Ten Natural Insect Repellent Solutions

| Modified on May 05, 2021
Art Solbrig Repellent
Posted by Art (California) on 06/21/2020 2139 posts

Now that Summer has arrived and we may be spending more time outdoors, I make a mix of vodka and clove oil and put it in a small two ounce spray bottle that I can carry in my pocket to act as an insect repellent. It probably isn't as strong as commercial products, but it is probably much safer than some. I don't mind the smell of clove essential oil so this is fine for me. If I want to boost the repellent effect, I might add some peppermint essential oil to the mix. I use about 15 drops of clove oil per ounce of vodka. If I am going to add peppermint oil, I will just add 5 drops per ounce to the clove mix. This mix can also deter ants.

I make a similar mix using cinnamon and/or peppermint essential oil as an ant deterrent that I spray on food prep areas regularly until ants no longer appear.

A 50% saturated solution of borax will kill ants. I make a saturated solution then dilute it further with an equal amount of water and spray ants with this mix, which they then take back to the colony. If you make the solution too strong, the ants may not make it back to the colony.


Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Julia (Texas) on 03/13/2018

Although diatomaceous earth does not work while wet, it will work once again once it dries. Our use is to keep roaches out as I live in the south. I mix it with water and spray it all around my kitchen. Once a dries it works again and I have no roaches. Also use it on my pets. I have seven dogs.

Oregano Oil
Posted by Myway (Usa) on 06/25/2016

In an effort to ward off biting insects while gardening, I mixed 1 drop of oil of oregano and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, spread over arms, neck and legs. Not one bite while pulling weeds for a couple hours.

B Vitamins
Posted by Hercy (Brownwood, Texas, Usa) on 07/19/2013

B12 Liquid Sublingual formula with B2, B3, B5, B6 works for me. The first few days a renegade mosquito would go ahead & bite... by the forth day, was free of bites. By night, I required another dose, so the B12 formula only lasts about 8 hours on me. Note: A drop of the Liquid B12 formula applied directly to a mosquito bite will give immediate relief.

Geranium Oil
Posted by Mama To Many (Middle, Tennessee, Usa) on 04/19/2013

My four year old reacts badly to insect bites and we are surrounded by tick infested woods! He had a very bad reaction to a tick bite on the inside of his upper thigh. Under the bite there was a hard knot that was jelly bean size. The lymph nodes nearby were swollen and redness extended in a circle around the bit and down his leg for six inches. I alternated organic peppermint essential oil and organic lavender essential oil neat (not diluted) every couple of hours the first day. It was hugely improved by the next day. I continued several times a day for another day. Now it is about gone and the gland swelling is reducing and I am treating it morning and night. I am giving him garlic throughout the day for a natural antibiotic just in case and will continue that for two weeks and maybe all through tick season.

Cedar essential oil and geranium essential oil, mixed with other oil is a good tick repellent. Last summer I put 2 cups of water and 20 drops of geranium in a spray bottle. We would spray children before they went outside. (It won't last all day, unfortunately. ) It really helped. My son sprayed his body and upper legs but not his shoes and socks. He stepped into a deer tick nest and had 100 ticks crawling all over his legs, but none went up past the sock line.

Thyme essential oil will kill a tick that is on you. One drop. (Lavender is safer, but slower for small children since thyme is very strong.)

Last summer my teenage son had a whole bunch (maybe 30?) of tick bites on a leg (he didn't spray! ) They became pimple like with white heads and the leg was red. I used charcoal poultices and chamomile poultices on the leg and it helped very quickly. I would mix either with warm water and wrap in a paper towel or cloth and attach to the leg with plastic wrap and then masking tape. I would use charcoal on the leg overnight. This worked very well to heal the leg.

