DIY: Herbal Mosquito Repellents

Herbal Summer Sprays for bugs and sun!


Summer is here and with it the irresistible urge to bask in outdoor glory. We want to feel the warm earth on our feet and sun-rays on our shoulders. We go on camping trips, forest hikes, long bike rides, and enjoy berry picking, barbecues, picnics, and live music.

Until the buzzing begins…




Keep those pesky blood suckers away and enjoy your time outside with these two totally natural herbal mosquito repellent formulasThe first recipe is a flower water-based spray and the second recipe uses oil for a longer lasting solution. Both contain Catnip ingredients since the essential oil found in Catnip can actually be just as effective as commercial chemical repellents, without the nasty side effects from toxins like DEET. If you’ve got fresh Catnip growing in the garden, you can use a high alcohol tincture instead of the hydrosol. Pure grain alcohol (95%) will totally dehydrate the Catnip, extracting the oils in about a week. I’ve also included my Sunburn Spray formula, since it’s wonderful astringency can be used on bites to help stop itch and swelling.    


Summer Repellent Spray


8oz organic Catnip hydrosol

20 drops organic Cedarwood essential oil

20 drops organic Lavender essential oil

10 drops organic Lemongrass essential oil

10 drops organic Lemon essential oil


Slowly drip each essential oil into the hydrosol, counting with care as you go. Mix all ingredients in the bottle by shaking vigorously. Shake well before each use and reapply as often as needed.


Summer Repellent Oil


8oz organic jojoba oil or almond oil or sunflower oil

10 drops organic Catnip essential oil

10 drops organic Eucalyptus Essential Oil

10 drops organic Lavender Essential Oil

5 drops organic Rosemary Essential Oil


Slowly drip each essential oil into the oil, counting with care as you go. Mix all ingredients in the bottle by rolling the bottle between the palms of your hands. Shake as well as possible before each use and reapply as often as needed.


Sunburn Relief Spray

Not just for sunburns, this spray will also help ease the itchiness of bug bites. The antioxidant and astringent power of green tea paired with the burn-soothing abilities of cleavers makes this the perfect formula for sunburns too. The cooling nature of peppermint adds a comforting sensation.


4oz organic Peppermint hydrosol

2oz organic Green Tea, brewed

2oz organic Cleavers tincture

3 drops organic Peppermint essential oil


Pour all of the ingredients into a glass spray bottle. Shake well before each use and store in the cooler for an extra refreshing chill.


Have a happy bug-free summer!


10 Responses to “DIY: Herbal Mosquito Repellents”

  1. avatar JessieB says:

    I love the DIY bug repellant. I make my own & have for some time. It worked great for mosquitos– but there’s one thing I want to suggest to help keep away biting flies and sandflies. I had used a very similar recipe but in my herbal travels I got an excellent suggestion that worked against flies– patchouli. The catnip & eucalyptus weren’t enough against flies. I also used to use an almond and olive oil base on its own. But now I make infusions of catnip and patchouli– letting them steep for a month or longer– and use that as well. It makes a really potent insect repellant and adding the almond or jojoba oil makes it moisturizing, and lasts a good long time. Thanks for the recipe.

    • avatar mom2louisnchloe says:

      When you make the catnip and patchouli infusions, how much of each do you use and what are you infusing it in?

  2. [...] The Mountain Rose Blog offers a few excellent recipes on making your own Herbal Mosquito Repellant. [...]

  3. avatar greenthyme says:

    I’m surprised the Sunburn Relief Spray doesn’t have lavender EO in it. Would adding lavender to the mix be ok?

  4. avatar mom2louisnchloe says:

    Is there anything that will work for ants as well? Our backyard is FILLED with ant hills, and when the kids play outside, they always end up with bites on their legs.

    • avatar Erin says:

      Hello there,
      That’s a good question! I’m not sure how this formula will work against ants. Worth a shot though! I have heard that cinnamon and borax powder work well. I hope you find a good solution!

  5. […] some great information on the post by Andrea over at Frugally Sustainable.  And I decided to give this recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs a […]

  6. avatar nd4w says:

    for the Summer Repellent Spray do you make it in a 8oz glass bottle with mister that you sell?

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