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Lavender Insect Repellent Recipe

Updated on July 26, 2016
A little flower with so many uses and benefits.
A little flower with so many uses and benefits. | Source

Mosquito Up Close and Personal

 mosquitoes carry disease and are small but deadly insects. there are over 2500 species of mosquitoes with over 150 different ones in USA alone.
mosquitoes carry disease and are small but deadly insects. there are over 2500 species of mosquitoes with over 150 different ones in USA alone. | Source

Once Bitten . . . Twice Shy ~

I wish I had known how easy and effective Lavender was to incorporate into my own insect repellent when travelling to Turkey. Mosquitoes had never bothered me abroad, obviously favouring the paler skins of my fellow countrymen and women from the hideous welts, lumps and red sores they had visibly been left with after an attack of the dreaded mosquito.

On holiday in Alanya,Turkey one summer, I awoke one morning to find I could not open my right eye. Panicking, I looked in the mirror to find my eye completely swollen, red and looking like I had just gone ten rounds with Muhammad Ali. After a visit to the doctor I was told it was a severe mosquito bite and I was given cortisone and antihistamine tablets.

The following year I returned to Alanya to see friends and was armed with my deet insect repellent to ward off “Morris the Mosquito” returning. Alas, to no avail. Morris hunted me down and attacked the same eye as before, leaving me once again at the mercy of drugs and dark sunglasses.

Growing Lavender

lavender is widely used today as an essential oil, infused oil, dried, fresh and in tea.
lavender is widely used today as an essential oil, infused oil, dried, fresh and in tea. | Source

The Herb To Grow ~

On my quest to find natural alternatives to beauty and cosmetic products, natural insect repellents were a must. Having sold many branded insect repellents for an outdoor leisure retailer, I certainly questioned the high price tags, chemical ingredients and effectiveness in warding off insect bites.

Lavender is a plant I grew up with and have loved for many years. Growing Lavender in our garden, the wafting smell was one we all grew to love and looked forward to from spring through summer.

Dried Lavender flowers were used inside our wardrobes by my mother to ward off moths and the scent was heavenly. This flowering herb is one of the most widely used essential oils in aromatherapy and has medicinal, culinary and beauty uses with therapeutic benefits when used dried, fresh or infused with oil.

Make A Natural Insect Repellent

use your fresh kitchen herbs for home treatments and remedies including insect repellents. Any from the mint family are highly effective.
use your fresh kitchen herbs for home treatments and remedies including insect repellents. Any from the mint family are highly effective. | Source

Why not to use Deet ~

Deet (chemical name N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is a chemical found in a high percentage of commercial insect repellents, particularly the mosquito repellents. Known to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects such as ticks, it is an active ingredient highly sought after by the consumer. Whilst it is approved for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are a number of reasons why not to use it.

Deet has been found to cause blistering, redness to the skin when applied and is an eye irritant. According to the EPA it has been linked to neurological disorders in children and even been directly linked to two cases of deaths in adults.

Deet is also toxic to wildlife, in particular birds and aquatic life when used as a pest control product.

List of Best Natural Bug Repellents ~

  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • Clove Oil
  • Citronella (Rose Geranium)
  • Basil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Catnip
  • Mint
  • Castor Oil
  • Cedar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Geranium Oil

Lavender Benefits ~

  • Insect Repellent
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Relieves Stress
  • Antiseptic
  • Head Lice
  • Scalp Infections
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Acne
  • Rheumatism
  • Mouthwash
  • Analgesic Properties
  • Floor Cleaner
  • Restlessness

Lavender Flowers Lavender Colors

growing wild is where lavender originated and is native to the dry hot Mediterranean countries.
growing wild is where lavender originated and is native to the dry hot Mediterranean countries. | Source

Making Insect Repellent ~

Making your own insect repellent at home is very easy and can be changed depending on what ingredients you have available. With bugs such as mosquitoes, horseflies, ticks, flies and dog fleas abounding here are my favourites to make that are cost effective, safe to use on children and are effective against Insects.

Word of Caution – Do not use if you have a known or suspected allergy to any of the ingredients, particularly the essential oils. These should never to be ingested and always consult a doctor for medical advice before using with a known medical condition.

