This simple homemade insect repellent for kids takes the worry out of finding a safe bug spray. Grab just a few ingredients and whip up a batch!
Our family spends a ton of time outside. We participate in the 1000 hours outside challenge and love that it pushes us to spend less time in front of the tv and more time outside. But, the one thing that can really be a deterrent to getting outside is all of the annoying bugs!
I am one of those people that mosquitos love! While my husband can be outside for hours with literally no bites at all, I get multiple bites within minutes of being outside. Several of my kids are this way too. Did you know that mosquitos are more attracted to certain blood types??
As a mom of 4, it is important to me to find non-toxic alternatives, especially for something like insect repellent that we apply multiple times a day all summer long. Because of this, I decided to make my own insect repellent with ingredients that I knew were safe. Essential oils are a safe option for all ages, and the recipe can be altered depending on your specific needs. I have tried several different recipes out and came up with a combination that works amazing!
Best Mosquito Repellent
If you do a quick search, there are many plants you can keep in your backyard that keep mosquitos away. So, if you hang out in the same area a lot, consider grabbing a few plants and placing them in pots around your yard. But, if you are like my family and go exploring and hiking a lot, this homemade insect repellent is the perfect on the go option.
There are actually quite a few options of essential oils you can use to make your own homemade insect repellent. Use what you have and grab a few more if you need them. Don’t have any? Don’t worry. I’ll include a link to grab some later.
Essential Oils to Repel Mosquitos:
- Purification (a blend of Lemongrass and several other essential oils)
Best Tick Repellent
Another insect that is a main concern to keep away is ticks. They are nasty, disease carrying critters that I could do without. But since I don’t have that option, adding essential oils to my homemade insect repellent that keep away ticks is the best I can do.
Story time. When I was pregnant with my third, my husband found a tick attached on his body while taking a shower. He removed it and didn’t think anything of it. About a week later, he began to experience extreme fatigue and muscle weakness that affected his ability to do his job. As a woodworker and customer furniture builder, being alert and strong are assets you don’t want to be without…
Thankfully, we remembered to mention the tick when he went to a clinic, and they tested for typical diseases that ticks carry. My “lucky” husband managed to catch a very rare disease called Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever and was prescribed an antibiotic. All of this happened days before the birth of our son, and as a result my husband looked rough during my labor and delivery! And might even have got as much attention as I did…
All of this to say, we don’t play around when it comes to ticks. Therefore, I always add at least one essential oil to my homemade insect repellent that repels ticks. The 2 essential oils that are the most effective at repelling ticks are Cedarwood and Palo Santo. Ticks do not like the scent of either Cedarwood or Palo Santo, which are both types of trees. (Isn’t it so cool to be able to use things from nature!?)
How to Make a Simple Homemade Insect Repellent for Kids
This is a great insect repellent to use for all ages. I make up one bottle and use it for the entire family. If your kids are two or younger, feel free to make a separate bottle and use half as much essential oils.
Homemade Insect Repellent Ingredients:
- Fine mist spray bottle, 10 oz.
- Alcohol-free witch hazel
- Citronella essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Palo Santo and/or Cedarwood essential oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
Homemade Insect Repellent Instructions:
To start, grab your spray bottle and fill it halfway with alcohol-free witch hazel.
Next, add your essential oils. 15 drops of Citronella and 8 drops each of all the rest of your essential oils (Lemongrass, Palo Santo and/or Cedarwood, Lavender, and Peppermint if you follow this recipe exactly).
Now, fill your spray bottle the rest of the way with water.
Finally, shake to mix the ingredients together. Make sure to shake each time before application as the ingredients will separate while not in use.
Note: Depending on the size of your spray bottle, the number of drops needs to be adjusted. This recipe is for a 10 oz spray bottle with 47 total drops of essential oils.
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How to Use Your Homemade Insect Repellent
Keep it simple and leave your homemade insect repellent near your most often used exit. Give it a good shake and apply it outside to avoid slippery floors. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra bottle of your homemade insect repellent in your bag or backpack that you take with you to go on adventures and hiking. That way you don’t have to remember to grab your one from home every time you go somewhere.
Spray the insect repellent on exposed skin (avoiding the face) and on clothing. I also like to spray a small amount on my hand and rub across my kid’s foreheads since that is a common place they are bit. Reapply every couple of hours. You can also give a quick mist to your clothes for added protection. The essential oils in this recipe will not stain them.
Note: If you have kids under the age of 3, cut the number of essential oils you drop into the spray bottle in half to make it safer for their more sensitive skin.
More Posts to Check Out:
- Another perfect summer diy. Make your own hair detangler.
- Why do we spend so much time outside? Check it out HERE.
- How to Build a Refillable First Aid Kit
- Bug Bite Relief
- Outdoor Essentials for Nature Exploring
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure HERE.
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- Fine mist spray bottle
- Travel spray bottle
- Alcohol-free witch hazel
- Essential oils for insect repellent
Simple Homemade Insect Repellent for Kids
- fine mist spray bottle 10 oz
- 5 oz witch hazel alcohol-free
- 15 drops Citronella essential oil
- 8 drops Lemongrass essential oil
- 8 drops Palo Santo and/or Cedarwood essential oil
- 8 drops Lavender essential oil
- 8 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 5 oz water
- Fill your spray bottle halfway with alcohol-free witch hazel, about 5 oz
- Add 15 drops of Citronella essential oil
- Add 8 drops of the rest of your essential oils
- Fill the rest of the way with water, about 5 oz
- Shake to mix before each application