Chances are if you live in Minnesota or you have even visited the state you have seen the funny signs and t-shirts that display a large mosquito and says “Minnesota State Bird” (seriously though, our state bird is the Loon.) But being bit up by mosquitoes and gnats is not funny at all and neither is the amount of DEET or other chemicals used in most conventional insect repellents.
Many people can experience serious side effects from prolonged heavy use of DEET such as memory loss, headaches, joint problems, shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness, and muscle pain.
Why not give a natural homemade insect repellent a try and lessen your exposure? Even if you still use products containing DEET when you are going deep into the woods, you could consider using this natural product when you are having an evening BBQ in your backyard or are visiting a playground. You might find that it works as well or better than what you were previously using and make the switch altogether.
Homemade Natural Insect Repellent Recipe
- ¼ C apple cider vinegar
- ¼ C isopropyl alcohol
- ¼ C water
- 50 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 50 drops citronella essential oil
- 50 drops lemon essential oil
- 75 drops lavender essential oil
Directions: Mix all items together in a spray bottle. Store in a cool, dry place. Shake before spraying on skin. Reapply about every 2 hours when using.
Investing in all those essential oils can be an upfront cost, but you can make the most of that purchase by using those essential oils in other recipes we’ve shared on Northern Cheapskate:
Or if you are not the DIY-type or do not have any essential oils, you could purchase a few of these DEET-Free versions that contain essential oils:
- Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent
- All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent
- California Baby Bug Repellent Spray
Now it’s your turn: How do you deal with pesky insects during the summer months?
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At our house we have a DEET free lemongrass spray, but we don’t use as often as we should because it’s so greasy. When we empty the bottle, I will be sure to try your recipe; We use several of your recipes and find them effective and budget friendly. Thanks for sharing.
Angela Addington says
I bet this smells wonderful and is effective. I’m going to try this and share it with a few friends. I don’t like most commercial sprays because of the greasy feeling and the smell.
I’ll have to give this one a try. The bugs are already attempting to eat us alive.
I think this is great. I’m always looking for ways to help reduce my families exposure to chemicals! Thanks for sharing!