Say Goodbye To Insect Bites

lavender is a key ingredient for homemade repellents that you can make easily and carry with you as a bug spray.
lavender is a key ingredient for homemade repellents that you can make easily and carry with you as a bug spray. | Source

Super Strong Insect Repellent ~

This bug zapper is seriously strong smelling when first applied but will disappear once dry on the skin. It is both antiviral and antibacterial. Ideal for walking in large infested woods or near water, it is also great for Morris mosquito attacks!

Ingredients:

1 large clean glass jar with lid

32 oz apple cider vinegar

2-3 tbsp of dried lavender, mint, rosemary, thyme and sage (12-15 tbsp total)

Method:

  • Pour the apple cider vinegar into the glass jar.
  • Add the dried herbs and give a good stir.
  • Screw on lid tightly and leave in the kitchen where you will see it.
  • Leave for 3 weeks, shaking the mixture daily to get the herbs infusing with the vinegar.
  • After 3 weeks, strain out the herbs. You will need another jar or a mixing bowl will work fine.
  • Pour your infused repellent into the glass jar and pop into the fridge until you need it.
  • To use the repellent take a clean spray bottle (easily purchased in drug stores, pharmacies and dollar stores) and have half water half vinegar. Give a good shake and your set! Keep the main jar in the fridge until you need to make it up.
  • Every time you need to replenish, add half vinegar with half water.

Aromatic Bug Zapper Spray ~


A wonderful fragrant repellent you can mix to your own liking. If a stronger scent is required, add more essential oil.

Ingredients:

4 oz (120 ml) witch hazel

4 oz (120 ml) boiled water (or distilled water may be used)

Essential oils – choose 1 or a mixture of as many as you like from lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, mint, cinnamon, rosemary, clove, catnip, cedar and tea tree.

1 spray bottle (8 oz size)

½ tsp vegetable glycerine (optional)

Method:

  • Fill the spray bottle with your witch hazel and then to near the top with your water.
  • Add glycerine if using.
  • Add 40-50 drops of essential oil or a mixture out of the suggested list.
  • Shake well to mix and your ready to go!

Ideas and Tips ~

  1. Rub lavender oil or even lavender flowers on your pulse points of the body which are also the hot spots. Include under arms, behind ears, neck and on the inner arm area behind the elbow to repel insects.
  2. The mint family of herbs is excellent as an insect repellent so even rub the fresh or dried leaves on the body as another natural repellent.
  3. Basil is also said to be a great bug repellent so make sure you have that in your garden growing or in a container planted up.
  4. Vanilla Extract may be used directly onto the skin as a bug deterrent or you can mix it with witch hazel and water for a spray version to carry around.
  5. The above insect repellents are safe to spray on your dogs if they get bitten when out in woods or bug infested areas and get bitten by mosquitoes or horse flies. Some people spray dog collars and it works wonders at keeping your pets bite free.
  6. White vinegar rubbed into the skin has proven successful for keeping mosquitoes, gnats and fleas away.
  7. Dried and fresh herbs may also be used in homemade insect repellents if you don’t have essential oils or would prefer not to use them.
  8. Dried lavender in sachets or in bunches are great deterrents against moths in the closet or wardrobe.

Have you made your own insect repellent before?

See results

Lavender Insect Repellent Recipe Comments

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your sense of humor, Suzie! The poll was priceless my dear! Thank you so much for highlighting our products. That is so kind of you; when I have enough money for an agent I'm flying you across the Pond to do your magic for me. :)

      love and hugs,

      bill

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      LOL, Delighted you checked this out - it had to be done, the poll salute to my ultimate follower of all things girlie!!! LOL. Only joking you are a massive follower of all subjects and are an incredible support to us writers here. Glad you are enjoying my humour, it escapes every so often, well I am Irish, what more can I say??

      Your more than welcome with the link, I love your sachets in the ladybird theme, soooo cute and cool.

      Jewelry has been my biggest weakness and your lavender range is so unique I love it!!

