Homemade insect repellent recipe

How do you feel about slathering yourself in super-strong insect repellent? Now, what if you had to do that for extended periods of time? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a gentler alternative, you could make yourself, using ingredients you probably have in your bathroom cabinet?

There are some places, like the tropics, or where there are particularly nasty mozzie borne illnesses or heavy tick infestations, where I’m happy to become a walking cloud of DEET (for short periods), but for the rest of time, I choose a more subtle approach.

This homemade insect repellent recipe is nothing fancy and smells like my bathroom growing up. It reminds me of the times Mum would Dettol my grazed knees (ouch!) or dip a needle into the golden liquid before trying to shift a stubborn splinter or encourage me as an early teen to use baby oil as a moisturiser. Bless.

Dettol, Eucalyptus oil and baby oil. Ingredients for homemade insect repellent.
Equal parts Dettol (thanks Mum), Eucalyptus Oil and Baby Oil. A tiny re-usable pump bottle helps save weight and bulk in my backpack.

DIY Insect Repellent

Equal parts:

  • 100% Eucalyptus or Tea Tree oil
  • Dettol
  • Baby oil

To cut down on the weight of carrying a big tube or bottle in my backpack, I use a tiny pump bottle that I found in Howards Storage. The only trick with these little guys is to never lose the teensy funnel that comes with them.

If the mineral-based baby oil isn’t your thing, there’s loads of other combo’s out there that use essential oils – some even use vodka! These are less likely to be sitting in your cupboard (well, maybe the vodka is), but could end up smelling nicer and offer a softer alternative. A simple Google search will have you reaching for the witch hazel in no time.

The benefits of the ingredients above are that they’re cheap, as opposed to good quality essential oils, which can set you back if you’re starting from scratch. Oils such as witch hazel, citronella, lavender and even good ol’ apple cider vinegar appear in some recipes. Don’t worry, I’m not about to link you to my multi-level-marketing scheme of oils for sale.

If making your own just seems too hard, check out my Aussie affiliates over at Biome or Nourished Life who have a stack of ethical, gentle and natural insect repellents to help keep the nasties away for days.

Q: Do you have a successful recipe you’d be happy to add to this post? Drop me a line and let me know.

Bushwalking & Hiking Tips from an Unexpected Outdoors Chick

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