Outdoor PestsMosquitoes

How To Make Mosquito Repellent with Citronella Oil

Mosquitoes 1

As the weather warms up and outdoor activities increase, so does the presence of mosquitoes. Rather than resorting to commercial repellents which often contain DEET, a chemical that some people prefer to avoid, why not try making your own natural mosquito repellent? In this article, we will explore how to make mosquito repellent with citronella oil.


To make a mosquito repellent with citronella oil, combine 50 drops of citronella essential oil with 100 ml of witch hazel in a tinted glass bottle. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients, and your natural mosquito repellent is ready to use. This repellent works by masking scents that attract mosquitoes, making it difficult for them to locate their targets.

What is Citronella Oil?

Citronella oil is an essential oil obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon (lemongrass). It is widely used in perfumery, cosmetics, and flavoring industries. More importantly, it has been recognized as a biopesticide by the United States Environmental Protection Agency since 1948. Citronella oil works by masking scents that are attractive to insects, making it difficult for them to locate their targets.

Where to Buy Citronella Oil

Quality citronella oil can be sourced from various outlets such as Amazon, Bulk Natural Oils, WFMed, 18th Street Soap Company, Sva Naturals, and Target. Always check the product descriptions and reviews to ensure the quality and purity of the citronella oil.

Making Mosquito Repellent with Citronella Oil

To make a mosquito repellent with citronella oil, you will need the following ingredients and materials:

  • 50 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 100 ml of witch hazel
  • A tinted glass bottle
  • A spray head for the bottle

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Add 50 drops of citronella essential oil into the empty bottle.
  2. Add 100 ml of witch hazel to the bottle containing the citronella essential oil.
  3. Secure the lid and shake the bottle to combine the ingredients.

This recipe will give you a 2% dilution of citronella essential oil in witch hazel, which is an effective concentration for repelling mosquitoes.

Enhancing Effectiveness with Other Essential Oils

You can enhance the effectiveness of your citronella mosquito repellent by adding other essential oils known for their repellent properties. These include lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, geranium oil, pine oil, and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Precautions and Safety Measures

Always take precautions when handling citronella oil. Avoid direct contact with eyes and skin, dilute before use, keep away from heat and ignition sources, and prevent static discharge.

Children and Pets

While citronella oil is generally safe for children over six months old and dogs, it can be toxic to cats. Always consult with a pediatrician or veterinarian before using homemade mosquito repellents on children and pets.


Making your own mosquito repellent with citronella oil is a natural and cost-effective way to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes. By following these steps, you can enjoy a mosquito-free summer while also avoiding the potential risks associated with chemical repellents. Stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I apply the homemade citronella oil mosquito repellent?

The homemade citronella oil mosquito repellent should be applied every 2-3 hours for optimal effectiveness. However, this can vary depending on individual body chemistry, the concentration of the repellent, and the type of mosquito species in the area.

Can I use coconut oil instead of witch hazel in the mosquito repellent recipe?

Yes, you can replace witch hazel with coconut oil in the recipe. Coconut oil can act as a carrier oil for the citronella essential oil, helping it spread evenly on the skin and prolong its effectiveness.

Is citronella oil safe for pregnant and nursing women?

Although citronella oil is generally considered safe, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before using any essential oils during pregnancy or while nursing. They can provide personalized advice based on your health history and current condition.

Can I use this homemade mosquito repellent indoors?

Yes, you can use the homemade citronella oil mosquito repellent indoors. However, ensure the area is well-ventilated as the scent of citronella can be quite strong. Also, avoid spraying it near open flames due to the oil’s flammable properties.

Can I add other ingredients to the repellent to improve the scent?

Yes, you can add other essential oils to improve the scent of the repellent. Some popular choices include lavender, geranium, and peppermint, which not only smell great but also have mosquito-repelling properties.

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