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Anyone make their own insect repellant?
May 28, 2011
2:20 am
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Su-Su
New England
Banty
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Now that the mosquitos and biting bugs are out and doing their thing I was wondering if anyone had any homemade insect repellant recipes to share?

May 28, 2011
8:55 am
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langela
iowa
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I read somewhere that you can put plain listerine (or generic) in a spray bottle and use it as insect repellent. We don't really have any mosquitos here, so I've never tried it.

May 28, 2011
9:01 am
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tsmith
Arizona
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You can use plain white vinegar to repel mosquitos.  I tried it once and it did work.  Once it dries you don't smell.

May 28, 2011
9:20 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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I got some stuff a while back to make a homemade spray and haven't done it yet.  (Planning ot do a post.  When I get around to making it! I'll try to move that up on my to-do list.)

Clover made me do it.

May 28, 2011
11:29 am
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umstetter
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I’ve used the regular Listerine as bug repellant in an area where I was working with some Scouts. Worked very well. I know that if you “Snopes” it, they say it doesn’t work, but it did for me. Now the one instruction I had was to use just the plain Listerine or it’s generic equivalent, and not any of the “flavored” ones. I don’t know why that is as I haven’t tried anything else to see if it worked.

I didn’t spray this on the people, I sprayed it in the air around the perimeter where we were working. It was a grassy area at twilight, so that’s prime bug time. And the location was in Georgia in the summer (read hot, humid and buggy). So if it worked then and there, it should work everywhere. You do have to keep respraying it about every hour or so.

Oh, and it worked not only on mosquitoes, but on gnats and other pests too.

May 28, 2011
10:59 pm
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Miss HomeEcs Daughter
Central Texas
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I have a spray bottle of Listerene by the back door and spray it liberally on me (areas of exposed skin) and rub it in and spray some in my hands and rub it on my face and neck when I go out to mow or work in the yard. It works for me!  Oh and in the heat if there is even a slight breeze, it has a nice cooling effect.

May 28, 2011
11:46 pm
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pamplemousse
Tennessee
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I have a bottle of lavender insect repellent. Bought it from a woman who grew lavender and made lavender soaps and candles, etc. It works well. Not as well as the hardcore bug spray, but I'm not sure how to compare it to more natural sprays.

May 30, 2011
2:39 am
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Su-Su
New England
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I tried the Listerine while camping on Cape Cod.  There were a lot of mosquitos and gnats and it really didn't work well for us.  I found  a recipe online since I posted for 1 part lavender oil, 10 parts rubbing alcohol and 20 parts water.  I mixed and applied this and it seemed to help!  I did get a few bites but not as many as I normally would.  I also saw somewhere that eucalyptus oil was good for repelling insects.  I'll have to look into this more.  With natural repellant you need to apply more often than you would with deet or other chemicals.  Thank you for your replies! 

May 30, 2011
6:54 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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No mosquitoes here yet…but I'm going to try LemonGrass essential oil this year.  Catnip is also supposed to be 10 times better than deet.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

May 30, 2011
10:32 am
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cindi
Chesterville ON
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I just made some this week and while it *seems* to be working well so far, I'll need some more time (and mosquitoes) to tell for sure…

 

I used about 1/4c each of witch hazel & apple cider vinegar (unpasteurized…not sure if it makes a difference for this use) and a small glug of vodka.  To that, I added 4 or so drops each of lemongrass, eucalyptus, cedar and lavender essential oils.  I got bitten once or twice last night while we were outside, but didn't notice mosquitoes swarming around me like I would have expected.  We'll see how it works out in the long run…

 

The bites I did get haven't been bothersome, but I did read that a drop or two of lavender essential oil on 'skeeter bites was supposed to help take the itch out.

May 30, 2011
10:35 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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CindyP said:

No mosquitoes here yet…but I'm going to try LemonGrass essential oil this year.  Catnip is also supposed to be 10 times better than deet.

 

But what do you use to keep the cats away?