      Looking forward to receiving that ticket across the pond, in fact I am packing as I write, multi tasking don't you know!!! Thanks so much Bill for your continued wit, humour and generosity :-)

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      Another great hub on the amazing lavender and other great plants to repel insects.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      Lovely to see you again. Many thanks for your interest here in lavender which I know you love! Do try these out sometime, if you get a chance, they are the business! Appreciate your comments Mary. :-)

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Suzie. This is great. Wish I knew all of this years ago. Mosquitoes can be very bad here in New England and we are constantly battling them in the summer months. I did not know that basil and white vinegar make great repellants also. Great info. I will share this one everywhere!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Great to have you stop by. Those Mosquitoes are a nasty little insect that seems to get everywhere with warm climates.We found them quit rampant in Italy so needed to be armed to the max! Glad you learnt a few titbits of info and thanks so much for sharing on!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      When we lived in the North up near Ecuador, the mosquitoes were voracious and jumbo-sized. They hardly took notice of my husband but they flew for miles just to sample my blood. : ) I wish I'd had this recipe back then! Deet is terrible stuff and I refuse to use it. I've tried citronella with limited success, but I will definitely try this one next chance I have. I didn't realize mint is an insect repellant! And castor oil? Fascinating! I love your intro paragraph. Another great hub!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Vespa,

      Many thanks for checking this out. northern mosquitoes sound a nightmare!! Mint, indeed any of the mint family herbs are good to use. No doubt you will have a few growing at your place for use in the kitchen! Appreciate your comments as always, hope you find this works well against "Morrises Cousins down South America way" !! :-)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Interesting and voted up. I am all for these healthier bug deterrents. I hate spraying myself and my daughter with harsh chemicals. We will also smell good too. Pinned and shared too!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is awesome! I really hate using the chemical insect repellants. I love the fresh herbs and lavender ideas. These are much better ideas! Pinning this so I will have it where I can find it easily and it deserves the share too! Voted up and useful! :)

    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 4 years ago from Oregon

      Wonderful hub, I grow lavender and always look for ways to use it, the insect repellent is a great addition to my natural remedies notebook, thank you!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Extremely useful!! We need to follow nature's way as much as we can.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Our beloved lavender! You have done a glorious job of extolling the bug repellent properties of Lavender...lots of information and great recipes for repellents and the uses of lavender were surprising, we can't go wrong...thanks for this!

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting!!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan!

      Thanks very much for the votes, shares and pins! Delighted you enjoyed this much! Hopefully you will find it much better than the chemical versions. Appreciate all your support.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is really good information to have on making natural insect repellent. I am printing it off to try this summer. I do agree that DEET is a risk and should be avoided, especially with children. Voted up.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Simply a super look at valuable, beautiful, and fabulously fragrant lavender in a really well done hub. Thanks for the repellent recipe!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

      I love lavender and it's one my my most treasured herbs in my garden. Very nicely researched hub and well presented. Thanks for sharing all tips!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi sg!

      Many thanks for visiting and great comments! Truly appreciate them. I hope you get to use these out when you need the repellents. Appreciate you voting, sharing and pinning!! :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Margarita,

      Great to hear you grow this wonderful herb. So many great ways to use it, hopefully you will find the insect repellent useful in your part of the world or when travelling. Many thanks for dropping by, always good to see you!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Paradise7,

      Very grateful for your visit and positive comment, agree 100% we should look to nature and natural as much as possible!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi tillsontitan,

      Thanks so much for your lovely comments! Delighted you enjoyed this so much and much appreciate your votes! Congrats on the AP, well deserved and I am sure you will enjoy the program :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi teaches,

      Great to see you, very happy to know you found it interesting and useful. Hope it works a treat come summer time against the bugs. Many thanks for your votes, always welcome my friend :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi RTalloni,

      Another fan of fabulous Lavender I see! Appreciate your lovely comments, thanks so much!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kris,

      Lovely to have you stop by. Glad to see you are a fellow fan of wonderful Lavender!! Appreciate your kind words, many thanks :-)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love the scent of lavender. How wonderful to find out that it can rrepel my nemasis the mosquito. Thanks so much for sharing this information.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi KoffeeKlatch Gals,

      A great all purpose herb is lavender and after my run in with "Morris" hopefully he will be a distant memory now! So hard to find a natural effective repellent but lavender will do it for you now! Many thanks for your great comments and interest!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I love lavender, so this would be a fun thing to make. I have all of the ingredients to make the "bug zapper spray", so I'll start with that first. Someday I want to try the "Super Strong Bug Repellant", as well.

