Mosquitoes are a nuisance, and no one wants to deal with itchy bites, but the thought of spraying harsh, smelly chemicals on your skin sounds less than ideal too. Next time you don't want to apply commercial mosquito repellent because of the strong smell, consider trying lemon juice as a mosquito deterrent instead.
Although using plant-based repellents has been common practice for generations, there still isn't enough scientific evidence to back the efficacy of lemon juice and plant-based products as mosquito repellents. It doesn't hurt to try plant-based repellents if you want to rid your cabinets of chemical-based repellents, though. Individuals with an allergy or sensitivity to any of the ingredients used in homemade mosquito repellent should steer clear.
Lemon Juice and Water
Although commercial mosquito repellents are a staple in many households, natural mosquito repellent products can be safer for your skin, children and pets. Another major pro is that some natural mosquito repellents smell better than many commercial products currently on the market. The most effective mosquito repellents are lemon balm and lemon essential oils, but if you want to try using a concoction that you can apply to yourself or a pet, lemon juice is a useful ingredient.
The easiest way to use lemon juice as a mosquito repellent is by combining six fresh-squeezed lemons and a quart of water. Bring to a boil and let steep for an hour. After the mixture steeps, let it cool down and add it to a spray bottle. Make sure that you avoid your eyes and any open cuts when spraying this mixture.
Lemon Juice, Vanilla and Lavender
If you like using lemon juice as a mosquito repellent, but you don't want to smell like a lemon all day, you can combine lavender oil, vanilla extract and lemon juice for a better-smelling spray. Mix 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and a cup of water in a spray bottle. Make sure that you shake the bottle well, so the ingredients are thoroughly combined. You can spray this mixture on your skin two to three times a day.
Lemon Eucalyptus Spray
A popular concoction is lemon eucalyptus spray. All you have to do is mix 10 milliliters of pure lemon eucalyptus essential oil and 90 milliliters of witch hazel in a spray bottle. Make sure that you combine the two well and store the bottle in a dark, dry place. The recipe will last for a few weeks, and you can actually apply this mixture to your skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon
Apple cider vinegar is another potent ingredient that mosquitoes hate because they detest the smell and taste of vinegar. To create a super-repelling spray, fill a spray bottle with half water, half apple cider vinegar and 10 to 15 drops of lemon oil. You can apply this mixture directly to your skin as well.
Lemon Balm and Mosquitoes
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a great herb to repel mosquitoes because it has high levels of citronellal. Citronellal is a compound that gives citronella oil its strong lemon scent, and it has insect repellent properties. When you're ready to use lemon balm as a mosquito repellent, crush the fresh leaves and rub them on your skin. Rub the leaves in exposed areas that are vulnerable to bug bites. If you would like to grow lemon balm, this herb will thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 7.