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Insect-Repelling Essential Oils

Blend these oils at home to concoct an effective, all-natural bug spray that deters mosquitoes, ticks, lice, and fleas.

| June/July 2017

  • Fleas seem to be repelled by orange scents.
    Photo by istock/YelenaYemchuk

Different insects are repelled by different ingredients. You can make your own natural repellent by diluting essential oils in alcohol, witch hazel, or a gentle vegetable oil, such as almond, sunflower, or jojoba. If it’s your first time using one of the essential oils listed below, test a small amount of the finished recipe on the back of your hand before applying elsewhere.

Yield: 2 ounces


  • 1/4 cup alcohol, witch hazel, or oil 
  • 10 to 20 drops selected essential oil:
    Cinnamon repels mosquitoes
    Eucalyptus repels mosquitoes, ticks, and lice
    Citronella repels mosquitoes, flies
    Orange repels fleas
    Geranium repels mosquitoes, ticks, and lice


Combine ingredients and pour into a clean, dry container. To use, spray or dab onto your exposed skin or clothing.

Find more helpful recipes in Natural Insect Repellents.




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