From citronella to peppermint oil, there are several household items you can use to repel bugs. Vanilla extract is just one substance that acts as a natural bug repellant. Although you may associate its sweet scent with baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies, insects can't stand it. Applying a DIY vanilla extract insect repellant throughout your home will ward of pests while making your home smell great (to humans, at least). Homemade vanilla extract is an effective insect repellant against mosquitos, ticks, flies, and gnats.
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How to Make an Insect Repellent With Vanilla Extract
1. Buy Pure Vanilla
If you really want to repel insects, don't just use any old bottle of vanilla extract that you have lying in the pantry. Make sure you're using pure vanilla extract, which you can purchase online or at a health food store. Look for products that are pure vanilla extract with no additives, like sugar and alcohol. Sugar may actually attract insects, not repel them.
2. Add Vanilla to Spray Bottle
Add about 1 tablespoon of your pure vanilla extract to an empty spray bottle.
3. Mix in Water
Mix 1 tablespoon of pure water into the spray bottle with vanilla. Close the bottle and swish it around to thoroughly mix the solution. Optionally, you can add other natural insect repellants here. Peppermint oil, citronella oil, and lemongrass oil all work well.
4. Spray the Repellent Where Needed
Now that you have your vanilla extract solution mixed, feel free to spritz it throughout your house. You can even spray it on yourself, applying it to your wrists and ankles to ward off pests before you go outside.Vanilla extract is a great topical insect repellent because it's safe to apply to your skin without irritation. It also won't damage household surfaces.