Brewer's Yeast
Posted by Jholl (Louisville, Kentucky) on 03/28/2012 27 posts

I went canoeing with a friend on a river. We were attacked by these black flies. They bit her numerous times and completely stayed away from me. I had been taking probably 5-6 tablets of brewer's yeast tablets for about a week prior to the trip. I later learned they are a great source of b vitamins. In any case, I felt very bad for my friend. But, it sure worked for me. I do not know how well it works for other insects. I have been told it puts off an odor that insects detest.

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Jacquelynna (Cincinnati, Oh) on 03/28/2012

@Angie, I know it has been awhile since your post but I wanted to throw in my two cents and say that in my experience the size of the bug is not important. A few years ago I lived in an old apartment surrounded by lots of foliage, and the space underneath the front door was literally at least an inch and a half (letting in all sorts of bugs! ) I literally dusted a thin line of DE across the carpet there, and after that, the only time I saw bugs inside, they were dead. Which yes, was pretty gross, but better than having them crawl around. Good luck.

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Angie (Chesterfield, Va, Chesterfield) on 10/02/2010

I have recently moved into a house surrounded by lots of woods and we have had a lot of trouble with really big roaches - they don't get into food or anything, just come in the bathroom and near sinks - someone told me if they are that big diatomaceous earth is not effective - they are about 4-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Anyone have any experience w/ this?

Posted by Jim (Anna, Tx, Usa) on 03/28/2011

Chlorophyll will keep mosquitos and other bugs away. I have found that by taking a small amount of liquid chlorophyll ( 1/2 tsp ) or a capsule or two that mosquitos are no longer a problem. That applies to most mosquitos. About 3 yrs. ago we had a rare strain in Texas that it would not keep off. By taking the chlorophyll we have no problem when fishing or sitting outside in the evening. It even worked in Minnesota on a fishing trip. It also helps with body odor and that is a plus in the hot summers around here. It takes 2 or 3 days to get built up enough in the system, so use your bug spray until then.

Lemon Oil
Posted by Anaïs (Paris, France) on 06/06/2010

Another essential oil against insects: lemon oil is a great ant repellant. I make a line dropping it in front of our garden door once a month, and they stay away!

Geranium Oil
Posted by Sp (Nashville, Tn) on 06/04/2010

I read that Geranium essential oil is a good to repel mosquitoes.

I tried this out and it really works! It also smells good. In the summertime, I always get eaten by these blood suckers and hate spraying chemical on myself. I cup my hand and filled it with water and mix in a drop or 2 of the Geranium essential oil. Rub it on my arms/legs/neck. You can buy Geranium oil at a health food store.

Posted by April (Memphis, Tn) on 07/15/2009


Posted by Judy (Concord, NH) on 06/02/2005

My husband and I use garlic in just about everything we eat. We have just started juicing (vegetables) and have found that garlic helps to tolerate the taste better. Also my husband works outdoors and he is finding that he is being less bothered by black flies and other nagging insects. Also for you dog lovers.... we crush about 4 or 5 garlic cloves and boil them in approximately 1 gallon of water. You strain and let cool down. Then put in a spray bottle and lightly spray your dog (as often as needed. Helps keep fleas and ticks away. In a more concentrated form, works great as a flea dip. I'm thinking that whereas garlic has antifungal and antiviral properties, it would also be great for animals with ear problems...ie yeast infections etc. If anybody has any input on that, I'd be very interested. I also want to say that my husband has slightly high blood pressure as well as his cholesterol levels are high. At the end of june he gets retested, and if he has been able to lower those, we will owe his success to garlic and of course a healthier diet. Hope my input helps someone out there.

Posted by Shirley (Missouri) on 04/02/2008

A simple mosquito repellant 'Get a large bottle of Listerine, pour into a 4-ounce spray bottle and use around areas outside. It works great and it's safe. It kills them instantly and will last a couple of days. Spray around food tables, play areas, standing water, anywhere you will be working or playing outside. Spray around door & window frames. Don't spray directly onto wood doors but do spray the frame around the door. This would also be a good thing to add to survival kits.