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Look for pure vanilla in health food stores if you can't find it in your regular grocery store. Regular grocery stores often stock the kind that doesn't help repel insects.
High concentrations of vanilla may cause skin irritation. Vanilla extract applied to the face or other areas that have thin skin may cause irritation. Try using as much water as you need to guard against skin irritation. Some people may need to use up to 1 c. of water when mixing 1 tbs. of vanilla sugar into a mixture. Don't use vanilla extract as an insect repellent if you are allergic to vanilla. Rub a bit of vanilla extract on your skin as a test before applying this insect repellent.
How to Make an Insect Repellent With Vanilla Extract. Vanilla extract can make a great insect repellent. Simply buy pure vanilla extract and follow these tips to make a simple solution using water. Pesky insects like mosquitoes, ticks, deer flies, black flies and gnats won't stand a chance against it.
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Get a clean, shallow small container and add 1 tbs. of pure, clear, sugarless vanilla extract. Using vanilla extract that contains added ingredients, like sugar, may result in sticky skin and attract more insects.
Add 1 tbs. of water to the container. Stir the mixture so that the vanilla extract and water mix thoroughly.
Dip a cotton ball or another absorbent material into the mixture and wipe it on your skin. Make sure to treat all exposed areas.
Apply undiluted drops of vanilla extract to your neck, wrists and other pulse points.
Reapply the solution and undiluted vanilla extract drops at the first sign of its effectiveness diminishing. Using vanilla extract as an insect repellent usually works for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.