For mosquito repellent, I just get Citronella essential oil and put a few drops on a kerchief around my neck, or a drop or two on an out of the way place on my clothing or even some on my skin, but it's very strong and can irritate so if you have sensitive skin be careful.  I suppose mixing it with some alcohol or even water and spritzing it could work, but I've never done that.

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 30, 2011
10:41 am
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cindi
Chesterville ON
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I will add to my last post that I've noticed people on other forums saying that if you want to get bees to inhabit the new beehive you've made, you should put some lemongrass oil on it.  I suppose it's no coincidence that one of the 'new' honeybees (we agreed to let a local beekeeper set his hives up on our property, with payment in honey..woot!) was very interested in my legs, which had the insect repellant all over them. lol  Didn't take long for them to decide there wasn't anything edible there though. ;)

May 30, 2011
11:04 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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cindi, can you point me in the direction of those other forums…as that could help answer a question I had in another topic of getting bees to move from a tree in my neighbors yard…

and maybe then the LG EO wouldn't be such a good idea to try here for mosquitos!

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

May 30, 2011
11:30 am
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cindi
Chesterville ON
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Cindy, I'm pretty sure it was on the old forum that used to exist for followers of the Cold Antler Farm blog, but I'm having problems finding it now. Not sure if it's gone from existence now that there's a facebook group? sigh…

 

There are two other sites that we'd been looking into, when we were wanting to have our own bees, but they've kind of fallen by the wayside since we now have bees, but they're not ours. :-/

 

http://www.biobees.com

http://www.beesource.com 

 

Both sites have forums, though with our leaning being toward doing things 'naturally', we're fonder of the former.

May 31, 2011
12:52 pm
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JeannieB
Columbia, South Carolina
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I saw something on TV about putting a sprig of wax mytle in your pocket for sceeters, have not tried it, but I would love to have a couple in my yard for the fragrence.

Don't cry because it's over—smile because it happened!

June 2, 2011
12:48 pm
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langela
iowa
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Did you know there is a plant called a mosquito plant? It's a citronella-type plant, maybe a geranium, that has pretty flowers and smells like citronella/ citrus. My husband loves the smell, so do I. I would think that breaking off a leaf and crushing it and rubbing it on clothing would help. There again, we don't have many mosquitos here, so I haven't had occasion to try it.

June 12, 2011
5:07 pm
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LK
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happy-flowerWe made some repellant. It is supposed to be good for mosquitos, ticks and flies. It is:

1 tsp. real vanilla extract:1 c. water

Our kids put some in a spray bottle and love it for the scent, spray factor, and they have gotten less ticks crawling on them and attaching lately. I think last time they only had 2 between the 3 of them. Once (without the spray) the youngest had up to 14. They usually get many on them when they go out to see the animals. The mosquitos have just lately increased in numbers, so we are doing ongoing research on this one…

June 12, 2011
8:18 pm
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mammaleigh
NW Georgia
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LK OH MY up to 14 on one kid?? Or is that all 3? Either way my skin would be crawling, I hate those little blood suckers! I found one in my daughters ear canal…That was fun having to put out!

I don't really have anything else to add as I am all about the commercial spray when it comes to though, I would love to find something healthier for the kids.

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living.  The world owes you nothing.  It was here first."  ~Mark Twain

June 13, 2011
8:58 am
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lavenderblue
WNY
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This might be helpful   http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/2009/06/make-your-own-insect-repellent.html     I tried to find this awhile back and couldn't find it on the blog but now it is listed on the sidebar. I guess 'tis the season.

I'm looking forward to Suzanne's post though because the one on “little house in the suburbs” seems a little light on information. Of course, it may not be rocket science, either.

It also looks as if my link didn't really link. My apologies, but if it didn't, I really don't know what to do about that.

Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.  Ogden Nash

June 13, 2011
1:16 pm
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LK
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Yep, one kid, and a small one at that! Like any boy, he gets everywhere and so they find him. He must taste good. 

I don't like touching them unless I absolutely HAVE to and then I squirm for a long time after they are gone. Ick, Ick, ICK!

I liked that I can feel totally comfortable putting the vanilla mixture on a baby. happy-flower

Lavenderblue, the link worked for me!

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