2 ounce and 4 ounce sizes in a blue glass bottle with spray top. There is also a larger refill bottle available. I'm sure Ananda's percentages are "just right". I've tried theirs, and it's great! It's listed under Essential Oil Blends under the "Sprays" section.

Good luck keeping the bugs away!



Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:26 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:51 pm
Posts: 164
Post Re: DIY Mosquito and Tick repllent
Hi LJ,

What are you looking for? Instructions to make the blend? It's really simple -- I wish we had time to shoot a video for it. Just get a 2 ounce empty bottle with a spray top, add 3ml each of Catnip and Geranium, or 2ml each Catnip, Geranium, and Lemon Eucalyptus, then 1ml "Tween" (on the bottles page), fill the rest with water, shake, and there you go!

There's really lots of insect repellent recipes -- this one is very straightforward and effective. Email if you'd like some more help :)


Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:00 pm
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