      I like the tips you included, as well as the general information about lavender and Zeet. I also think it's cool that you included a link to Bill's lavender merchandise! I will be revisiting it soon. Have a great weekend, Suzie!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Glad to see you are a fan too of wonderful Lavender. It is one oil if you only have one this is it. It is so useful and gorgeous there is hardly a thing it will do! Stay tuned as I wanted to do a body wash recipe and just wanted to decide on fragrance and now I have thanks to you and another hubber friend who mentioned an oil that is so gorgeous too so I have my combo now! Lavender and . . . . .the mystery ingredient!!! many thanks for your great support, really does spur me on, Bill's lavender is so lovely well worth popping over to see!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Yes! Now I'm excited for the body wash one! I haven't been using my body wash, because sometimes using it gives me a headache. I use a bar of semi-natural almond scented soap lately, and would love to make my own body wash :) I have plenty of lavender essential oil, so I'm partway there!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Yep, just a few other ingredients and your sorted!! Thanks for the vote of confidence on it!

    • kansasyarn profile image

      Teresa Sanderson 4 years ago from Rural Midwest

      Excellent hub! I was out in the woods hunting morel mushrooms yesterday and tried my first lavender oil repellent. It worked great! I am looking forward to trying the "Super Strong Insect Repellent" and sharing the recipe with my children. Voted up, useful and shared!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi kansasyarn,

      Many thanks for your comments! Great to hear your morel mushroom hunting trip was bug free! Lavender is such a great ingredient and a fragrance I love to have in different forms. Hope your summer will remain free of insect bites and nasties for you and the family! Appreciate your feedback, votes and share!!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      We love our lavender growing in the garden. It gives a lovely scent to any room, drawer or closet. I thoroughly enjoyed this hub and learning about the different ways to repel insects. Will share ad lots of votes!

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 4 years ago from all over the web

      very good source of a herbal remedy for such a common complaint this time of year. thanks for sharing wonderful info

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vocal lady!!

      Thank you so very much for checking this out, I miss my lavender and cannot wait till we have it growing in Italy! I really love it and cannot say enough good things about it on any level!! Insect repellent is so useful this time of the year and for the next 5 months or so for many of us and lavender works really well without the chemical nasties. Thanks so much for votes and shares!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi smcopywrite,

      Welcome and thanks for visit and commenting. So good to hear you found this useful and beneficial. Hope you get to give it a go sometime.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I made the aromatic kind over the weekend, and I will bring it with me when I plan to go outdoors. I love the scent of lavender!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Delighted to hear you made up the aromatic version and it is awaiting a trial run in great outdoors! Appreciate you trying it out, it feels great knowing you made it! Many thanks my friend your support and enthusiasm means a great deal.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      This is really awesome! I love lavender and enjoy finding non-chemical insect repellent alternatives.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Natasha,

      Many thanks for checking this out, Lavender is one ingredient (essential oil or dried buds) that has a million useful reasons to have it at home. Appreciate your interest!

    • Stephanie7889 profile image

      Stephanie Constantino 3 years ago from Fountain, CO

      Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been stressing because my daughter has such sensitive skin, and most bug repellants give her a rash. This is so helpful and such a relief! Thanks! I'm totally sharing this article on my pinterest!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Thanks Stephanie7889,

      I hope you find this works well for your daughter. Often the chemicals in commercial brands cause skin rashes, allergies or reactions. Appreciate you taking time to comment, share and pin!

    • JessBraz profile image

      JessBraz 3 years ago from Canada

      OOohhhh.. I LOVE this hub! I'm starting to get a little stir crazy from this super long winter we've had and I've been on a crazy camping/pinning spree lately.. Getting all psyched up for the summer! I camp a lot during the summer. I hate being attacked by mosquito's. I feel like I always end up getting bitten more than anyone else with me. They seem to really like my blood. I also hate wearing a lot of bug spray. It makes your skin feel so gross and the smell of it is so strong . I have been looking for natural ways to make my own bug spray and citronella candles for the camp site this summer. I am definitely pinning this to my DIY Camping board on pinterest so I can use the recipe once Morris the Mosquito decides to make his appearance this summer! :D

      Cheers!

      Voted up!

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